Protecting open green space is the focus of a new state investment, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said.
The governor announced that $2.7 million in green bond investments will be distributed to 10 projects in the state that will help preserve open spaces.
“From clean water, natural flood control, and wildlife habitat to biodiversity and recreation opportunities, there are many diverse benefits from open space and Rhode Islanders recognize this,” McKee said in the release. “This is why I proposed a green bond in my fiscal year 2023 budget that includes $5 million for the further preservation of open spaces. Green bonds support what we love about Rhode Island.”
The program, which the governor announced in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, will aid communities and local organizations matching grants that will preserve 400 acres of open space and farmland, according to the release.
The funding uses 2016 and 2018 green economy bonds that will also improve recreational facilities, and clean up land and water.
Tourism is a $2.4 billion industry in the state and supports 24,000 jobs. The state has helped protect nearly 13,000 acres of land via open space grants since 1985.
“The value of our state’s historic investments in open spaces has come into sharper relief in the past two years with the COVID pandemic as Rhode Islanders have explored open spaces in greater numbers, looking for places to unwind and forget their troubles,” DEM Acting Director Terry Gray said in the release. “The investments we are announcing today are for our children and the generations to come who are counting on us to be good stewards of our beautiful state.”
Grants up to $400,000, covering half of the project’s overall costs, were awarded to help lands offering natural, ecological, or agriculture value and connect or expand existing protected land areas.
Charlestown will receive $400,000, according to the release, to acquire 90 acres of forestland, featuring an important wetland complex. In addition, East Greenwich will also receive $400,000 to acquire 42 acres in the southern end of town. The acquisition will aid land near the National Register Historic District near the Hunt River.
This article was originally posted on Green Bond Investments to help Rhode Island communities protect open spaces