Why do we conserve property?
Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the nation. Our town is one of the last great places in our state where density is minimal and we still have large tracts of land available for development and protection. In the past, farming, timber production and raising animals were common everyday activities. Nearly 150 years ago the textile mills moved in. The mills were powered by the rivers and streams that are abundant in Burrillville. Our population swelled to nearly 30,000. Once the mills moved elsewhere, all that changed. The population decreased and farming became a thing of memory. Over the past 10 years, Burrillville has seen an increase in agriculture and farming. With the reintroduction of farm stands statewide and our very own farmers’ markets, the Town of Burrillville is ripe for a new boom time in agriculture and land preservation. Our state has led the Nation in the percentage of farmland lost to development. It is estimated that Rhode Island has lost more than 80% of its active farmland since the 1940?s, and that 3/4 of the remaining 40,000 acres are still not protected from development. Today our town has a little more than 16,000 residents. The precious natural resources of land, farmland and open space that make our town a desirable place to live, work and visit are under constant pressures to change.
The farms, forests, lakes and rivers of the past can be taken away overnight. The land trust strives to acquire those properties that people love. We work to make sure that farmers can keep their land so they keep on farming. And we try to instill a sense of wonder about the natural world around us so all of us can continue to support the protection of our town’s sense of place.
What are the benefits of conservation?
- Protecting the scenic vistas that define our town.
- We help landowners with issues associated with land sale, inheritance and estate taxes, and property taxes
- We help farmers keep their land
- We help farmers through the creation of a farmers’ market so residents can buy fresh local farm products
- Preserving wildlife habitat and biodiversity
- Maintaining our town’s desirability as a place to live, work and visit
- We protect and help conserve land so water resource areas and clean drinking water is available
- Saving money for municipalities and taxpayers