Edward R. Laby Memorial Preserve
In 2017 the Wyndham Land Trust received a donation of 81 acres of forested land in East Killingly from Anna May Scanlon of Smithfield, RI. The property will be known as the Edward R. Laby Preserve in honor of her late son.
The land has been in Anna May’s family since her father acquired it in the 1950s from Turnquist Lumber in Foster. Anna May knew she wanted to protect it from development, but she wasn’t sure how.
“The Wyndham Land Trust was the answer to my question,” she explained. “I wanted to see it retained in its natural state. I didn’t want to sell it to just anybody, I wanted it to go to somebody who will preserve it. I’m the only one left in the family, and I’m glad to know that my wishes will be carried out.”
“I was greatly impressed by Mrs. Scanlon’s desire to see this large unfragmented forest preserved from the outset,” said land trust board member Steve Adams. “The property is a beautiful and peaceful place in the eastern Killingly highlands adjacent to the Kentuck Ledges.
“A donation of this nature and magnitude is a win-win for all parties. The land trust is able to permanently preserve 81 acres of natural habitat, while the donor will receive a very nice tax benefit for years to come as a result of this generous charitable contribution.”
“The new preserve is part of a large forest interior extending east into Rhode Island and south into state forest,” said Land Manager Andy Rzeznikiewicz. “It’s a remote corner of Killingly, and Hermit Thrushes and Black-throated Green Warblers are two of the interesting, breeding forest birds known to inhabit this property.”
Directions: Drive north on Pond Road from 101 following the markers for the RI North South Trail. The parking area is just north of Killingly Pond, where the RI North South trail leaves Pond Rod and heads into the woods through a heavy metal gate. Follow the trail until it hits Quinns Hill Road. Cross Quinns Hill Road and continue north on the Kentuck Trail to the preserve entrance–a disturbed open area that was the staging area when the property was logged Mrs. Scanlon. The walk from the parking area to the preserve entrance is approximately one mile. There are logging trails on the preserve that can be explored. Respect the rights of local landowners and do not cross into private property.