Mount Hope Farm reopens grounds to the public

The farm welcomes back visitors under limited hours and with restrictions on dogs

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 7/10/20

The good news: Mount Hope Farm will be reopening its grounds to visitors, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bad news (for some) is that visitors are asked to leave their …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Mount Hope Farm reopens grounds to the public

The farm welcomes back visitors under limited hours and with restrictions on dogs

Posted

The good news: Mount Hope Farm will be reopening its grounds to visitors, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bad news (for some) is that visitors are asked to leave their pets at home when they visit.

When everything closed in mid-March, when public officials first realized the severity of the Covid-19 crisis, Mount Hope Farm closed as well. But when other outdoor recreation areas reopened, the farm did not follow suit. Between vandals, off-hour use, and off-leash dogs, the property had suffered some damage, and the board of trustees needed some time to assess and mitigate the damage, as well as develop a plan for future use.

As a private non-profit, the Farm has limited resources with which to repair damage to property and maintain grounds. For that reason, for the foreseeable future, they are asking that visitors leave their dogs at home and do not access their event tent or the Cove Cabin.

The trustees of the Farm issued a statement, which reads, in part, “This was a hard decision for members of our Board of Trustees to make, as we are dog lovers. However, increasingly we are finding that walkers are not picking up after their dogs and many also allow their dogs off leash. We know that this impacts the ability of our other visitors to fully enjoy our property. That said, over the coming months the Trustees will continue to review our pet policy — and our opening hours — assessing our ability to make the Farm more available to both visitors and their pets.”

Their decision was met with some grumbles on social media, with many local residents suggesting that the farm is public property and should be accessed as such, however, this is not the case. Though the farm was initially purchased and established with financial support from the Town of Bristol as well as St. Michael’s Church and individual donors, in the decades since it has been operated independently as a private, nonprofit organization, receiving no municipal funding.

The Board raises funds to enable the operation and maintenance of the property. They rely on dues paid by members, private donations and fundraising events, grant funds, and revenues from rental of their facilities for events and the Inn and other residences. As event rentals are their largest source of income, Covid-19 has severely impacted operations.

For more information, visit Mounthopefarm.org.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.