One Step Closer to Connectivity in Warwick: Renna and Delfausse CRs Complete
WARWICK – About a mile from the center of Warwick lies the picturesque Hastings Pond and a group of determined neighbors who have worked for a decade to protect most of the eastern shoreline of this small private pond in Warwick.
In 2011, landowners Sandy and Suzanne Renna and Joe and Kristy Delfausse approached Mount Grace about conserving the approximately 11 acres of land between their homes on Hastings Pond Road to protect the rural heritage of Warwick. “Hastings Pond Road provides a safe and scenic place free of traffic that children can ride bikes without worry,” said Suzanne Renna. “On either side of the road the trees on our land provide a canopy everchanging with the seasons that make you feel like you are entering a cathedral of nature.”
Hastings Pond Road is a beloved road well-used by walkers and runners looking to safely enjoy the beautiful view of the pond. The pond provides habitat to beavers, freshwater fish and frogs, river otters, herons, mallards, and buffleheads.
The Hastings Pond neighborhood abuts Mount Grace’s flagship, 560-acre Arthur Iversen Conservation Area, and it contributes to an unfragmented habitat block larger than 1,700 acres while also expanding the area of protected land around the conservation area.
After a decade of work, these deeply committed neighbors were able to see their conservation visions through to fruition. Mount Grace successfully placed two conservation restrictions on the land thanks to the generous donations from the Rennas and Delfausses! “When I come down this road, I feel I'm stepping into a fairy tale world, and I'm glad it will stay like this,” said Kristy Delfausse.
These projects are only part of the work Mount Grace is doing in Warwick, which also has the majority of properties that are being protected through the Greater Gales Brook Conservation Project. One of the most ambitious projects we have taken on, it will protect 700+ acres of open meadows, working forests, and riparian habitat along Gales Brook, Rum Brook, Black Brook, Hodge Brook, and Fish Brook in the Millers River Watershed. The Greater Gales Brook Project area includes habitats that are home to a wide variety of native species like moose. These parcels fit into a greater puzzle of conserved land and the end goal is to link thousands of acres of existing protected land so that large, connected parcels of open space are sustained—providing habitat that is more resilient in the face of climate change.
Whether it’s 5 acres or 750 acres, land conservation at all scales is important to the overall connectivity of the ecosystem as private landowners make a difference with their piece of the puzzle.