Preserving our land, protecting our waters and engaging with the Community and local partners The Weekapaug Foundation for Conservation is a non-profit land trust located in Westerly and Charlestown, Rhode Island, dedicated to preserve and protect open space and clean water in the watersheds of the Winnapaug and Quonochontaug salt ponds.

The WFC protects over a thousand acres of green space, including marshes, fields, and woodlands. Our lands are a habitat for migratory and endangered birds, small mammals, reptiles and dozens of different plant species.

We work with area farmers to preserve their land and their way of life, and with other local organizations to promote clean water and green spaces.

Please join us in our mission to keep this unique corner of the world green and wild.

Our Mission


The mission of the Weekapaug Foundation for Conservation is to preserve open space in the watersheds of the Quonochontaug and Winnapaug salt ponds, protect the barrier beaches, and ensure the integrity and water quality of the Ponds themselves through the support of the WFC members and the local pond communities.


Guiding Principles/Values

Since 1989, the Foundation’s success has depended on the extraordinary level of volunteerism and generosity of its members. With this heritage in mind, the Foundation considers specific criteria when weighing any future actions and the potential investments of resources. These include:

• How will this strategy or action foster the Founders’ original mandate to preserve the natural beauty of the local community and protect the remaining greenbelt of undeveloped land?

• How will this strategy or action protect and enhance the quality of life and desirability of the pond communities as places to live, visit and enjoy?

• How will this strategy or action help to maintain or enhance scenic and historical, open space, wildlife and outdoor recreational opportunities?

• How will this strategy or action allow the WFC to manage our annual budgets and longer-term financial resources?


Fulfilling The Mission

The Foundation protects over a thousand acres of green space, including marsh, fields, woodlands and barrier beaches which are habitat for migratory and endangered birds, small mammals, reptiles and dozens of different plant species. The Foundation’s mission includes the following programs and initiatives:

• Protecting open space through donations, outright land purchases, or purchases of development rights.

• Identifying suitable open space for conservation purposes, followed by appraisals, title searches, engineering studies, and assessments of strategic value to the Foundation.

• Working with other conservation and environmental organizations to promote clean water and green spaces; working with area farmers to preserve their land and their way of life.

• Carrying out stewardship responsibilities by clearing rocks and brush, mowing, soil renewal, mending stone walls, fencing, planting, and beautifying with regular maintenance and roadside trash removal.

• Supporting research, studies and maintenance projects to restore and enhance the marine habitat quality and recreational value of our ponds, wetlands and waterways.

• Encouraging and supporting opportunities for education and research that heighten interest in land preservation and lead to greater appreciation of the area’s ecology.

• Maintaining property surveys and documentation, inventories of plant and animal species, and supporting environmental studies and other scientific projects to protect land, waters and endangered species.

Scholarship Recipients

Each year the Weekapaug Foundation for Conservation awards a University of Rhode Island Natural Resources Science (NRS) student with a scholarship for their studies in memory of Richard Dumouchel, a beloved former trustee of the Foundation.  To be eligible, a student must be majoring in either Environmental Science and Management or Wildlife and Conservation Biology and have grown up in Westerly or Washington County RI.   A committee of URI NRS faculty members reviews and ranks the eligible applicants based on their resumes, their experience working on conservation projects, their GPA, and their commitment to conservation.  Nominees are forwarded to the Weekapaug Foundation for Conservation for consideration.


2022 Scholarship Recipient: Patrick Felkner

Patrick Felker is a Wildlife and Conservation Biology major at the University of Rhode Island in the graduating class of 2023. He is from North Kingstown, Rhode Island and is an avid birder passionate about conservation. Patrick is currently a member of the board of the Ocean State Bird Club. From August 2021-April 2022 he participated in surveys through URI collecting data on waterbirds and how they may be impacted by the presence of aquaculture. During the summer of 2022, Patrick worked as a Visitor’s Service Intern with the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, helping with refuge events and outreach as well as monitoring shorebird disturbance. Patrick is passionate about continuing his work in wildlife conservation and protection in his future career. 


