PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) has received a $20,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor as part of its current campaign to purchase Little Creek Preserve, a former dairy farm in Portsmouth.
ALT has been fundraising since July 2017 to purchase the 15.6-acre property, which abuts the Sakonnet Greenway Trail.
“This stunning 15.6-acre property has significant land and water conservation value,” said Chuck Allott, executive director at ALT.
“It contains the headwaters of Little Creek, important wetland areas, a seasonal pond and a natural spring. Its acquisition would increase the network of protected wildlife areas on the island and create additional recreational opportunities for the community.”
The property, once purchased, would become publicly-accessible open space. Its wetlands and pond provide habitat for a range of amphibian and avian species, including wood ducks, barn owls, spring peepers, woodchucks and resident and migratory songbirds.
“Our plan is to extend the Sakonnet Greenway Trail onto the property and create a beautiful trailside park for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Allott.
ALT has raised $150,000 of the $368,000 needed to purchase Little Creek Preserve. It has until May 1, 2018, to close on the Bramans Lane parcel, which is otherwise at high risk for subdivision.
Development on the dry upland portion of the property would severely compromise the existing water assets and the rich wildlife habitat.
“The community support has been fantastic,” said Allott. “This new challenge grant effectively doubles every gift to Little Creek and brings us that much closer to our goal of conserving this special property.”