The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will hold a series of roundtable discussions starting Tuesday, October 23, to gather public input on Rhode Island’s outdoor recreation network. The feedback will be used to inform the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) to help create improved outdoor opportunities for residents and visitors and prioritize funding for future outdoor recreation projects over the next five years.
“We encourage residents to participate in these roundtable discussions and share your insights about outdoor recreation in Rhode Island,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Your voice matters and you will help us to create better outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone. Providing people with places to get outdoors and enjoy nature is part of DEM’s core mission, is good for health, fosters our next generation of environmental stewards, and ensures that Rhode Island remains a wonderful place to live.”
Partners, stakeholders, and all Rhode Islanders interested in outdoor recreation are invited to participate in the sessions and share their thoughts and experiences on what is working, what could be improved, and what is missing in our state’s outdoor recreation network. Each discussion will focus on a specific outdoor recreation topic such as fishing, hunting, biking, trails, parks/playgrounds, and will cover additional issues and concerns outside of the designated topic areas.
Tuesday, October 23
URI Coastal Institute, Hazard Room
South Ferry Road, Narragansett
Focus Topics: Boating/Paddling/Shoreline Access
Tuesday, October 30
Kettle Pond Visitors Center
50 Bend Road, Charlestown
Focus Topics: Trails/Mountain Biking
Thursday, November 1
Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket
One Moeller Place, Pawtucket
Focus Topics: Parks/Playground/Urban Recreation
Thursday, November 8
Health Equity Zone HUB
1229 Main Street, West Warwick
Focus Topics: Health
Tuesday, November 13
Cold Spring Community Center
36 Beach Street, North Kingstown
Focus Topics: General Recreation
Tuesday, November 27
Quinta Gamelin Community Center
101 Asylum Road, Bristol
Focus Topics: Biking
Additional sessions will be scheduled later this fall and winter. Individuals also may provide feedback online though the SCORP Outdoor Map Survey. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete, qualifying participants to enter to win a 2019 RI state beach season pass.
Enlisting public feedback for the 2019 SCORP update builds upon the work of the Outdoor Recreation Council convened by Governor Raimondo in 2016 to develop an actionable vision for promoting and growing outdoor recreation in Rhode Island. The Council’s Final Report highlights theimportance of the state’s recreational network to Rhode Island’s economic and cultural vitality. Rhode Island is home to a wealth of historic parks, beaches, bikeways, and other recreational facilities.According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs each year. A 2017 study conducted by the University of Rhode Island found that State-managed parks and bikeways alone contribute $311 million to the economy annually and support over 3,700 jobs and nine million visits.