The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced that $3 million in matching grants is available to help communities and local organizations protect valuable green space throughout Rhode Island.

The grant round is now open, with a deadline of October 29, 2021. 

Funding provided through the 2016 Green Economy Bond and the 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond – which Rhode Island voters approved by a margin of almost 80 percent last November – is capitalizing the grants.

In addition to these grants, funding is available to cover some costs associated with appraisal, title and survey services.  Restrictions apply, and applicants are encouraged to review the grant guidelines available at www.dem.ri.gov. 

The conservation of the 18-acre Richmond property, located on Yawgoo pond in South Kingstown, will protect this important coastal plain pond and the rare habitat around its shoreline.

Electronic applications are encouraged and should be forwarded to Michelle Sheehan in the Division of Planning & Development at michelle.sheehan@dem.ri.gov by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 29.  Proposals and supporting materials may also be mailed to Michelle’s attention at DEM, Division of Planning & Development, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908. Municipalities, land trusts, and nonprofit land conservation organizations are eligible to apply. Applications will be reviewed and ranked by the Natural Heritage Preservation Advisory Committee, with final awards to be made by the State Natural Heritage Preservation Commission.  

Rhode Island’s wealth of historic parks, bikeways and green spaces provide for public enjoyment – in addition to improving the health of the environment, strengthening the state’s climate resilience, and supporting the economy.  Since 1985, over 12,000 acres of land have been protected.  As part of this grant round, awards up to $400,000 – which may cover up to half of the project cost – will help preserve lands that offer significant natural, ecological or agricultural value by direct purchase or conservation easement. Projects that connect or expand existing protected lands will be prioritized.  And climate change-related impacts of a project will be considered.  

DEM’s Green Space programs – which include Local Open Space, Outdoor Recreation, and Recreational Trail grants – fund land conservation, recreational land acquisition and development, and recreational trail development and improvement statewide.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.