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Green Economy Bond
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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.

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Quick Facts

+ Open space, parks & bikeways
  • Every state dollar invested in open-space conservation is matched by at least $2 from other funding sources

  • Outdoor recreation in Rhode Island supports 24,000 jobs and contributes $2.4 billion annually to the economy.

  • Rhode Island offers more than 60 miles of bikepath; nationally, these facilities contribute $133 billion to the economy and support over one million jobs.

+ Local recreation & green spaces
  • While demand continues to grow, all state grant money for local recreation will run out by the end of 2016. And no funding remains for land conservation.

  • Studies show access to greenspace improves health, promotes stronger social ties, and enhances neighborhood satisfaction and pride.

+ Brownfields & stormwater
  • Since 1995, 770 brownfields spanning 5,500 acres have been redeveloped.

  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 7.3 jobs are supported per $100,000 spent on brownfields redevelopment.

  • Created through 2014 bond, the Brownfields and Economic Development Fund has already awarded $3.7 million in matching grants, leveraging $417 million in other investment and supporting 14 projects and 2,700 jobs.

  • Brownfields funding will run out by the end of 2016