Link to DEM Home Page Link to State of RI web site RIDEM graphical banner, showing land and water scene
Navigation button, HomeNavigation button, ProgramsNavigation button, TopicsNavigation button, MapsNavigation button, PublicationsNavigation button, NewsNavigation button, EventsNavigation button, SearchNavigation button, HelpNavigation button, Contact
Home > News > Archive > News Item
Spacer gif
 
News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

October 27, 2000

Contact:

Sally Spadaro 222-4700 ext. 2426
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

GOVERNOR ALMOND ANNOUNCES $5.4 MILLION IN OPEN SPACE GRANTS*

Strong Demand for Funding and Quality of Projects Underscores Need for $34 Million Open Space Bond

(*A detailed list of the individual grants is attached.)

PROVIDENCE - Governor Lincoln Almond today awarded $5.4 million in open space grants to 25 communities and land trusts that will protect more than 1,800 acres of open space and farmland throughout the state. The grant awards were announced this morning at the Nunes Farm in Middletown. Development rights to 53-acres of the property were among the open space grants awarded today. A number of state and municipal officials and representatives of land trusts and non-profit organizations attended the event.

"These grants will significantly add to the 4,265 acres of open space that have been protected throughout Rhode Island in the past five years," Governor Almond said. "They reflect the wide range of properties from farms and fields to forests, urban greenspace and wetlands that we need to protect in order to preserve our natural heritage."

The grants, all from previous state open space bond funds, will be matched by $10.4 million in local bond funds, federal grants, and donations from non-profit organizations and individuals. Notably, several current owners have donated a total of more than $1 million in land value to protect the properties forever.

The awards will keep more than 400 acres of farmland in active farming and preserve more than 130 acres as urban greenspace. They will protect such diverse and important resources as a natural heritage site that is home to many rare plants, an addition to one of the stateís most important endangered species habitats, one of the stateís most important archeological sites, and a highly scenic property with a graphite mine unique to the region. Many of the properties are located in or adjacent to planned greenways throughout the state.

"These 25 properties are unique, and important to the character of their communities," said Jan Reitsma, Director of the Department of Environmental Management. "As development pressure mounts, it becomes increasingly critical to preserve land when we have the opportunity to do so. And the strong grass roots support for land protection throughout the state is evidenced by the significant contributions provided by the many partners involved in these new acquisitions. For instance, the Nunes family and the Aquidneck Island Land Trust are both contributing funds to protect this important farmland."

Reitsma noted that the strong demand and high quality of project proposals prompted DEM to expand the funding base for this grant round. "We initially earmarked $2.1 million for this round," said Reitsma. "However, after receiving 42 applications seeking more than $8 million in support, we decided to reprogram monies that had been scheduled for next year in order to take advantage of important opportunities available now that might be lost if we wait until next year."

While the state's stepped-up campaign to secure critical lands is generally keeping pace with the growing demand for open space protection, it is also quickly exhausting all previous open space bond funds. "Remaining open space funds, totaling about $4 million, will be fully expended by next fiscal year," said Reitsma. "We know of more than 50 projects of statewide significance, some 38 farms, and an untold number of local projects that are slated for future funding consideration. We cannot proceed with these and other projects without additional support -- namely, that offered by the new bond measure."

Noting that Rhode Island is number six in the country in terms of the rate at which the stateís land area is being developed and that DEM currently has in excess of 5,500 additional acres of property under review, Governor Almond said, "Open space protection is increasingly a matter of now or never. It is important that we have the funding available to protect our farms and urban greenspaces, our critical habitats and unique vistas from development, for if we do not, that land is lost forever. That is why passage of the $34 million open space bond referendum on November 7 is so critically important. With those funds, and in continued partnership with municipalities, non-profit organizations, and landowners themselves, we will remain on course to reach our common goal of protecting 35,000 acres by 2010."

