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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
For Release: October 23, 2003
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418


PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Transportation awarded $2.48 million in open space and recreational trails grants for a total of 24 projects today at a ceremony held at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown. Ten greenways land acquisition and bikeway development projects were awarded a total of more than $2 million in funds from the 1998 $15 million Open Space bond fund. Also, 14 recreational trail improvement and trail equipment projects throughout Rhode Island were awarded a total of $394,000 in federal transportation grants through the Recreational Trails Program.

Governor Donald L. Carcieri, who announced his support this week for a new open space bond referendum for the 2004 ballot, said, "As Rhode Islanders, we enjoy a tremendous quality of place. Our environment, our communities, our families, and our economic health are well served by all our efforts to preserve, yet make accessible, our state's nature resources. These grants will help improve the quality of life that Rhode Islanders have come to expect and enjoy. I want to thank everyone at the Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Transportation, as well as all of the applicants, for making possible these grants and these outstanding projects."

DEM Director Jan Reitsma said, "Rhode Islanders have consistently shown the value they place on open space preservation and greenways protection. I am very pleased that DEM and DOT are able to offer these matching grants today, which will further enhance the quality of life in local communities."

"DOT is pleased to partner once again with DEM on this important grants program," said James R. Capaldi, P.E., DOT's Director. "The cities and towns and organizations who received today's awards can all be proud of their achievement because it is through their efforts that Rhode Island has become one of the finest places to live and work in this country."

The greenways grants will provide funding for such diverse projects as burying overhead electric lines as part of the I-195 Relocation Project at India Point Park in Providence, to protecting more than 500 acres of coastal forest that abut the Weetamo Woods greenway in Tiverton. Communities and organizations receiving the grant money include East Greenwich, Foster Land Trust, Glocester Land Trust, Newport, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Providence, Scituate, Smithfield, Tiverton Land Trust, and Westerly Land Trust.

All 10 projects that were selected for greenways grants provide matching funds for the acquisition, design and construction of local bikeways and/or recreational greenways. Greenways traditionally include trails, river walkways, and natural corridors. The areas are primarily off-road facilities, and they often serve as links between state and local parks, other bikeways, areas of open space, and municipal business centers.

The Rhode Island Greenways Council selected the 10 projects that received awards, and DEM is administering the grants for the Greenways Council. The Council was established by the General Assembly in 1995 to coordinate state agency greenway efforts, assist local governments and private groups in greenway creation, and provide information to the public on the availability and usage of greenways in Rhode Island. Its seven members represent state agencies, municipalities, and the public.

Also announced today were 14 grants for trail and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail uses. Communities and organizations receiving the grant money include Charlestown, Cumberland, Foster/Glocester Regional School System, Groundwork Providence (two awards), Hopkinton Land Trust (two awards), Newport, Pawtucket, Pawtuxet River Authority, Richmond, South County Bridal Lanes Association, South Kingstown Land Trust, and Warwick.

Authorized by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the Recreational Trails Program provides funds to the states to develop and maintain such trails. Both the trail improvement and trail equipment grants require a local match of 20 percent. All trail grant applications were reviewed and scored by the state's 16-member Recreational Trail Advisory Committee made up of recreational trail users and representatives of DEM, DOT, and the state Department of Administration. Under an interagency cooperative agreement, DEM administers the grant program with funds made available by DOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

A list of the projects receiving grants is attached.


Sponsor/Location Grant Award Project
East Greenwich $250,000 Acquisition of 47 acres of land along Tillinghast Road for passive recreation, protection of wildlife habitat, and preservation of a scenic rural streetscape in a National Register Historic District
Foster Land Trust $250,000 Acquisition and development of a 283 acre parcel of land for inclusion in the Land Trust's North Greenway, reaching from the Connecticut line across the northern part of Foster
Glocester Land Trust $200,000 Acquisition of 126 acres of property referred to as Seldom Seen Farm for a major part of the Glocester greenway system that stretches from the Phillips Farm open space area to the Town's border with Smithfield
Newport $80,000 Development of Sunset Hill Trail. Funds will be used to acquire 3.5 acres of land adjacent to Miantonomi Park and develop an urban trail linking the parcels
Norman Bird Sanctuary $250,000 Acquisition of 23 acres of land between the Sanctuary and the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge
Providence $250,000 Burial of overhead electric lines as part of the I-195 Relocation Project at India Point Park in Providence at the head of the East Bay Bike Path
Scituate $250,000 Acquisition of 189 acres that will provide a link in the Potterville Town Forest to connect the Brightman property in the east to the Audubon Society land in the west
Smithfield $125,000 Construction of the Stillwater Reservoir Pedestrian Path and Bridge Project to link with the historic Stillwater Village via a proposed RIDOT pedestrian bridge across the Woonasquatucket River
Tiverton Land Trust $250,000 Protection of more than 500 acres of coastal forest that abut the Weetamo Woods greenway
Westerly Land Trust $137,500 Acquisition of 14 acres of land along the Pawcatuck River to provide a critical greenway link from the 600-acre Westerly Town Forest to the Pawcatuck River for wildlife and hikers
Charlestown, South Farm Trail $20,000 To construct a small parking lot area and pedestrian access through a perimeter trail for hiking and horses
Cumberland $49,715 To improve and create a defined uniform path of approximately 1.3 miles of existing trail and to construct approximately 350 feet of new trail to Nine Men's Misery Monument
Foster/Glocester Regional School System $22,000 To create a one-quarter mile loop trail specifically designed for visually and mobility impaired persons
Groundwork Providence $40,000 To build an accessible trail along the Woonasquatucket River and adjacent to Buttonhole Golf Course
Groundwork Providence $710 To purchase hand tools
Hopkinton Land Trust $9,600 To construct a wetland crossing along the Tomaquag Trail
Hopkinton Land Trust, Tomaquag Trail $1,720 To purchase a brush cutter
Newport, Cliff Walk $50,000 To resurface approximately 3,000 feet of asphalt trail for the Cliff Walk
Pawtucket $30,000 For a Slater Park enhancement project to reinforce approximately 1,200 feet of stone dust trails, and to provide new signage depicting all of the park trails and a series of "Walk A Mile" routes
Pawtuxet River Authority $46,000 To connect two segments of trail by purchasing a right-of-way easement, constructing a bridge over a mill raceway, and constructing a path segment outside the owner's parking lot
Richmond $100,000 To enhance the North/South Trail system by providing an alternate route to the current system; creating a core trail to link additional local trails; and transporting hikers across a landscape with dramatic vistas and ecological significance
South County Bridal Lanes Association $2,400 To install trail markers on equestrian and hiking trails in South County, where appropriate, to enhance safety and to clearly identify the trails
South Kingstown Land Trust $1,724 To purchase a trailer and a chain saw
Warwick $20,496 To restore approximately 1.3 miles of the existing old farm road with appropriate signage; to improve trailhead parking; to add post and rail fencing, a kiosk, and interpretive signs; and to install a bar gate at the Dawley Farm property




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