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6/28/2021 New simplified process of creating a municipal park or conservation land becomes law
STATE HOUSE — Gov. Dan McKee has signed legislation introduced by House Majority Floor Manager John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth) and Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) that simplifies the process for creating a municipal park.

The law (2021-H 5259A, 2021-S 0172A) creates a voluntary mechanism for municipalities to use to dedicate a park, conservation or other land they own as public trust land in perpetuity to protect and preserve its future use.

“Tiverton has a very long history with land trusts and preserving land,” said Representative Edwards. “The town has put away hundreds of acres for open space. This is enabling legislation that will help the environment by allowing cities and town to preserve open land for future use by protecting it permanently.”

The legislation acknowledges that people rely on parks and other public open spaces and conservation land as stable, reliable places of comfort, rest, and renewal in their lives. People make decisions on where to reside and work based on proximity to these places.

“If somebody donates land to a city or town with the understanding that it be used as a recreational area, they deserve some assurance that 25 years later it won’t be altered by the town for some other use,” said Senator Euer. “This legislation will protect the interests of people who are generous enough to donate their property to the community.”

Under the law, once a city or town dedicates property it holds as a public trust land, such land would be perpetually protected from conversion to a use other than the use for which it was originally obtained. Acceptable uses of the land would only be those that perpetuate outdoor recreation, open space benefits and natural resource conservation.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903