Rhode Island Open Space Grant Awards

October 27, 2000

  1. AQUIDNECK ISLAND LAND TRUST: The land trust will acquire the development rights to 53 acres of land along Wyatt Road in MIDDLETOWN. The Nunes Farm property supports a diversity of agricultural land practices in the Sakonnet Greenway Corridor and is an important parcel in the protection of the Maidford River watershed. The property is composed of meadows, wetlands, hayfields and historic stone walls, and part of it is currently leased as a commercial nursery. It will be used for passive recreation, as well as a nursery and vineyard. $265,180 from the Aquidneck Island Land Trust and a $130,000 donation by the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Nunes and the estate of the late Susan C. Nunes will provide the financial match.
  2. Value of Development Rights: $680,000

    Open Space Grant: $300,000

    Contact Person: Ted Clement

    Telephone: 849-2799


  3. TOWN OF BARRINGTON: the town will acquire fee title to 10 acres of land on Bosworth Street adjacent to Veteranís Park, the Nayatt Well Field of the Bristol County Water Authority, and the East Bay Bike Path. The undeveloped land is a mix of wildlife habitat, including woodlands and vernal ponds. $302,300 from a local bond will provide matching funds.
  4. Property Value: $ 600,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Ann Strong

    Telephone: 245-2326


  5. BLOCK ISLAND CONSERVANCY, INC.: the Conservancy will acquire fee title to 24.5 acres of land in New Shoreham. The property will be added to the Lewis Dickens Farm Preserve, one of the stateís most important endangered species habitats. The highest density of the American Burying Beetle in the world is found on the property, and it supports nesting Barn Owl and Northern Harrier, which are both on the stateís list of endangered species. The landowner, Keith Lewis is donating $500,000 of the property value to the project, and the Block Island Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy are providing $210,000 in matching funds. The land will be used for environmental education and scientific research.
  6. Property Value: $ 1,000,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Chris Littlefield

    Telephone: 466-2129


  7. TOWN OF BRISTOL: the town will acquire fee title to 20 acres of land on Narrows Road in the Waypoyset area. The land, locally known as the "Narrows" is one of the state's most important archeological sites. Composed of forests, fruit orchard, meadows, wetlands, and a saltwater cove bordered by eelgrass, the site is reputed to have been an Indian settlement for the Pokanoket Tribe. It will be used for research, education and passive recreation. $250,000 is being contributed by the town, and $374,000 in private donations for the financial match.
  8. Property Value: $ 1,100,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Gerhard Oswald

    Telephone: 253-7010


  9. TOWN OF CHARLESTOWN: the town will acquire fee title to 118 acres of land on Old Coach Road abutting property owned by The Nature Conservancy. The land is a combination of Pine Forest, farm fields and wooded swamp, and will be used for passive recreation. $314,200 in funds from local bonds will be used for the financial match.
  10. Property Value: $ 600,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Nancy Hess

    Telephone: 364-1225


  11. TOWN OF CUMBERLAND: the town will acquire fee title to 27 acres of land on Little Pond County Road as an addition to the 121-acre Long Brook Conservation Area purchased in 1990 with state and local bond funds. This forested property, which will be used for passive recreation, contains several streams, and will provide a key link in the townís planned trail system. $83,500 from local bond funds will be used as match.
  12. Property Value: $ 167,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 83,500

    Contact Person: Mike Phillips

    Telephone: 728-2400 ext. 42


  13. TOWN OF EAST GREENWICH: the town will acquire fee title to 71acres of the Boesch Farm on South Road. The project will protect valuable farm and forest habitat in the western part of town within the watershed of Scrabbletown Brook, and will form the southern anchor of the East Greenwich Greenway. The property includes a managed forest, pastures for silage, and a historic farmhouse and stone walls. The property will be used for education and passive recreation and its pastures will continue to be used for silage. $450,000 from local bonds will be used as financial match.
  14. Property Value: $ 910,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Lee Whitaker

    Telephone: 886-8665


  15. GLOCESTER LAND TRUST: the town will acquire fee title to 200 acres of land on Putnam Pike in the central part of Harmony as an addition to Heritage Park. The property abuts the Phillips Farm, which is owned by the Glocester Land Trust. The combined forested and farmed lands also contain orchards and the remains of the George Steer Homestead and will, with its existing trails, provide a major passive recreational resource for walking and cross-country skiing. Its farm fields will remain under cultivation. $125,000 in local funds and $50,500 from The Nature Conservancy will provide the match.
  16. Property Value: $ 440,330

    Open Space Grant: $ 175,000

    Contact Person: Robert Hawksely

    Telephone: 568-8611


  17. TOWN OF HOPKINTON: the town will acquire fee title to 108 acres of forested land on Brightman Hills Road as part of a major project with The Nature Conservancy to protect more than 400 acres of the Canonchet Brook watershed abutting Ell and Long Ponds. The secluded Brightman Hills Road property, which will be managed by The Nature Conservancy for passive recreation, includes a historic cemetery and the ruins of a centuries old farmstead. The Nature Conservancy will provide the $162,000 financial match.
  18. Property Value: $ 324,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 162,000

