Human-Environment Interaction

Human-Environment Interaction looks at how the people of the community have adapted to or changed the environment.

For as long as humans have inhabited our area, we have interacted with our environment. The Native Americans in this area made use of local caves for shelter. The Tomaquag Indian Rock Shelters were discovered by Nathan Kaye in 1957 and give us insight into the Native Americans' use of nature in their lives.

This photograph of the Indian Shelter was taken while one of my students<br />
visited the site with his family.This photograph of the Indian Shelter was taken while one of my students
visited the site with his family.

Dams were built on local rivers. They made use of the rivers' water to power nearby mills. Though the waterwheels and some of the mills are no longer there (or are unusable), the dams remain.

An example of one of these dams is the Old Stone Dam in Hope Valley. It was built in 1765 and eventually powered two nearby mills, one on each side of the river. This site was originally called Carpenter's Mills and is located between the towns of Hopkinton and Richmond.

This sluiceway was built to provide power to nearby mills.<br />
Its waterwheel is long gone.This sluiceway was built to provide power to nearby mills.
Its waterwheel is long gone.

Local sport fishermen now use the waters near the dam for recreational purposes.Local sport fishermen now use the waters near the dam for recreational purposes.

Today, many residents and tourists make use of the beautiful countryside. Visitors may camp at one of several campgrounds. All of these campgrounds were built so that they did little to disrupt the woods in which they are situated.

Greenwood Hills and Whispering Pines are both located in Hope Valley. They are both found just off of Route 138, a major roadway that runs through Hope Valley. This makes easy access for the campers. Two other campgrounds are found in Ashaway. They are the Frontier Family and Holly Tree Camper Parks.

The Enchanted Forest is an amusement park located in Hope Valley. This is a family-oriented facility nestled in the woods.

Another attraction for residents and tourists is the local golf courses. In addition to several found in neighboring communities, there is the Foxwoods Executive Golf Course. This is located at Exit 2 off of Route 95. There is currently a new course under construction on Route 3 and two others are "in the works."

The Arcadia Management Area is a state-owned area used by people for recreational purposes. There are many trails used for hiking. Though located in neighboring Richmond, this is used by many local residents.


Also located in our town is the Yawgoog Boy Scout Reservation. This is visited during the summer by scout troops from near and far.

Some links you may want to visit:

Westerly Chamber of Commerce
Watch Hill Index