Governor Chafee’s proposed a $75 million “Clean Water, Open Space and Healthy Communities Bond” which provided funding for a number of projects including: $ 3 million for “Local Open Space Grants” to land trusts and municipalities to protect the special places in our communities.
This Bond will be on the November ballot for voter approval.
However, the House Finance Committee last Thursday night totally ELIMINATED funding for Local Open Space Grants from the proposed bond. At the same time they ADDED $18 million for Roger Williams Park to the bond.
If funding for the Local Open Space Grant Program is not in this bond, the Program will be out of funding for the first time since it was established in 1985.
The State Open Space Bond funds for Local Open Space Grants are critical to helping land trusts and municipalities save the special green spaces – protecting water quality, wildlife habitat, special views - that define the character of our Rhode Island communities.
And the State’s investment in Local Open Space Grants is a bargain! Every $1 in Local Open Space Grants is matched by $2-3 from other sources (foundations, private donations).
Open Space Grant Funds are a real investment: When the bond is paid off, the land is worth much more than the cost to protect it. Properties like Colt State Park and Roger Williams Park are much more valuable now than when they were protected.
Open Space Bonds are strongly supported by voters in every community and over 70% approval statewide.
The Open Space Bond is the only bond that the House Finance Committee reduced and it is much smaller than the Governor proposed even after the House Finance Committee ADDED $18 million to the bond proposal for Roger Williams Park projects.
Please ask your representative to put $3 million back in the proposed “Open Space Bond” for the Local Open Space Grants Program.
Find contact info for your representative here.
This Program started the Open Space Bond and IS WHY IT IS CALLED the “Open Space” Bond!