The Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust purchased the fee simple interest, in Plat 27, Lot 15, from Ms. Marjorie Simmons. This purchased was completed on November 7, 2005. The property, located on Peckham Road, is comprised of 26.7 acres of land.
Prior Land Uses: The size and apparent age of trees on the property indicate that is has not been cleared for agricultural purposes anytime in the recent past (at least 150 years).
However, stone walls can be found marking boundaries throughout the wooded parcel and early aerial photography from 1939 shows thinned forest, indicating that the property was likely used for grazing.
Current Land Uses: Currently, the property is nearly entirely forested, with a small patch of maintained field habitat in the southeast corner of Lot 15. It does not appear that the property currently receives any active management or use, with the exception of mowing this field patch. Some evidence of hunting on Lot 26 was noted.
Proposed Future Uses: It is intended that this property will shortly be conveyed in fee to the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust (LCACT). The LCACT intends that the parcel will be preserved as open space for natural habitat and watershed protection. Limited public access and passive recreation will be allowed on the property.
Conservation Values: The Simmons Property is located in Little Compton, Rhode Island along the north side of Peckham Road, east of the H. E. Watson Reservoir (Figures 3 and 4). To the north and northeast the property abuts undeveloped deciduous woodland and wooded wetland. To the west of Lot 15, the property abuts agricultural / nursery land and low‐density residential housing. To the east, the property abuts medium density residential housing, cropland, and an industrial site. To the south, land uses include medium density residential housing, cropland, and additional wooded wetland and deciduous forest.
Although the property is not directly contiguous with other conserved lands, its location is strategic as it lies within 2 miles of over 2,260 additional open space acres. The 668‐acre H. E. Watson Reservoir, owned by the City of Newport Water Department lies to the west, and RI Department of Environmental Management’s 432‐acre Simmons Mill / Fort Church Management Area lies to the east. To the southwest is the Middendorf Farm, protected by the RIDEM and the City of Newport and the Young Farm protected by the LCACT. The LCACT also holds fee ownership of the 50‐acre Eddy parcel to the northeast of the Simmons property, and maintains conservation easements on approximately 30 additional acres in the immediately surrounding area. In addition, the Sakonnet Preservation Association and The Nature Conservancy hold properties nearby.