    Contact Person: Katherine Maxwell

    Telephone: 377-7770


  19. TOWN OF JOHNSTON: the town will acquire fee title to 50 acres of land on Federal Way off of Hartford Avenue within the watershed of the Pocasset River. Adjacent to Veterans Park and the Town Forest properties, this acquisition will serve as a key parcel in the greenway along the river. It will be used for passive recreation and, through engineering, to reduce flooding in downstream areas. The federal Natural Resource Conservation Service is providing the $500,000 match.
  20. Property Value: $ 748,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 248,900

    Contact Person: Megan DiPrete

    Telephone: 553-8800


  21. TOWN OF LINCOLN: the town will acquire fee title to 125 acres of land as an important addition to already protected land in Limerock, the Lime Rock Nature Preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy. The forested land is habitat for many rare plant species associated with this unique geological area. $600,000 in local funds will be used as match.
  22. Property Value: $ 1,200,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Burt Stallwood

    Telephone: 333-1100


  23. LITTLE COMPTON AGRICULTURAL CONSERVANCY TRUST: the Trust will acquire fee title to 90 acres of open space and development rights to 46 acres of active farmland within an important groundwater recharge area of Dundery Brook, a tributary of Briggs Marsh. The property, known as Bumble Bee Farm, is located on West Main Road. The farmland is used for pastures and cornfields; the other 90 acres will be used for environmental research and education. The Trust is providing $191,250, the Nature Conservancy is providing $232,500, and The Audubon Society is providing $130,000 in North American Wetlands Conservation Act Funds for the financial match.
  24. Property Value: $ 700,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 191,000

    Contact Person: George Mason

    Telephone: 635-4159


  25. NARROW RIVER LAND TRUST: the trust will acquire fee title to 55 acres of forestland on Tower Hill Road in SOUTH KINGSTOWN in the vicinity of Pettaquamscutt Rock. The property provides a scenic and historic resource and added protection to the watershed of Narrow River. It includes an old graphite mine that is unique to the region, a historic cemetery, and a bluff with a spectacular view of the Narrow River, Jamestown, Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. The trust plans to provide guided annual historic walks at the site, and students from the University of Rhode Island will visit to view the mine. $100,000 in local funds, $200,000 in funds from The Nature Conservancy, the Champlin Foundations, and private donations; and a $500,000 land donation from the owner, Michael Winter, provide the financial match.
  26. Property Value: $ 1,000,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 200,000

    Contact Person: Linda Steere

    Telephone: 783-6740


  27. TOWN OF NARRAGANSETT: the town will acquire fee title to 50 acres of forested land in the watershed of Crooked Brook in the vicinity of Kinney Avenue to extend a greenbelt. The property serves as valuable protection for this tributary of Narrow River, and will be used for passive recreation, research and wildlife management. Match will be provided by local and private funding.
  28. Property Value: $ 500,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 250,000

    Contact Person: Clarkson Collins

    Telephone: 782-0602


  29. THE NATURE CONSERVANCY: the Conservancy will acquire fee title to 59 acres of land on West and East Butterfly Way in LINCOLN as an addition to protected land in Limerock. The forested land includes a Rhode Island Natural Heritage site and is habitat for many rare plants. The land also protects tributaries of the Moshassuck River and its trails will be used for passive recreation. The Bafflin Foundation will contribute $70,200 and The Champlin Foundations will contribute $215,550 in matching funds.
  30. Property Value: $ 495,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 210,000

    Contact Person: Judith Benedict

    Telephone: 331-7110


  31. TOWN OF NORTH KINGSTOWN: the town will acquire the development rights to 127 acres of farmland at Exeter and Indian Corner Roads as part of an effort to protect the valuable agricultural resources in the southwest part of the town. The land is part of a 465-acre active farm, and is between two other parcels that are committed to agriculture through the purchase of development rights by the town. Considered prime farmland by the US Department of Agriculture, the land will continue to be farmed by the current owner. Local bond funds of $1,485,000 will be used as financial match.
  32. Property Value: $ 1,778,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Marilyn Cohen

    Telephone: 294-3331 ext. 310


  33. CITY OF PAWTUCKET: the city will acquire fee title to 9 acres of land on Mineral Spring Avenue adjacent to the historic Moshassuck Canal and River. The property will provide a valuable greenway resource within a highly urbanized area and will be used for passive recreation and educational research. A land donation of $158,040 and $4,100 in local bond funds will be used as match.
  34. Property Value: $324,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 162,000