2022 Patrick Felkner

2021 Kylie Rezendes

2020 Emma Paton

2019 Alicia Jones

2018 Sadie DeCurtis

2017 Ryan Healy

2016 Anthony “Ant” Sawaia

2015 Gillian Baird

2014 Mary Grande

2013 Marianne Diffin

2012 Joshua Sargent 

2011 Ryan Kleinert

2010 Charleve Carey

2009 Cynthia Maynard

2008 Ben Vinhateiro

2007 Samantha Petzold

2006 Malcolm Grant

2005 Grace Lentini

2004 Jeffrey Backer

Trustees & Officers

  • Frank J. Kinney III, Chair & Trustee
  • Jon A. Emswiler, Assistant Treasurer & Trustee
  • Margaret Hark, Secretary & Trustee
  • Leila Blodgett-Maynard, Trustee
  • Robert R. Bouvier, Trustee
  • Constance L. Gardner, Trustee
  • Susan R. Gatto, Trustee
  • Robert C. McCormack, Jr., Trustee
  • Stacey S. O’Rourke, Trustee
  • Michele E. Pallai, Trustee
  • James M. Tobin, Trustee
  • Edward B. Whittemore, Trustee
  • James Dworkin, Trustee
  • Edward M. Brown*
  • Robert C. Buffum*
  • Nancy H. Camp*
  • Wells W. Constantine*
  • Hoyt J. Goodrich
  • Mary L. McCormack
  • Peter P. Mitchell
  • F. Wallace Prelle*
  • Rodney G. Stieff*
  • Frederick B. Whittemore*


* Deceased

Richard C. Anthony
H. James A. Atwood
Linda U. Atkins
Robert H. Bacon, Jr.*
Gina A. Breakstone
Robert C. Buffum, Jr.*
Robert M. Byrnes
Barbara M. W. Caspersen*
Finn M.W. Caspersen*
Joseph V. Cavanagh, Jr.
Jeff Collinson
Robert E. Darling, Jr.*
Harvey C. DeMovick, Jr.
Susan DiLoreto
Laureston C. Dobbrow*
John Duffy
John Dumouchel
Richard A. Dumouchel*
Ann C. Ellis
Barbara Engel
Gordon N. Farquhar*
Geren W. Fauth
Ronald J. Gailun
Mark T. Gallogly
Sara K. Goodrich
William A. Griffin*
Richard H. Hosp*
Terry Hunt
Deb Kemper
Lillias T. Lane*
William C. Lane*
Helen C. Lathrop*
Angel LaVine
Maura T. Legare
Susan P. Lester
Frederick C. Maynard III
Robert C. McCormack
Walter McCormack
Danforth S. Mitchell*
Peter Mitchell*
Margaret Pack
Charles E. Panciera, Jr.
W. Hollis Petersen
John G. Power
Lorraine W. Randall
Elizabeth G. Riley
Michael Sands
Kara Short
James B. Slimmon, Jr.
Richard A. Smith
Wesley Sparks
Marie L. R. St. John
Seymour St. John*
Jayne R. Staley
James E. Stifel
Heidi Steinmetz Weissman
Langdon Wheeler
Henry M. White, III

* Deceased

Frederick B. Whittemore, 1989-1991
Rodney G. Stieff*, 1991-1994
Lillias T. Lane, 1994-1998
Harvey C. DeMovick, Jr., 1998-2000
Robert C. McCormack, 2000-2002
Richard C. Anthony, 2002-2006
William A. Griffin*, 2006-2007
Finn M.W. Caspersen*, 2007-2009
Walter McCormack, 2009-2012
Richard A. Smith, 2012-2013
Gina A. Breakstone, 2013-2017
Linda U. Atkins 2017-2020

* Deceased