Experts from The Conservation Fund Land Advisory Services will provide Brown University with advice and guidance on a possible protection plan for the University’s Mount Hope Grant in Bristol, R.I.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University announced today that it has retained The Conservation Fund Land Advisory Services to provide advice and guidance on a possible protection strategy for its Mount Hope Grant — the former Haffenreffer estate — in Bristol, R.I.

That 375-acre parcel of undeveloped waterfront property, which the University received from the Haffenreffer family in 1955, includes important 17th-century historical sites. It has been home to the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and its extensive ethnographic and archaeological collections. (The University plans to move the museum and its collections closer to its campus in Providence, following the closure of the Bristol facility to the public in August 2008.) The property continues to serve as an ecological and botanical laboratory and as a site for University meetings and outings.

“The University’s decision to relocate the Haffenreffer collection prompted a number of questions about the University’s plans for the future of the property,” said Brown Provost David Kertzer. “Given the value of the property from a historical perspective, its continued service as a site for the University’s research and teaching, and its interest to the broader community in Bristol, we wanted to involve conservation experts to inform our planning for the land.”

Under its agreement with Brown, researchers from The Conservation Fund Land Advisory Services will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the property, including its historical and environmental value. The Conservation Fund will advise Brown on various aspects of the Mount Hope Grant and will solicit thoughts and ideas from the Bristol community, from University researchers, and from other groups with an interest in the management and future use of the property.

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund is one of the nation’s foremost environmental nonprofits dedicated to protecting America’s most important landscapes and waterways for future generations. The Conservation Fund pioneers a balanced, non-advocacy, non-membership approach to conservation, blending environmental and economic goals and objectives. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, working farms, forests, community greenspace, and historic sites totaling more than 6 million acres nationwide.

The Conservation Fund has worked on a number of projects with historical and ecological sensitivities similar to those found at the Bristol Property.