Bridge gives access to public open space


Thanks to the efforts of the town, the conservation commission and volunteers, local residents can enjoy some passive recreation among the woods and wetlands that were once working farms.

More than 100 acres of open space are situated between the Warren town line and Tupelo Street, and Metacom Avenue and Hope Street.

Recently, a footbridge was installed across a small stream at the end of Elmwood Drive off Hope Street, allowing the public easy access to the trails that meander through the land.

“The main east-west passage is pretty well cleared out,” said Ray Payson, vice chairman of the town’s Conservation Commission.

Since the town acquired land once owned by the Tavares, St. Angelo and Perry families, collectively, the parcels provide an area of woodland and wetlands where people can observe nature.

“Half the fun in learning about the environment is sitting and watching,” Mr. Payson said.

The property is off limits to motorized vehicles, hunting and camping, allowing flora and fauna to return to the area.

Mr. Payson said there is a “mish-mash of plants,” a result of the days when the property was used to store nursery plants, but it is becoming inhabited with deer, fox and turkeys.

With the installation of the footbridge, constructed by the town’s department of public works, those who want to enjoy nature are welcome to walk the land. Or sit and watch.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.