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Warren Land Conservation Trust Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 14, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...

For 30 years, the Warren Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) has worked “to protect open space in Warren and keep that land undeveloped forever.” While the mission continues, WLCT President Mike Gerhardt notes an additional focus the group currently has, “We’re eager to make our properties accessible to the public and are committed to developing trails on amenable land,” he states.

A short, but well-utilized trail exists at WLCT’s Jacob’s Point property, taking walkers from the East Bay Bike Path, through a salt marsh, and to a small beach on the Warren River. It was the site of the first WLCT-sponsored Family Walk last summer. The organization also seeks to raise awareness of its properties during Land Trust Days, most recently organizing a row to Tom’s Island, a hard-to-reach WLCT property in the Palmer River.

WLCT owns approximately 150 acres, having recently been deeded ownership of approximately 60 acres of land along the Palmer River by the Town of Warren. Its properties include wetlands and woodlands which boast a wide variety of plant and animal habitats that lend themselves to a myriad of activities. WLCT members monitor water quality along the Warren River and have constructed and monitor both a purple martin nesting array and an osprey platform on land trust properties.

The organization is financed through membership dues, and currently has 80 members. “Our accomplishments depend entirely on the efforts and support of members, contributors, and volunteers,” Mike explains, adding that additional volunteers are always needed.

WLCT received the funds for this endowment after the nonprofit Warren Taxpayers for a Comprehensive Plan dissolved and opted to give its remaining assets to the Land Trust. “It was a no strings attached gift, but their preference was for us to establish an endowment with the funds. And, after debate and discussion, our board voted to establish this endowment,” Mike states.

He continues, “The Rhode Island Foundation lends us considerable credibility and has a good track record of administering this type of fund. To have professional management take care of the fund was a no-brainer for us.”

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