STONE WALL REPAIR ON AQUIDNECK ISLAND
Preserve Rhode Island and the Preservation Society of Newport County, have partnered on the Aquidneck Stone Wall Initiative to protect and improve the Island's historic and scenic quality through its historic stone walls. Stone walls are visible reminders of the Island's rural agricultural history and contribute to its sense of place, especially as they line well-traveled roads and frame views of historic farms and open space.
The pilot project grew out of a 2017 survey of historic buildings and structures - such as stone walls - which was conducted jointly by PRI and PSNC in 2017. The survey identified many historic stone walls on the Island, some of which are overgrown or have fallen into disrepair.
In mid-July 2020, Preserve RI and PSNC kicked off a 7 week volunteer work program for the Aquidneck Stone Wall Initiative at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI. Glen Farm is a Town-owned historic property that has miles of stone walls with many sections in disrepair. Under the direction of master stone waller Robert Faraone, 24 volunteers learned the art and craft of dry laid stone masonry and repaired over 400 feet of stone wall throughout the course of the program.
A second cadre of volunteers worked through September and October at Norman Bird Sanctuary (NBS) in Middletown, RI. They rebuilt nearly 300 feet of wall in the open field along the Quarry Trail.
A grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation supports training a corps of volunteers to repair stone walls, iconic historical landscape features, on Aquidneck Island.
Video of stone wall repair in progress - Autumn 2019
(this video plays without sound)