Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust Named a Core Grantee by the Food and Farm Communication Funds

The Food & Farm Communications Fund (FFCF) is a pooled grantmaking fund that meets a critical need in the field of food system transformation: funding communications strategy and capacity. Their mission is to provide communications funding and resources for grassroots organizations and networks working to uplift frontline narratives, build power, and embolden transformative food and farm systems change.

Each year they give out several Core Grants, which awards strategic communications and narrative change support to frontline organizations and grassroots networks working to advance systemic and cultural change across our food and farm systems.

We are proud to announce that The Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust is one the Core Grantees for 2022.

Indigenous Roots Forever Named One of Nature’s Path Gardens of Good Grant Winners

Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust

The Gardens for Good grant program supports community gardens across North America that are growing organic food and making a difference in their communities.

Indigenous People’s Network with PPLT’s Agricultural initiative is proud to support Indigenous Roots Forever, a small community garden program run by Rocky Johnson, a Narragansett in southern RI/CT. The garden was just named one of the 2022 Gardens of Good grant winners!

See the Full List of 2022 Winners

USDA Invests $50 Million in Partnerships to Improve Equity in Conservation Programs, Address Climate Change

The Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust is an awardee of this grant.

Press Release from the USDA

ATLANTA, January 10, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $50 million in 118 partnerships to expand access to conservation assistance for climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will fund two-year projects to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are new to farming, low income, socially disadvantaged or military veterans. Projects will support USDA’s broader effort to address climate change and equitable access to programs.

“We are committed to equal opportunity for those we serve, and we are taking bold, historic action to advance equity and root out generations of systemic racism,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “These partnerships are another example of how we are helping ensure historically underserved producers can more fully access and participate in our programs and services. As we’ve said before: equity will be a vital part of our climate change work, as America’s farmers and rural communities are on the frontlines of climate change. Our work with producers and partners will invest in climate smart solutions that improve profitability and resilience, open new market opportunities, and build wealth that stays in rural communities.”

The program encourages new partnerships and the development of state and community conservation leadership for historically underserved producers, with projects focusing on one or more of the following key conservation priorities:

  • Improving soil health and water quality;
  • Providing habitat for at-risk wildlife;
  • Improving natural resources and productivity on agricultural lands; and/or
  • Building and strengthening local and regional food systems and markets.

Among the partnerships are the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund and McIntosh Sustainable Environment and Economic Development (SEED).  The partnership with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, expands the Regional Agro Forestry Center (RAFC) to include climate smart agriculture, participation in conservation easements, heirs property consultations, forest management plans and certifications, and youth employment placement for Alabama, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Additionally, a Regional Community Forest Justice Initiative (RCFJI) will provide limited-resource forest landowners with conservation education, technical assistance and a climate smart vision for their land

The McIntosh Sustainable Environment and Economic Development (SEED) will help historically underserved producers implement natural resources conservation and climate smart agricultural practices. They will work with producers to strengthen marketing skills, access new markets, and produce and sell cooperatively. Additionally, SEED will engage historically underserved youth in 24 climate-impacted and economically distressed counties in Georgia through outreach and education, providing access to NRCS technical assistance, certifications and youth internships.

View a full list of the partnerships

More Information

These partnerships are part of USDA’s broader efforts to address inequity in program delivery. Today, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) also announced its plans to invest $2 million in risk management education for historically underserved and small-scale producers. This doubles RMA’s successful $1 million investment in 2021. Also in 2021, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) invested $4.7 million to establish 56 partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.

To learn more, visit www.usda.gov

USDA

Governor Mckee, DEM Announce $2.7 Million in Green Bond Investments to Help RI Communities Protect Open Space

Press Release from RI Governor Dan McKee

DEM RIPROVIDENCE – Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today the awarding of more than $2.73 million in grants to help communities and local organizations protect valuable green space throughout Rhode Island. Ten projects will receive matching grants to protect 400 acres of open space and farmland across the state. The funding is made possible by the 2016 and 2018 green economy bonds, both of which were passed overwhelmingly by voters and made investments in preserving open space, improving recreational facilities, and cleaning up lands and waters.

