Spot Park 1st Mill Cove Conservancy
Warwick Beacon Online
April 12, 2007
By REBECCA SIBIELSKI
aren’t as quiet as they once were at the Mill Cove Conservancy in Warwick. Thanks to the
donation of two lots of land overlooking the mouth of Buckeye Brook where it
joins Narragansett Bay, Spot
Park will make its debut
this week as a new neighborhood park.
thought of as a land trust without the land, Mill Cove now has what it needs to
show landowners a different way to use their land and, at the same time, gain a
Mill Cove Conservancy (MCC) is a nonprofit organization that provides an
alternative for landowners in the Mill Cove neighborhood who care for their
property and want it preserved. While many developers buy land to build on,
working with private land trusts such as MCC enables property owners to
contribute land as a tax-deductible gift. In return, the private land trust
preserves the land. The main goal is to save and maintain these spots while
making them an asset to the surrounding community.
is small, but it’s a great place to spend time,” says Thomas Wilson, MCC
chairman and co-founder. The 11,525-square-foot park with a valuation of
$50,000 serves as a connector to the Conimicut Marsh and Narragansett
Bay. There is an approximate 250-degree view that overlooks the
cove and marsh area and the land is elevated so parts of Prudence Island
can be seen as well. There is a filled in foundation on the land, which Wilson believes was the
site of a bungalow destroyed either by the Hurricane of 1938 or Hurricane Carol
in 1954. There is low traffic into the area, which limits land pollution and
allows neighbors and community members to enjoy all aspects of the park without
the chaos of a crowd.
park has several unique traits. It is on the shoreline of Buckeye Brook, one of
three herring runs. It also borders a moving sandbar, also known as a spit. The
change is noticeable and can even be detected in a single visit, says Wilson.
where you want to be,” said Wilson.
found MCC in 2002 when its only purpose was to bring attention to the issues
that needed to be addressed. In 2003 MCC became a land trust and gained the
ability to take action.
wanted to help the problem rather than just fight for it,” Wilson said. “Mill Cove shows how it is
possible to conserve land while following the proper regulations.”
Wilson said he has talked with the
city about have an adjoining vacant city lot combined with the MCC parcels. The
plan is to clean up the area, leaving it in its natural state and accessible.
Lusi who purchased the land four years ago and donated it to MCC in December
initially intended to build an aquaculture oyster farm. He thought the
marshland in Buckeye Brook could foster his plans, but learned that the area
was a sensitive environment and the efforts of developing were too great to
pursue any further.
contacted Wilson last fall after visiting the
property and learning about his role with MCC and their dedication to
seem to have a genuine concern and appreciation for the environment,” said
the land to MCC gave the conservancy its first opportunity to show what is
possible when it comes to protecting the natural environment.
Saturday, the Buckeye Brook Coalition will also contribute to Warwick’s environmental preservation by
sponsoring the 10th Annual Earth Day Clean-Up of Buckeye Brook. The City of Warwick, Picasso’s Pizza,
Don’s Pizza, Sandy Lane Meat Market, Twins Construction and Mousies Deli helped
fund the event. Volunteers will collect trash and debris in the Buckeye Brook
area including Spot
Park. An expected 300
participants from City Year, Warwick, Big Sisters of RI, the Conimicut Village
Association, the Mill Cove Conservancy, the Oakland Beach Association, the
Department of Environmental Management of RI and the Earth Day Committee will
meet at 9 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 475 Sandy Lane.
will disband and clean until 12 noon, targeting all areas of Buckeye Brook
watershed from the Pawtuxet River to Oakland
Beach to Narragansett
Bay. The coalition also encourages people to notify them of other
neglected locations near their homes that are in need of cleaning. They will
provide a crew to go to any area, not necessarily water related, and clean it
year Peter Naeumann of the Ocean State Raptors will be on site at the command
post on Sandy Lane
to display birds of prey, hawks, eagles, and other birds for an educational
volunteers are asked to dress warmly and wear work gloves and waterproof boots
if possible. Anyone interested in providing volunteer services should contact
Steve Insana at 864-6112 or visit the Buckeye Brook Coalition’s Web site at