Dear Rhode Island Land Trust Council Community,
By now, you’ve likely seen the news about the 2025 Green Bond from the Governor’s office. If you haven’t, brace yourselves.
While we are pleased to see that outdoor recreation and municipal resilience are on the table…there is no funding for the land and water conservation programs that we utilize to do our work. There is no funding for the State Open Space program. There is no funding for the Local Open Space grant program. There is no funding for Farmland Protection. There is no funding for forestry conservation or management initiatives. The proposed bond also doesn’t include the funding we typically see for wastewater treatment and bay and watershed restoration.
As you all know, we are able to partner with the state to utilize Green Bond funds to leverage significant federal and philanthropic funds to conserve important landscapes, watersheds, and farms that benefit all Rhode Islanders. For every conservation dollar invested by the State of Rhode Island, our community historically raises $1.70 in matching funds for conservation. If the Bond proceeds as is, our work will become far more difficult.
I have a lot more to say on this, but for now, please rest assured that the Land Trust Council is working on a comprehensive and well-coordinated strategy to right this ship, but we will need your help. Over the next five months, you will be hearing from me frequently as we build a grassroots campaign with calls to action, requests for letters, and more. Feel free to start this process today by contacting your legislators and letting them know that you are concerned about the lack of land and water conservation funding in the Green Bond. Not sure who to contact? Check out the Voter Information Center.
Together, we can make anything happen.
My very best,
Kate Sayles, Executive Director