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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462


For Release:

January 27, 2000

Contact:

Gail Mastrati, DEM, 222-4700 ext. 2402

REGIONAL MEETINGS PLANNED ACROSS RHODE ISLAND TO BRIEF LOCAL OFFICIALS ON $50 MILLION OPEN SPACE BOND PROPOSAL

PROVIDENCE - The Open Space 2000 campaign steering committee has scheduled eight regional meetings throughout the state to brief local officials, and seek their support, for Governor Almond's proposed $50 million bond issue for open space and recreation. The bond, which needs to be approved this year by the General Assembly and then by voters at the ballot box next November, is aimed at accelerating the state's plan to preserve and protect 35,000 acres of critical lands throughout Rhode Island by the year 2010.

The informational sessions, to which town planners, public works directors, recreational directors, town managers and town council members have been invited, are scheduled as follows: Blackstone Valley: Cumberland Town Hall, 45 Broad Street, February 4 at 2:00 p.m.; Northwest: Glocester Town Hall, 1145 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, February 8 at 2:00 p.m.; Metro Area: Cranston City Hall, 869 Park Ave., February 10 at 2:00 p.m.; Bristol County: East Providence City Hall, 145 Taunton Ave., February 15 at 10:00 a.m.; Newport County: Portsmouth Town Hall, 2200 East Main Road, February 18 at 10:00 a.m.; Kent County: Coventry Town Hall, 1670 Flat River Road, February 22 at 10:00 a.m.; South County: North Kingstown Town Hall, 80 Boston Neck Road, February 23 at 2:00 p.m.; Western: Hopkinton Town Hall, One Town House Road, date and time to be announced.

If passed, the $50 million open space bond will provide funds to local communities, land trusts, and the state to purchase and protect important open space and recreational areas, including scenic resources, natural habitats, watersheds, farms, forests, parks and bikeways.

The bond will also leverage additional matching funds from private foundations, the federal government and local communities.

The Open Space 2000 campaign is a collaborative initiative involving state government, Rhode Island's cities and towns, land trusts, non-profit organizations, environmental groups, and the business sector, including chambers of commerce and local tourism offices. Campaign co-chairpersons are Trudy Coxe, CEO of the Preservation Society of Newport, and Bob Gilbane, president and CEO of Gilbane Properties, Inc.


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