Copyright 2010 East Greenwich Municipal Land Trust.  All rights reserved.
East Greenwich Land Trust
Trends & Future

    Frenchtown Park, Photo by Lee Whitaker

    During this time the Land Trust received offers to conserve
    nearly 200 acres, but the Trust at this time has insufficient funds
    to preserve just one of these properties to simply try to maintain
    a balance. Please support your Land Trust.

    More than twenty percent of the land area in the Town of East
    Greenwich is undeveloped woodland and farmland predominately
    held in large tracts. The total undeveloped land is greater than
    2,100 acres, and more than 50 percent of this acreage is
    comprised of only 20 properties that are 30 acres or more in size.
    It is estimated, based on current zoning, that 1,000 or more new
    homes could be built on this land, forever changing the character
    of East Greenwich. And given the current economics of land, it is a
    certainty that over time most if not all these properties will be
    developed for home sites.

    Residential development pressure in East Greenwich is relatively
    intense in a state that has seen land consumption increase by
    147 percent between 1961-1995 while population increased only
    16 percent. According to Grow Smart RI, Rhode Islanders
    developed more land (96,000 acres) in those 34 years than in the
    previous 325 years. Since 1990, East Greenwich has grown at an
    average of 49.1 new single family homes per year. Since January
    1998 there are pending and approved 218 new single family
    house lots and 129 new condominium units, assuring a steady
    stream of new home development.

    Why Preserve Land in East Greenwich?

    TAXES: The 1996 Cost of Community Services study conducted by the Southern New England Forest Consortium found that the
    town services used by new residential development cost more than the tax revenue generated by that land use, and found that open
    space contributes revenue to towns. Therefore, the conversion of forests and farmlands into new residential subdivisions often
    results in tax increases to residential property owners.

    PROPERTY VALUE: The positive impacts of open space on residential property values have been documented in many studies.
    Homes that are located adjacent to permanently protected forests, meadows, and farms tend to appreciate in value faster than
    homes in conventional subdivisions that contain little or no protected open lands.

    ECOLOGY: The undeveloped areas in East Greenwich provide wetland and dry land habitat for many plant and animal species. While
    not all undeveloped land can or should be preserved in its natural condition, it is important not to disrupt the ability of wildlife to thrive.
    By linking the Land Trust properties through “greenway” corridors, consisting of wetlands, water bodies, and dry upland habitat, the
    Town will be able to protect substantial amounts of wildlife habitat.

    ENVIRONMENT: Preserving land is also important in maintaining water quality. Large areas of natural vegetation help to filter storm
    water flowing into lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. Natural areas also slow the velocity of the storm water, thereby allowing it to
    more easily infiltrate the soil and recharge the groundwater that is used as drinking water in many areas, including East Greenwich.

    RECREATION: Protected undeveloped lands offer opportunities for hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, and general enjoyment
    of the outdoors. East Greenwich is in the process of developing a greenway for open space and recreation in an effort to expand
    these opportunities in town.