The South Kingstown Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was founded as a private trust in 1983, and later incorporated as a private nonprofit corporation in 1999, with the mission of conserving the natural resources of the Town of South Kingstown through preservation and stewardship of open space. It was created by a small group of local residents and landowners, acting in response to a growing awareness that land use regulations at town, state, and federal levels alone were insufficient to provide lasting protection of the town’s open spaces, wildlife habitats, farm and forest lands, aquifers and recharge areas, and coastal ecosystems.
Since its inception, SKLT has grown into one of the leaders in its field in Rhode Island, protecting more than 2,600 acres of open space in over 150 properties containing farms, forest land, ponds, rivers and streams, ground water aquifers and recharge areas, scenic view sheds, and historic resources. It has also pioneered cooperative arrangements and information transfer among private conservation groups, federal, state, and local government agencies, and other charitable organizations. SKLT currently has over 700 members, a volunteer board of trustees including a 5-person executive committee, and a professional staff of 7 who carry out SKLT’s mission in land protection, land management, and organizational development.
Our professional staff has promoted a synergy among governmental and private organizations in land conservation acquisition. SKLT has accessed multiple funding sources – from local, state, and federal government agencies, private foundations, grass-roots fundraising, and use of governmental tax incentives – to close deals on large projects once considered beyond the reach of a small organization. As a result of these synergies, larger and more regular open space acquisition bond issues have been supported by the public and by town government.
Our reputation is built on our ability to help people protect land through informed, capable, trustworthy, and flexible facilitation of shared conservation goals. As our organization has grown, we have worked to broaden our efforts through significant land stewardship and related educational programming.