Land Trust looks to buy ‘spectacular’ riverfront lot

Land Trust looks to buy ‘spectacular’ riverfront lot

The North Providence Land Trust is looking to potentially acquire a three-acre open space parcel on Woonasquatucket River, shown here at the end of Adams Lane near the Johnston town line.

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Members of the North Providence Land Trust are considering a proposal to purchase some three acres of property along the Woonasquatucket River, a “pretty spectacular spot,” according to Town Planner David Westcott, who serves as a member of the committee.

Members of the Land Trust are going through a due diligence period, including reviewing various aspects of a potential purchase on June 13.

It remains unclear how much the Octeau family is looking to receive for the property at the end of Adams Lane, but the price tag for this conservation and recreation space appears to be in the range of $300,000.

Mayor Charles Lombardi didn’t comment specifically on the Adams Lane parcel but said “depending on the cost” that he believes the town should preserve whatever open space it can.

Westcott said there is a “big chunk of upland” space here, as well as some wetlands and a hard shore. Eagles and blue herons are frequently spotted here, and deer feed on the nearby island.

“It really is a beautiful piece of land,” he said, noting how little of the riverfront North Providence residents currently have access to.

“This is your riverfront park,” he said.

Westcott said there might be room for a small multi-use play field on this property, which has been used for the Land Trust’s annual picnic and fundraiser.

A canoe and kayak launch would be a perfect addition, he said. The bikeway is right across the river, and Johnston’s Cricket Field park area is just up the road at the town line, making for a potentially nice continuous recreation area that’s beautiful for water recreation and nature spotting.

According to Westcott, appraisals have been completed, though the final numbers on those weren’t clear. Land Trust Chairman Ken Conte could not be reached for comment, and members of the Octeau family also couldn’t be reached.

Westcott said the initial thought was that there were four acres available here, but it turned out to be about three acres.

The Land Trust, which gets money through local impact fees when new developments are built, doesn’t appear to currently have the money it needs to make the purchase outright, said Westcott, but he was asked to speak with grant consultant Lisa Andoscia about the possibility of acquiring grant funds to chase down the needed money.

There are no water or sewer hookups on the property, making it ideal for open space uses, said Westcott.