WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island completed its purchase of the remaining 82 acres of the former Rocky Point amusement park on Thursday, and state officials said portions of it could be open to the public as part of a new coastal state park within a year.
The state spent just under $10 million to buy the land after voters approved an open space bond in 2010. The purchase will triple the public open space at the site. The city of Warwick previously bought 41 acres of Rocky Point land along the coastline and converted it into a park that opened for public use in 2011.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a former mayor of Warwick, on Thursday called the property iconic and one of the state's most beloved natural assets.
"We will need to carefully plan for its future," he said.
The state is working on a plan to develop the park, which could include walking trails, boat and fishing access and other features, the Department of Environmental Management said. The agency is also planning to incorporate some of the remnants of the old amusement park into features in the new park, including possibly the base of the stone observation tower, Rocky Point arch.
While the department still must clean up the property and address some safety concerns, the agency said it hopes to open parts to the public in the next 12 months.