What is a Land Trust?
As defined by the Land Trust Alliance (www.landtrustalliance.org), “A land trust is a nonprofit organization that actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.
Land trusts work with landowners and the community to conserve land by accepting donations of land, purchasing land, negotiating private, voluntary conservation agreements on land, and stewarding conserved land through the generations to come.
Land trusts are community based and deeply connected to local needs, so they are well-equipped to identify land that offers critical natural habitat as well as land offering recreational, agricultural and other conservation value.”
The North Smithfield Land Trust provides a legal method to preserve land that is not influenced by any government organization/action.
Is the Land Trust private or municipal?
We are a private land trust. Unlike some Land Trusts in the state, we do not currently receive funds from real estate transactions. However, the town in the past has generously contributed to paying most of our insurance plans on our properties.
What types of land does the Land Trust try to preserve?
We preserve the full diversity of land that makes living in North Smithfield so special. This includes :
unique habitats, biologically rich areas, or improving wildlife habitats
land that helps protect our drinking water supply and/or enhancing water resources
land of cultural or historical significance
land that will make community parks for passive recreation like hiking, jogging, etc.
maintaining or improving scenic vistas
Where does the Land Trust get its holdings?
The North Smithfield Land Trust accepts gifts, usually of land or monetary donations for stewardship or land purchase. State grant funds have also been awarded which were used to purchase property.
How does the Land Trust prioritize lands for conservation?
We’re currently working on this issue! We have developed a land conservation score card, which scores land for such attributes as: important water resources, forest resources, unique habitats, diverse habitats, endangered species, agricultural soils, adjacency to existing conservation land, whether or not the land is part of the town or state’s conservation plan, whether the land helps in flood control, historical/cultural significance, and whether the land is a working farm.
Are the Land Trust properties open for public access?
Yes, our properties open to the public, where conditions allow. We permit passive recreational walks/hikes on trails. Only two of our properties, Rocky Hill and Booth Pond currently have easily accessible trails. The Booth Pond area is adjacent to the Woonsocket conservation area and the newly acquired Town conservation area property on Old Smithfield Rd - Old Souza property.
Can I come to a Land Trust meeting?
Yes! All meetings are open to the public. We generally meet on the second Wednesday of the month at Memorial Town Hall. Please contact an Officer for info on an upcoming meeting.
How do I volunteer?
You can help the Land Trust in a variety of ways! We can use help making trails, monitoring our properties, helping with community outreach, grant-writing, and fundraising. If interested, please contact one of the Officers.
Yes, We Have Deer Ticks (Lyme's Disease)
If you are going out in the woods (actually in the brush - where the ticks hang out [literally]) then, you should protect yourself with Permethrin treated clothing. One of the best resources for Deer Tick info and Lyme's Disease is our own Rhode Island website maintained by the University of Rhode Island: Tick Encounter website
Are there other Land Trusts?
Rhode Island has more than 45 land trusts. There are both private and municipal land trusts. The North Smithfield Land Trust is a private land trust.
We are an independent entity and enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Town of North Smithfield.