State starts demolition of old buildings at Eight Rod Farm in Tiverton
TIVERTON — The state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that asbestos abatement and building demolition have begun at the Eight Rod Farm Management Area.
The project includes demolition of 11 dilapidated, former dairy farm buildings situated on the 384-acre property that straddles the Tiverton-Little Compton line. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Several times in recent years, fire crews have been called into the property to fight challenging fires in abandoned buildings
Acquired by the state a decade ago, Eight Rod Farm Management Area is used for recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing and bird-watching. It is situated in the Watson Reservoir watershed that provides drinking water to the City of Newport and abuts land owned by the city.
The property contains a mosaic of small woodlots, abandoned agricultural fields, pastures and meadows, and a nearly 50-acre wetland complex of swamps, small streams and ponds that feed into Watson Reservoir. Well-developed hedgerows separate the fields throughout the parcel, providing travel lands, cover and nesting habitats for the diverse wildlife found on the property.
That wildlife includes wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite, non-game songbirds, cottontail rabbit, deer, raccoon, fox, mink and otter. A 10-acre pond on the property is home to amphibians and reptiles such as frogs, painted turtles and northern water snakes. Vegetation includes a wide variety of flowering shrubs and wildflowers in the fields, and red maple oak-holly and yellow birch in the swamp areas.
Funding for the $174,650 project is being provided through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The contractor for the project is AA Asbestos and Abatement Company of Johnston.
DEM says the project is expected to have minimal impact on the pheasant hunting season that starts on October 20, is not expected to affect other users of the management area.