The South Kingstown Land Trust is pleased to announce the protection of 17.85 acres of forested wetlands and pine-oak forest on Yawgoo Pond in West Kingston preserved by landowner John Richmond.

“Protection of this beautiful, forested property will help protect the water quality of Yawgoo Pond forever. Forests slow down rainfall and allow it to soak into the ground and keep much of it from running into the pond. There is no better protection for fresh water,” said Linda Green, former Program Director of the URI Watershed Watch Program.

Mr. Richmond will retain ownership of four acres, protected by a conservation easement held by the South Kingstown Land Trust (SKLT) and the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM). SKLT now owns 13.85 abutting acres, also protected by a conservation easement held by RI DEM. These agreements protect the scenic pond shoreline and the species that depend upon it in perpetuity and prohibit any new building or development.

“I wanted to keep the land from future development… Over 400 feet of pond shore is now protected… and a trail crossing the land is preserved for pond residents,” said landowner John Richmond. “Bill Harvey, the President of the Miskiania Camp, was responsible in helping to raise the additional funds from the Pond residents and Camp members. Those that share Yawgoo Pond have helped keep it pristine and natural, and most of the pond will be kept undeveloped forever. The SKLT has been responsible for all the land acquisition and preservation. We are all grateful for their work and dedication for land preservation.”

This project puts SKLT’s combined total of protected land over 3,000 acres, 123.4 acres of which surrounds Yawgoo Pond. The new parcel includes more than 400 feet of shoreline encompassing rare plants and thriving wildlife habitat. With the acquisition, approximately 1.2 miles of Yawgoo Pond’s shoreline is protected to-date.

“This project would not have been possible without the perseverance of John Richmond and the Land Trust staff,” said SKLT Executive Director Julia Landstreet. “It was inspiring to see the amazing generosity of the many neighbors who made contributions to protect this land for the benefit of the environment, Yawgoo Pond, and future generations.”