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Open Space & Land Preservation Commission

The Open Space & Land Preservation Commission shall consist of nine (9) members appointed by the Town Council for three (3) year terms, staggered so that no more than three (3) terms expire in any one year. Vacancies shall be filled by the Town Council for the remainder of the unexpired term. The Commission shall annually elect a Chairperson and such other officers as they deem appropriate.

Commission Members:

Brian Janes, Co-Chair
Garry Plunkett, Co-chair
Dennis Culberson
Gayle Lawrence
Jim Spears
Martin Van Hof
Jean Paul Forcier - Stewardship Coordinator

2 Vacancies

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Open Space and Land Preservation Commission shall report to the Town Administrator. Responsibilities include the management of existing public open space/conservation lands, the identification and protection of significant natural and scenic resources in the Town such as unique plant and animal habitats, ecological or archaeological sites, the identification and development of potential nature sanctuaries, greenways and sites for nature studies, the orderly development and accessibility to open space areas to all neighborhoods, a town-wide inventory of open land and town owned land, the encouragement of farm preservation as well as liaison with other town agencies to foster town-wide land use planning. (Ref. Section 1004 of the Home Rule Charter).

The Commission is guided in its efforts to preserve and manage land, and to promote the preservation of farmland by the town's Comprehensive Community Plan, Element 9.

Meeting Schedule:

On the third Monday of each month (except August). Meetings begin at 6:00 PM at the Tiverton Town Library, 34 Roosevelt Avenue.


Stewardship Inquiries may be directed to Jean Paul Forcier (624-8431). All other inquiries may be directed to Garry Plunkett (624-2549) or Brian Janes (624-7636).

Open Space Areas

Fogland Marsh
A link to the Fogland Marsh from The Nature Conservancy:http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/

Ft. Barton Revolutionary War Redoubt and Woods

Entrance on Highland Road (across from Town Hall), Tiverton, RI
Primary uses: Experience the original earthern mounds of the Revolutionary War redoubt and view the Sakonnet River area from observation tower. Hike/walk on marked trails in the 82-acre Ft. Barton Woods.
Regulations: Dogs must be leashed or under positive control. No motorized vehicles. No bikes.
Open: Sunrise to sunset.
Parking: Yes.
Parking fee: No.
Services: None.

Download Ft. Barton Woods Trail map and directions

Download Ft. Barton Woods Cultural History and Natural Communities

During the American Revolution these "Tiverton highlands" represented an important strategic location for preventing an invasion of the mainland across the narrow Sakonnet River strait by British Forces who occupied Aquidneck Island. This historic landmark is at the crest of hill near the entrance. An outlook tower now stands among the original Revolutionary War earthen mounds allowing for an expansive view of the Sakonnet River and beyond.

The Fort Barton Woods natural area is a mature, mixed hardwood forest, with some trees exceeding 100 years of age. Given the variety of conditions -- exposed bedrock, streams, slopes, and upland soil -- there is a diverse assemblage of woodland herbaceous plants and shrubs throughout Fort Barton Woods. Trails in the natural areas include rustic foot bridges, sloped inclines and rocky paths that require stamina and sure footing for safe passage.

Fort Barton look-out tower and Sakonnet Bay Views:

Seapowet Marsh and Point Fishing Area
Seapowet Ave, South Tiverton
Primary use: Conservation area or wildlife refuge
Other uses: Historic interest, fishing, hiking/walking
Services: Boat ramp
Parking: Yes

Located off Seapowet Avenue, this refuge area includes a variety of coastal habitats.There is a parking area along a cobble beach north of the bridge over the Seapowet Riverand walking or driving access to Seapowet Point. There is a marsh on the point, popular for shellfishing. The beach is a good spot for walking, fishing, bird watching, or enjoying the view of the river. There is also a small gravel boat launch ramp south of the bridge that provides access to an extensive salt marsh and tidal creek area.

Small, family-orientated beach on the Sakonnet River. Easy access to the beach and facilities. Located off Main Road (Route 77), just south of the Stone Bridge Pier, this small crescent of beach has a restroom facility with showers and changing rooms, a children's play area, and a lifeguard in the summer at a designated swimming area. There is a nice view of the Sakonnet River and Gould Island. There is parking for 50 cars and a fee in the summer.

Weetamoo Woods
Entrances on East Road, Lake Road and Lafayette Road, Tiverton, RI
Primary use: Hiking/walking on marked trails.
Other uses: Horseback riding on marked trails. Dogs must be leashed or under positive control. No motorized vehicles.
Open: Sunrise to sunset.
Parking: Yes.
Parking fee: No.
Services: None.

Download Weetamoo Woods Natural Communities

Download Weetamoo Woods Trail Map and directions

Weetamoo Woods is over 750 acres of varied habitats, including rare coastal oak-holly forest and an Atlantic white cedar swamp. There are 5+ miles of walking trails. Part of the original Pocasset Purchase roadway (ca. 1685) is still visible, along with cellar holes and the remains of a village sawmill. Grasslands research is being conducted on a 12-acre parcel within the woods. Weetamoo was the last sachem of the Pocasset Tribe of Wampanoag Indians. She supported the Great Sachem, Metacom (King Philip), in the King Philip's War and died in that conflict.