Spring 2023

Invasive Plants in
Canonchet Farm

View Canonchet
Farm Video

Plans for the
Linear Park

Trail Work at Canonchet Farm

Guided Walks
this spring

Nancy Karaker,
April 5

Scott Turner,
May 17

Jay Waller,
June 7

Posted March 12, 2023; Updated March 22, 2023

Mark Your Calendar:
Spring 2023 Guided Walks
at Canonchet Farm

Here are four walks at Canonchet Farm planned for this spring:

April 8, 1:00 p.m.,“Vernal Pool Amphibians at Canonchet Farm” with Nancy Karraker

Catch the activity in these small wetlands before they dry up! We are delighted to begin our Spring Trail Walks with a return visit by Nancy Karraker, URI Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources Science.

We'll meet at the South County Museum parking lot. Nancy will lead us on a tour of Canonchet vernal pools, host to spring-breeding for amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic insects. Canonchet Farm's has a large number of these “puddles” that play a crucial role for amphibians, such as wood frogs and spring peepers.

For more details and to register for this free event, click on Register button:

You don't need to print a ticket.  Just register and come!

Up Next

May 6, 10:00 a.m., Walking Canonchet Trails in the Spring with John Kostrzewa, former business editor and nature columnist with The Providence Journal.

May 13, 10:00 a.m., Canonchet: A Woodlands Treasure in the Heart of Narragansett, a walk led by Tom Hoagland and Alan Woodmansee, Master Gardeners and respectively President and Trail Manager of Friends of Canonchet Farm.

Date To Be Announced, Everything about the Trees! Peter Stetson, OLLI Instructor, former environmental earth science teacher, current President of Educational Mapping Service.

All walks are free and open to the public. Look for registration and other more information here and on Facebook as the event approaches.

Posted January 8, 2023

Restoring Narrow River's Salt Marshes with Save the Bay
Maury Loontjens Memorial Library
Sunday Afternoon, January 29, 2023 from 2:00 to 3:30.

Join us at the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library as we learn about past and proposed salt marsh restoration efforts along the Narrow River. Save The Bay’s Wenley Ferguson will highlight our salt marsh restoration projects in partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Audubon Society of Rhode Island and the Narrow River Land Trust on the Narrow River, and proposed work in Pettaquamscutt Cove in coordination with the Town of Narragansett.

Background: The region's salt marshes are degraded and experiencing plant die-off due to a combination of factors including legacy human impacts such as past agricultural and mosquito control activities and accelerated sea level rise. Restoring tidal hydrology through the digging of shallow creeks allows water impounded on the marsh surface to drain and the marsh plants to recolonize die-off zones.


Posted October 8, 2022

Audubon at Canonchet

Lauren Parmelee to Lead Birding Hike
Sunday Afternoon, October 16, 1:00 to 2:00

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island comes to Canonchet Farm!  Meet us inside the South County Museum’s Metz Building for a brief introductory talk, followed by a birding hike on the Canonchet Farm trails.

Lauren Parmelee, Audubon’s Senior Director of Education, will share her knowledge of local birds and tips for learning how to identify them. Bring binoculars if you have them or borrow a pair from Audubon.

This guided walk is sponsored by Friends of Canonchet Farm and is free and open to the public.

For more details and to register for this event, click the Register button.

Posted September 14, 2022; Updated September 27, 2022

Canonchet Farm: 400 Years
in Just Over a Mile

A Walk and Talk with Tim Cranston
Sunday morning, October 9 from 10:00 to Noon

Join acclaimed local historian Tim Cranston for the launch of our Fall 2022 trail walks. Tim will guide us through Canonchet Farm and explain changes that were made to the land by former users and owners. Tim has a wealth of knowledge of southern Rhode Island history, which he has shared through many articles and presentations.

Meet Tim in the Anne Hoxsie Lane parking lot, directly across Boston Neck Road (Scenic 1-A) from the Narragansett Town Beach South Pavilion. This guided walk is sponsored by Friends of Canonchet Farm and is free and open to the public.

We will be walking on trails, so appropriate footwear is suggested. Click the Register button to sign up.

Posted May 25, 2022

Jay Waller Leads a Walk into the Past
at the South County Museum

Sunday, May 29, 1:00 p.m.

Before Europeans settled “Kings Towne,” the Narragansett Indian people knew this area as Namcook. Rhode Island archaeologist Jay Waller will lead a trail walk and discuss how an archaeologist “reads” the modern landscape to interpret its past use. He will point out cultural, environmental, and topographical features and discuss how local archaeological evidence suggests the Narragansetts occupied and used such places over thousands of years. We’ll start at the trail head at Anne Hoxsie Lane.  Join us for this free event, sponsored by Friends of Canonchet Farm.  For more details and to register, click on this button:

This is our last walk for the spring. We will not be scheduling Frosty Drew again until autumn because Nature has not been cooperative for stargazing this Spring.


