Our economy and culture in Rhode Island depend on the health of our lands, waters, and communities. The 2016 Green Economy Bond measure, which goes before voters in November, provides $35 million in funding to improve our parks, bikeways, and recreational areas; preserve vital green spaces; and clean up contaminated lands for redevelopment.
Open Space, parks & bikeways : $18 million
The Green Economy Bond includes $8 million to support captial improvements to state parks and the preservation of vital green spaces throughout Rhode Island. It provides the necessary state match to secure critical federal, local, and private investment. The bond also includes $10 million to expand the state's bikeway network. Together, these investments connect people with nature and opportunity-enhancing quality of life, public health, and tourism.
Local recreation and green spaces: $9 million
Helping cities and towns improve recreational facilities and increase green spaces is key to building a vibrant economy and nurturing a healthy environment. The Green Economy Bond provides $5 million in matching grants to communities to develop and improve public recreational areas; it also includes $4 million in matching grants to assist with protecting open space for the public's enjoyment and conserving our natural resources
Brownfields & stormwater: $8 million
Cleaning up former industrial sites or "brownfields" supports a healthier environment and accelerates economic growth by opening up valuable real estate to redevelopment. The Green Economy Bond includes $5 million in matching grants to help return these properties to tax rolls, create jobs, and revitalize our neighborhoods. Rhode Island is home to an estimated 12,000 brownfields sites. The Green Economy Bond also includes $3 million to clean up our waterways and to reduce stormwater pollution that causes flooding and impairs local waters, leading to beach and shellfishing closures.