We are proud to announce that we are one of nine organizations to receive vital land acquisition funds from RI DEM through the Local Open Space Grant Program!

DEM announced the award of $2.6 million in grants spanning 11 projects with the goal to protect 383 acres across Rhode Island. The funding is made possible by the 2022 Green Bond, which was passed by almost 70 percent Rhode Island voters, and invests in preserving open space, improving recreational facilities, and cleaning up lands and waters.

SKLT is working diligently on the projects this funding will support and plans to make announcements and updates as the projects progress.

SKLT’s grants include $300,000 for the acquisition of a conservation easement on more than 10 acres of the “Kinney Azalea Gardens.” Since 1955 this public garden has welcomed visitors to admire more than 500 varieties of azaleas. The gardens were designed by Lorenzo Kinney, Sr. who was the University of Rhode Island’s first professor of botany.

The second grant awards $400,000 for the protection of land contiguous with DEM’s Great Swamp Management Area. The property contains more than 500 feet of frontage on White Horn Brook upstream of its confluence with the federally designated Wild and Scenic Chipuxet River. This project is temporarily on hold due to the property being in probate.

“SKLT would like to wholeheartedly thank all who voted in support of the Green Bond in 2022,” said Julia Landstreet, SKLT Executive Director. “The community’s approval of these significant land acquisition funds is confirmation of the importance of our mission, to conserve and protect vital open spaces, for the benefit of the community, now and forever.”

Photo: Kinney Azalea Gardens in June 2017 courtesy of traveltheast.com