Posted April 7, 2022; Updated May 2, 2022, May 14, 2022

Stargazing in May at Canonchet
With Frosty Drew

Saturday, May 21, 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Meet us on the lawn outside the South County Museum for a telescope viewing of the night sky. This free event is sponsored by Friends of Canonchet Farm and is great for all ages. We will see binary stars, open star clusters, globular star clusters, galaxies, and much more! Here is a great chance to stargaze with the Frosty Drew Observatory staff. For more details and to register for this free event, click the Register button below, or search "Frosty Drew" at Eventbrite.com. See you there!

Posted January 17, 2022

Our Continuing Stewardship of the Land

With Tom Hoagland and Alan Woodmansee
Sunday, January 23, 1:00 p.m.

Join us for The Friends of Canonchet Farm: Our Continuing Stewardship of the Land is the final 15th Anniversary Month trail. Meet up with Tom Hoagland, President of the Friends of Canonchet Farm, and Alan Woodmansee, Chair of the Trails Committee, at the Narragansett Town Beach North Parking Lot directly across Boston Neck Road (Scenic 1A) from Anne Hoxsie Lane.

From this vantage point, we’ll learn about the proposed Linear Park around Lake Canonchet. We’ll cross Boston Neck Road and proceed along the Nature Trail to the South County Museum.Tom and Alan will highlight the evidence of habitat restoration and invasives removal. We’ll see examples of the extensive restoration by Friends of Canonchet volunteers that have cleared historic stone walls, introduced native plantings, opened up views of the Narrow River, and removed thousands of invasive plants along the Nature Trail.We will return to our starting point via Anne Hoxsie Lane with views of the magnificent trees in the upper meadow.

Participants will receive a copy of our 15-page illustrated guide to the most common invasive plants in South County. Don’t miss this fitting wrap-up to our January Anniversary programs! Click the green button to register for this free event:

No need to print a ticket.  Just register and come!

Posted December 22, 2021.

The 2007 Fight to Save Canonchet,
A Walk with Bill Bivona

Sunday afternoon, January 2 starting at 1:00

Join Bill Bivona for the fascinating background story of the fight he and others waged to preserve the natural beauty of Canonchet Farm. Bill was awarded "Man of the Year" by the Narragansett Times for his dedicated efforts to protect this land.

He will start with the background story of how Canonchet avoided becoming, among other things, a polo field -- the equivalent of three football fields!  He will then re-create the same walk he led 15 years ago, guiding the Narragansett Town Council and others on the trails he fought to save.

July 23, 2011 - Bill Bivona of the Narragansett Tree Society cuts the ribbon (re)opening the Canonchet Farm Trail, after work by Troop 1 Narragansett Boy Scouts and the Tree Society restored an existing trail that had become overgrown.

(Photo by Ashley DiMeo as seen on Patch)

This free event meets at the Narragansett Community Center on Mumford Road. Yes, there will be coffee and donuts! So click the Register button and join us on January 2.

Posted December 28, 2021

Woodlands in the Heart of Narragansett
A Walk with Tom Fortier

Sunday, January 9, 2022, 1:00 p.m.

Join naturalist Tom Fortier for a trail walk starting near the orchard at the South County Museum in Narragansett. Tom was instrumental in the fight to keep Canonchet Farm a natural preserve. In 2015, he and Kathie Kelleher were recipients of the Independent Spirit Award for their efforts to organize volunteers and clear the Canonchet trails we enjoy today.

As he leads us on the trails, Tom will point out the features that show how this area, once farmed, has struggled to return to natural woods.

This free event begins at the South County Museum parking lot. And, yes, there will be coffee and donuts! Click the Register button today to sign up for the walk and join us the 9th. See you there.


Posted January 7, 2022

A Talk and Walk on the Canonchet Farm Geology Trail Remembering Jon Boothroyd

Sunday, January 16, 1:00 p.m. with Beth Laliberte

Join our celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Friends of Canonchet Farm!  Dr. Beth Laliberte, Teaching Professor in the Geosciences Department at URI, will give a brief presentation about the geologic history of Rhode Island and then lead a walk along the Canonchet Farm Geology Trail.  The trail was initially developed by Dr. Jon Boothroyd (1938-2015) an acclaimed field geologist specializing in coastal geology, braided river processes and glacial environments.

Meet inside the South County Museum Metz Building, 115 Strathmore Street in Narragansett. Coffee and donuts provided!  Dress warmly. You don't need to print a ticket. Just click the green button to register and will see you there!

Posted October 1, 2021

Fall and Winter Program and Walk Notes

With so many RI residents now vaccinated we felt it safe at this point to re-schedule and plan new program walks in the property this Fall.  All programs and walks will begin at the South County Museum accessed at the end of Strathmore Street.  The following is our confirmed schedule:

Posted September 22, 2020

In Person or Online, On Pettaquamscutt 2021 is a GO!

The Friends of Canonchet Farm, Narrow River Preservation Association, South County Museum and the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library along with generous support from Trio Restaurant, are collaborating for the tenth year to sponsor the Winter Speaker Series On Pettaquamscutt: Presentations on the Environment and the History of the Narrow River Watershed.

