Nature at it’s best- Nature Conservancy work at Block Island
It feels good to visit a place that you have been planning to for the last few years. What feels even better is arriving there and realizing the place lives up to all expectations and more!
A relative living in RI had told me about this place and it sounded neat that there was an island you could cover by car, bus, bike or walk (imagine that!) fairly easily. While not as small as the marooned islands of cartoon strips, BI was easily doable in 8 hours by cab. We got there by boat from the mainland. They do allow some cars into the island, but the most common transportation mediums were bikes, 2 wheeled scooters (lots of fun I am sure) and cabs.
The views are spectacular and what’s more they have no chains whatsoever. At least I didn’t see any Starbucks or Wachovia or McDonalds!!. We had lunch at a delicious little sandwich place called three sisters that gave ‘eat as many as you want’ home made cookies. It wasn’t peak tourist season yet so that was a welcome change to be one of the few tourists around.
The part that I liked best about it was that the residents of BI know what a jewel of a place they have and have taken good measures to keep it that way. For example, The Nature Conservancy and others have preserved more than 40% of this 6,200 acre-island. There are approximately 25 miles of walking trails on Block Island open to the public, free of charge. As I mentioned earlier, they promote local chains and grocers as opposed to large grocery or restaurant chains. They have a limit on how many tourists they can accommodate, a figure reaching 3 times the normal population in summer.
National geographic lists it as a US must visit place. And of course, The Nature Conservancy added Block Island to its list of “The Last Great Places.”
Do visit and experience it for yourself some day…
Here are some of the places to visit when there:
Clay Head Preserve
Fresh Swamp Preserve
Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve
Nathan Mott Park & Turnip Farm