Some quick facts about our headquarters and Kettle Pond Visitor Center:
Several sites were evaluated, but the final 115-acre site was selected in 2000.
William Warner of Exeter, Rhode Island was the architect. Lyons and Zaremba designed the exhibits with a lot of help from Janis Nepshinsky, Julianna Wyman and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experts. John Mahony of Pawcatuck designed the heron sculpture at the entrance.
The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Interior have given this facility awards for its energy efficient design and for the care used to save mature trees and use of native vegetation in the landscaping.
Green design features:
There are two trails (see map below and quicklink above for the brochure and trail guide):
The Ocean View Trail is a flat, short hike south of the building that when the trees drop their leaves offers a peek of the coastal plain, salt pond, shoreline and the Atlantic Ocean. A planned and funded observation tower at the end of this trail will provide even more beautiful vistas of the south-coast shoreline, and make the view not be so dependent on the seasonal dropping of the leaves.
The Watchaug Pond Trail is also fairly flat but a little longer, and it has several features that are attractive to visitors. One is a rare concession to dog owners that is found nowhere else on our Rhode Island refuges. Since we don't specifically manage for ground-nesting birds on this unit, we have temporarily allowed dogs to be walked on the trails as long as they are leashed and the owners clean up after their pets. Another feature is that this trail also connects to other trails leading into Kimble Wildlife Sanctuary http://www.asri.org/Refuges/Kimball-Wildlife-Sanctuary.html and Burlingame State Campground http://www.riparks.com/burlgmcamp.htm . The gem of the area though is one of the best vernal pools in the state (dogs are not allowed at the vernal pool). Rich in glacial evidence and topography, plus a well-placed park bench make this trail a delight any time of year.
The building is 14,395 square feet with parking for 49 visitor and 23 staff and government vehicles.
There are three U.S. Fish and Wildlife programs located here:
An office and a gift store for our Friends group:
Two of our conservation partners are also located here: