Educational Programs & Events

Sakonnet Preservation sponsors public education events, usually held at the Little Compton Community Center, bringing experts in the conservation field to speak on such topics as: grass-nesting bird stewardship; basics of conservation easements; local impacts of winter moth infestation. 

We have just concluded our Winter/Spring 2021 Speaker Series! Thank you to everybody who joined us.

We were honored to host a series of authors and experts throughout the last few months. These speakers are passionate about their field of study and were excited to share their work. Similar to our recent Annual Meeting, our speakers joined us via Zoom. If you missed a talk, most were recorded and can be found by clicking on the link below, or you can find them on our YouTube channel.

Winter/Spring 2021 Speakers:


Past Events:

Environmental Film Screenings

Each winter, we usually sponsored a series of environmental film screenings at the Little Compton Community Center, free for all ages. We hope to continue these next winter.

We hold an Annual Meeting every July that is open to the public at no cost with a featured speaker addressing a conservation-related topic.

We are working with Grades Five and Six at the Wilbur School, arranging with science and math teachers for annual half-day visits in the Spring to Simmons Mill Pond Preserve to expose students to its public trails, local birds, plants, trees and habitat as part of their science curriculum, connecting them with guides such as conservation landscape architect John Gwynne and birding expert Bob Emerson. We follow that up with the same students when they are Sixth Graders in the Fall with a history tour of the Preserve with Marjory O’Toole, Executive Director of the Little Compton Historical Society supplemented with SPA-guided observation of the changes on the landscape that have taken place since their Spring visit.  Arranging with Sakonnet Preservation for a guided visit to a local barrier beach has been requested by the teachers as an additional habitat to explore to supplement the Simmons Mill Pond visits, to take place in 2020.

2019 Field Trip to Simmons Mill Pond Management Area with Wilbur-McMahon School

2018 Land Trust Days:
Wild Medicinal Herbs Walk at the PT Marvell Preserve with Radia Herbs

Winter Moths 
March 2016
Sakonnet Preservation hosted the Eastern RI Conservation District’s Winter Moth Program with Heather Flaubert.  This moth is an invasive pest introduced into North America from Europe. With no natural enemies, the winter moth population is exploding. These caterpillars are devastating Rhode Island trees, including fruit trees and backyard ornamentals. Come learn more about this pest and what steps you can take to protect your backyard trees, woodlots, and orchards, and reduce the extent of winter moth defoliation.  Click here to view the presentation.

Piping Plovers
November 2015
Sakonnet Preservation Association, the Little Compton Garden Club and The Nature Conservancy of RI (TNC) co-sponsored local wildlife photographer Geoff Dennis and TNC’s Science Program Assistant Jeanne Parente for an entertaining slideshow about the life of the charismatic Piping Plover and a discussion of the successes and challenges protecting them.

BioBlitz & Nature Day in Little Compton 
July 2015
Over 1,200 species were identified during this weekend event. The RI Natural History Survey staff returned to summarize the results of  June 2015 BioBlitz gathering of local flora and fauna.  Hundreds of specimens were collected or observed by volunteers from near and far who spread out on the Ponderosa, the Dundery Brook Trail, Goosewing Beach and Quicksand Pond over a 24 hour period. Click here for results of the 2015 Event.  

Bobolink: Conservation Challenges & Opportunities in New England 
April 2015
Dr. Noah Perlut, assistant professor at the University of New England, has spent years researching how field management practices affect grass-nesting birds, particularly Bobolinks.  This program was free and open to the public.  Sponsored by Sakonnet Preservation Association & Little Compton Garden Club.  Click here for more information.

Technology Reveals Hidden New England Heritage
April 2014
Katharine Johnson presented her research on Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR).  Click here to read an Article in Journal of Archaeological Science discussing her research.  Sponsors for this program were the Tiverton Land Trust & Sakonnet Preservation Association.

Connecting Corridors – Restoring Native Habitats One Native Plant at a Time
October 2013
In 2006 the Polly Hill Arboretum launched an innovative new native plant production program
called MV Wildtype. Now, the model program produces over 40 native species grown from locally collected seed. Under Tim Boland’s leadership this model program helps landowners and conservation groups restore habitat and reconnect fragmented landscapes with native plants. It also includes efforts to assess the health of essential insect pollinators.  This event was sponsored by the Rhode Island Natural Survey and hosted by the Sakonnet Preservation Association with additional support from the Sogkonate Garden Club and the Little Compton Garden Club.

Annual Events

Annual Meeting

Land Trust Alliance Rally

International Coastal Cleanup

Earth Day

Kids Fishing Day at Ponderosa

Land & Water Summit

RI Land Trust Days

Field Trip to Simmons Mill Pond