Smithfield Land Trust celebrates new trails at Aug. 23 event

Smithfield Land Trust celebrates new trails at Aug. 23 event

SMITHFIELD - Nature-loving residents and visitors will have more scenic trails for hiking and walking, thanks to recent additions by the Smithfield Land Trust. To celebrate the recently completed trails at the Wolf Hill Forest Preserve, and to thank several people for their contributions, the Land Trust is hosting an event on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Conservation Center on Waterview Drive.

Individuals of honor include Ann Marie Ignasher, a founding member of the Land Trust, and Roy Najecki, a trustee of the Glocester Land Trust.

According to Barbara Rich, current chairwoman of the Smithfield Land Trust, Ignasher "was instrumental in establishing the Wolf Hill Forest Preserve."

Najecki lent a hand with the new trails, as well as the creation of updated maps.

The celebration will take place at 9 a.m. All are welcome to attend, and Rich said she encourages visitors to hike the trails while they are in the area.

The Wolf Hill Forest Preserve features a memorial trail to Ken Webber, a charter and former member of the land trust. Webber, along with his wife, Bettie, laid out and named the trail at Cascade Brook, which also features a small waterfall. Other trails lead to a World War II plane crash site, and Mercer Outlook, which offers a view of Providence.

In 1999, the Rhode Island legislature and the Smithfield Town Council established the Land Trust, which grants authority to hold and manage open space and agricultural lands, wildlife habitats, land providing historical or cultural value, and other similar areas.

Rich said that the land trust has protected almost 1,000 acres of property in Smithfield since its founding.