Spectacular weather and breathtaking views were on tap September 10 when The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island hosted a celebration of the Ferolbink Farm project in Tiverton and Little Compton, with special guests Senator Jack Reed and Governor Donald Carcieri. Over 80 friends, neighbors, and donors came out to hear from some of the key supporters of the project, including Deputy Secretary of the U.S Department of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan who is responsible for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a major funder of the Ferolbink Farm project.
While guests enjoyed local food and drink, they heard how Senator Reed continues to support important agricultural programs, such as those that market products grown at Ferolbink, as well as the critical farm land protection programs that protect both productive farms and important habitat for all Rhode Islanders. “It is these programs that help keep Rhode Island such a special place,” He said.
Guests also heard from Connie Lima, of the Tiverton Land Trust, whose grandparents once farmed Ferolbink, taking their produce to Fall River farmers markets. And landowner Jason “Pete” Peckham closed out the program expressing gratitude to the many groups and individuals who made the project possible, walking away from the microphone to a standing ovation.
Janet Coit, Rhode Island State Director joined Senator Reed at the podium and spoke about the power of partnerships. “Thanks to our Campaign for the Sakonnet, we not only raised over $1 million for this project, but we’re working with our partners to protect other properties and build new trails for everyone to enjoy,” she said.
The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, W. Michael Sullivan, hosted the entire event, telling stories of Pete Peckham and the importance of farmland conservation, marsh protection, and even climate change preparedness and how Ferolbink Farm does all this for Rhode Islanders. “I’ve been out on this farm for many years,” he said after the event “And we’ve all been waiting a long time to see this day.”
For more information call the Rhode Island Chapter at 401-331-7110 or visit their website at www.nature.org/rhodeisland
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Director of Government Relations & Communications
401-331-7110, ext. 24