SMITHFIELD—On July 11, the Smithfield Town Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which grants the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC) use of the Leo Bouchard Conservation Center. With this approval, the Town of Smithfield will allow the WRWC to use and improve the Center for its Environmental Education programming.
The WRWC will utilize the Leo Bouchard Conservation Center to provide educational programming to students throughout the Woonasquatucket River Watershed. Having worked closely with the town of Smithfield and the Smithfield Conservation Commission to obtain permission to share the Center, the WRWC is looking forward to providing enriching opportunities to teach students about life and ecosystems throughout the Watershed.
WRWC Education Director Amanda Peavey is thrilled to welcome students to the Center. “We’ve got lots of activities lined up for the school year. We will be taking students on field trips to the center, where they can learn about the Woonasquatucket River, its habitats, and how to be environmental stewards in their own communities.”
Cynthia Mulvey, a neighbor to the Leo Bouchard Conservation Center and conservationist at heart, says “This agreement signifies Smithfield’s commitment to preserve and maintain environmental quality of life and will also benefit property values since so much of the town is a watershed.”
In addition to sharing the Center with the Town of Smithfield and the Smithfield Conservation Commission, the WRWC has raised funds for the Leo Bouchard Conservation Center to invest in materials for educational enrichment and improvement. The Annenberg Foundation and the James M. Cox Foundation are providing funding for amenities such as indoor and outdoor classroom-style seating, a kayak and canoe rack, and hands-on educational exhibits.
The Leo Bouchard Conservation Center is located at 5 Waterview Drive in Smithfield, on the Stillwater Reservoir. In addition to serving as a key location for the WRWC’s environmental education programs in the northern part of the Watershed, the location is a wonderful destination for hiking on Wolf Hill, canoe and kayak trips, bird watching, and more.
More information about the WRWC’s Environmental Education programs is available at https://wrwc.org/what-we-do/education.
The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (www.wrwc.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that works to create positive environmental, social and economic change by revitalizing the Woonasquatucket River, its Greenway, and its communities. WRWC offers year-round opportunities for the community to engage with the river and the watershed through paddle trips, bike tours, environmental education, festivals, and restoration projects.