    Contact Person: Michael Cassidy

    Telephone: 724-5200


  35. RICHMOND LAND TRUST: the Trust will acquire fee title to 50 acres of forest and wetland along Meadow Brook. The acquisition will protect land adjacent to the Carolina Management Area and will be used for passive recreation. Matching funds to be determined.
  36. Property Value: $170,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 85,000

    Contact Person: Sandra Poirier

    Telephone: 539-2638


  37. SMITHFIELD LAND TRUST: the Trust will acquire fee title to 83 acres of land on Pleasant View Avenue above Georgiaville Pond as part of a planned extensive greenbelt. The scenic woodlands will provide an important passive recreational resource and valuable wildlife habitat, and its trails will be part of a trails system planned for the entire Central Greenway. The property abuts the Smithfield Conservation Commissionís Conservation Center. $164,150 in local funds will be used for the match.
  38. Property Value: $ 328,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 164,000

    Contact Person: Ann Marie Ignasher

    Telephone: 861-1611


  39. SOUTH KINGSTOWN LAND TRUST: the Trust will acquire fee title to 47 acres of land on Zinns Drive, off Route 108 in Kingston. The land, a diverse mix of forest, agricultural field and stream, is adjacent to the University of Rhode Islandís East Farm and to Audubon Society property. $94,000 in local funds will be used as financial match for the Trust acquisition, which will add to the complex of protected forest and farm wildlife habitat in the Saugatucket River Greenbelt.
  40. Property Value: $ 188,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 84,000

    Contact Person: Joanne Riccitelli

    Telephone: 789-0962


  41. TOWN OF SOUTH KINGSTOWN: the town will acquire the development rights to the 175-acre Kenyon Farm on Usquepaugh Road (Route 138) in the Usquepaugh section of West Kingston. This project will provide a significant addition to the protected complex of agricultural land in this area, and contribute to protection of the Usquepaug River. The current owner will continue to operate a working farm, with pastures and corn silage. The stateís Agricultural Land Preservation Commission is providing a grant of $300,000 and the town is providing $156,500 as match.
  42. Property Value: $ 750,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: Anthony Lachowitcz

    Telephone: 789-9331


  43. TOWN OF TIVERTON: the town will acquire fee title to 105 acres of forested land on the easterly side of Main Road between Bulgarmarsh Road and Lafayette Road, within an area of high conservation priority. This section of town, anchored by the Weetamoo Woods Conservation Area, is the largest contiguous forest in the East Bay area and serves as valuable habitat for forest-nesting birds. $50,000 in local funds and $50,850 from The Nature Conservancy will be used as financial match for the property, which will be used for passive recreation and environmental education.
  44. Property Value: $ 213,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 106,500

    Contact Person: Susan Rodriquez

    Telephone: 862-5580


  45. CITY OF WARWICK: the city will acquire the development rights to 44 acres of the Morris Farm at the southern end of Warwick Avenue. This farm is an important agricultural resource within a highly urbanized part of the state, and also serves as a protective buffer to Parsonage Brook, an important tributary to the Buckeye Brook system. $1,311,275 in local bond funds will be used toward the development rights purchase.
  46. Property Value: $ 1,600,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 300,000

    Contact Person: William DePasquale

    Telephone: 738-2000 ext. 6289


  47. WEST GREENWICH LAND TRUST: the Trust will acquire fee title to 56 acres of land on the west side of Bald Hill adjacent to the Wickaboxet Management Area. The forested property maintains important wildlife habitat, high topographical relief, and protection of the Acid Factory Brook watershed, and will be used for hiking and research, and potentially for environmental education. The Nature Conservancy is providing a $137,000 match for the acquisition.
  48. Property Value: $ 266,000

    Open Space Grant: $ 133,000

    Contact Person: Brian Tefft

    Telephone: 789-0281


  49. TOWN OF WEST WARWICK: the town will acquire fee title to 34 acres of open space on Greenbush Road within a highly urbanized area. The forested property protects a portion of Hawkinson Brook, tributary to the Pawtuxet River, contains walking trails, and will provide a valuable educational resource for the nearby Greenbush Elementary School. $30,375 in local funds will be used as match, with the rest to be determined.

Property Value: $ 303,000

Open Space Grant: $ 151,000

Contact Person: Marc Jaffee

Telephone 822-9215


For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer