In November 2000, the Kingston Improvement Association (KIA) transferred to SKLT several properties on the west slope of Kingston Hill, including a 10.5-acre parcel of wooded land around the old Biscuit City Mill Pond. The sloping site contains notable stone foundations of a former water-powered mill from the late 1700s, its mill pond and dam, a well house that supplied Kingston Village’s first public water system,and a well-used walking trail that loops around the pond, connecting Biscuit City and Springdale roads.
Since 2003, SKLT has been transforming this rough diamond into a jewel of a neighborhood park in Kingston Village. With grants from the RI Department of Environmental Management, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Mary LeMoine Potter Fund, and donations of funds and labor from private individuals, local churches, local businesses, and educational groups, we are addressing drainage and erosion problems, securing and repairing structures in need of care, creating new loop trails, and clearing invasive plants from the forest understory.
This spring SKLT trustee Ellen Grebstein, a professional landscaper, began planning and directing an ambitious project to create plantings of naturalizing and ornamental native plants along the Springdale trail, leading from Biscuit City Road to the mill pond. The design will bring year-round beauty with flowering shrubs, winter berries, evergreens, and other eye-catching plants, selected especially for stream valley and woodland habitats. We also offer many thanks to the Kingston Congregational Church, Mary LeMoine Potter Fund, KIA, URI Landscape Architecture Department, Kingston Water District, Hope Leeson, Katherine Long, David Carpenter Excavating, and others for their help.