The presentations will take place on selected Sundays at 1:00 either at the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library, 35 Kingstown Road, Narragansett where there is a possibility of hosting the gathering in the library with a reduced number of attendees or the library has the possibility of using Zoom which could reach a larger audience.

A great line-up for 2021

On Pettaquamscutt

The 2021 season dates, presenters, topics and sponsoring organizations are:

January 31: Kathie Kelleher and David Smith will give a virtual tour of the Narragansett Coastal Defenses. This presentation is sponsored by the Friends of Canonchet Farm.

February 28: South County Museum Assistant Director Heather Kisilywicz will present Stories of the South County Fisherman.

March 28: Craig Wood of the Narrow River Preservation Association will use footage from the live osprey webcam at Garrison House Acres to tell us about The Ospreys of Narrow River.

These events are free and open to the public. Participants must register at OnPettaquamscutt.org or at the calendar page of the library website to reserve a seat or to receive a Zoom invite. Registration will open at the beginning of the month for each presentation. For more information, call 401-783-5344 or e-mail info@onpettaquamscutt.org.

Posted March 16, 2020, Revised September 22, 2020

On Pettaquamscutt March 29 Presentation Canceled

The ninth season of the winter speaker series On Pettaquamscutt: Presentations on the Environment and the History of the Narrow River Watershed was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, but but you can view the January and February 2020 presentations at the On Pettaquamscutt website.

Spring Events Posted February 28, 2020

Every Saturday is Trail Improvement Saturday

Now through April 26

Become a member of the volunteer team at Canonchet by signing up via email (events@canonchet.org).

We work any Saturday morning when the temperature is above 20 and it is not raining. Please join us at 9 a.m. at our trailer which is located on the grounds of South County Museum.

Event Canceled

On Pettaquamscutt, March 29
Camp Varnum and Rhode Island Coastal Defenses

It was disguised to look like a traditional New England fishing village, but Master Sergeant James Loffler, recently retired from the R.I. National Guard, will explain how Camp Varnum near the mouth of Narrow River played an important role in the defense of the Rhode Island coast during World War II. Sgt. Loffler's presentation is sponsored by the South County Museum. (More about On Pettaquamscutt)

Guided Walk with Nancy Karraker, April 5

Join amphibian expert and URI professor Nancy Karraker as we explore the wonders of frogs and other amphibians on Sunday afternoon, April 5. This program is geared toward children and the child in each adult.

The size of the group is limited to 40 and advanced registration by email is required. Click this link to sign up: Registration for April 5 walk with Nancy Karraker. Please include your phone number. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please meet Nancy at 1:00 p.m. at the South County Museum, 115 Strathmore Street, Narragansett.

Annual Meeting, May 10

Join us on Sunday, May 10, 1 p.m. for the Friends of Canonchet Farm Annual Meeting (open to the public) at South County Museum, 115 Strathmore Street, Narragansett.

Following a short meeting, Jim Crothers, Director, South County Museum, will make a presentation on the History of Canonchet Farm. Jim can always be counted on to teach and entertain.

Scott Turner Returns, May 17

Take a walk with the ever-popular Scott Turner, former nature writer for The Providence Journal, on Sunday, May 17 as he shares his wealth of knowledge about the natural world and causes us to chuckle at his wonderful stories.

Meet Scott at 1:00 p.m. in the Anne Hoxsie Lane parking lot directly across Boston Neck Road from the Narragansett Town Beach South Pavilion (39 Boston Neck Road), Narragansett.

Archaeologist Jay Waller, June 7

Don't miss a walk with Jay Waller on Sunday afternoon, June 7, Jay is the lead archaeologist for the Native American site at Salt Pond in Narragansett (RI 110). He will discuss how Native Americans would have used the natural resources found at Canonchet Farm as well as how an archaeologist surveys an area to determine the possibility of cultural remains.

Meet Jay at 1:00 p.m. at the South County Museum, 115 Strathmore Street, Narraganset.

Updated December 17, 2019

Improving the Canonchet Farm Trail

In October, Friends of Canonchet Farm volunteers returned to working along the Canonchet Farm Trail, removing invasive vegetation and making the trail safer and more enjoyable. The work continues every Saturday (whether permitting through the spring, when work shifts back to restoration of the area along Lake Canonchet and Little Neck Pond.

Please meet at the Friends of Canonchet Farm trailer located on the grounds of the South County Museum at the end of Strathmore Street, which is off Kingstown Road in Narragansett. We will gather at 9 a.m. and walk to the area of the trail where we will be removing privet, multiflora rose, bittersweet and other invasive plants. As always, we provide tools, snacks, drinks, gloves, instruction and fun. You'll meet wonderful people who share your concern for the preservation and improvement of Canonchet Farm. For more information, contact Kathie Kelleher at events@canonchet.org.

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Last modified: March 22, 2023