Pratt Farm is a part of Arcadia Management Area that borders the Wood River and Frying Pan Pond. The poor, sandy soil is more suitable for Pitch Pine and Scrub Oak rather than farming, yet it’s been farmed for generations. The buildings are long gone, but the stonework remains where house and barn once stood. Some of the old fields continue to be cultivated with annual crops of corn or rye, while the others are in varying states of succession.
The DEM has managed the latter fields by simply mowing them occasionally. In some cases, this process results in a beautiful, bronze expanse of Little Bluestem. In others, the result is an interesting community of low shrubs such of Sheep Laurel, Bearberry, Lowbush Blueberry, Wintergreen, and Scrub Oak. Below these woody species is a dense collection of mosses, lichens, grasses and sedges. In the spots where these fields are low and damp there are more herbaceous plants. If you look closely you may find four species of milkweed and as many species of orchid. (Rain date: Sunday July 12, 9 am to noon)
Leader: Doug McGrady
Participants – minimum 7, maximum 15
Fee – $10.00; $5.00 RIWPS members
Preregistration required. Registrants will receive more specific directions a few days before the event.