This summer, Rose Island received accreditation as an Arboretum from the Newport Tree Conservancy, putting the island in the company of 26 other aboreta in the City of Newport. The Newport Tree Conservancy Arboreta Accreditation Program is committed to citywide reforestation and educating property owners about caring for the living gardens in their own backyards.
How did this all come about? Several years ago, the University of Rhode Island (URI), the Coastal Resource Management Committee (CRMC), and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), recommended the planting of a stand of trees between the barracks and the wildlife refuge to create a barrier from human activity for the wading birds who visit and nest on Rose Island during the months of March through August. The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation (RILF) received a Habitat Grant to obtain and plant woody species native to the area. Trees that were planted include varieties of spruce, birch, magnolia, pine, oak, sumac, fir, elm, and arborvitae. The expectation and hope is that as the trees mature and get taller, the barrier they create will aid in the restoration of the bird sanctuary on the Rose Island Wildlife Refuge and that more of the colonial era birds will find the island an attractive habitat for nesting.
The picture above shows a recent view of the trees against the barrier wall.