“From clean water, natural flood control, and wildlife habitat to biodiversity and recreation opportunities, there are many diverse benefits from open space and Rhode Islanders recognize this,” said Governor Dan McKee. “This is why I proposed a green bond in my fiscal year 2023 budget that includes $5 million for the further preservation of open spaces. Green bonds support what we love about Rhode Island.”

Rhode Island’s historic parks, bikeways, and green spaces provide opportunity for public enjoyment – in addition to improving the health of the environment, strengthening the state’s climate resilience, and supporting the economy. Outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 local jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. Since 1985, DEM has helped protect nearly 13,000 acres of land through open space grants.

“The value of our state’s historic investments in open spaces has come into sharper relief in the past two years with the COVID pandemic as Rhode Islanders have explored open spaces in greater numbers, looking for places to unwind and forget their troubles,” said DEM Acting Director Terry Gray. “The investments we are announcing today are for our children and the generations to come who are counting on us to be good stewards of our beautiful state.”

Grants up to $400,000 – which may cover up to half of the project cost – were awarded to help preserve lands that offer significant natural, ecological, or agricultural value and those that connect or expand existing protected lands. DEM’s successful Open Space Grant program has provided funding for the preservation of nearly 13,000 acres of land across the state since its inception in 1985. DEM has worked with partners in every municipality to complete 197 easement transactions with land trusts and local communities to date, furthering the mission of preserving Rhode Island’s precious resources and increasing the public’s access and enjoyment of our natural lands. Over the years, this grant program has resulted in the protection of places used by residents and tourists alike for outdoor recreation – and has also contributed to the economic health of the state. These natural assets play a big role in the state’s tourist economy by providing opportunities for the public to camp, fish, hunt, hike, and enjoy the great outdoors, and at the same time bring revenue to the local economy.

The Open Space grants being awarded today to protect 400 acres of open space and farmland include:

  • Town of Charlestown: $400,000 grant to acquire 90 acres of forestland in northern Charlestown. The property contains an important wetland complex that surrounds Saw Mill Pond. The land is part of a greater than 250-acre area of unfragmented forest and is nearly contiguous with The Nature Conservancy’s Carter Preserve, which includes 1,000+ acres of conservation land.
  • Town of East Greenwich: $400,000 grant to acquire 42 acres in southern East Greenwich. This property anchors the southern end of a National Register Historic District and is under intense development pressure. The Hunt River flows through its scenic viewshed of upland hardwood and agricultural fields, which provide a diverse array of habitats and recreation potential.
  • Cumberland Land Trust: $400,000 to acquire 84.3 acres of forested upland in Cumberland. The Cracco property sits between DEM’s 400-acre Diamond Hill Reservation, and 700 acres of conservation land owned by the Cumberland Land Trust. The property is dominated by upland forest, wetlands, numerous stone walls, historical orchards, and steep slopes. The significant wetlands flow to the Pawtucket and Diamond Hill Reservoirs, a major source of drinking water for the Pawtucket and Cumberland residents.
  • South Kingstown Land Trust (SKLT): $400,000 grant to acquire a conservation easement over 52 acres that abuts Rhode Island Audubon’s Marion Eppley Wildlife Sanctuary, which contains over 1,100 acres in both South Kingstown and Exeter. The property also supports the integrity of protected lands and SKLT’s trail system on the east side of Yawgoo Pond, an important coastal plain pond, the shoreline of which is already about 65% protected.
  • Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust: $375,000 to acquire 5 acres at the mouth of the Fogland/Donovan Marsh estuary. The Ratcliffe property contains a sandy beach that supports nesting piping plovers, mudflats that supply foraging opportunities to a host of shore and wading birds, high and low salt marsh, and coastal thicket. With direct road access, this property will be open for swimming, paddling, fishing, and passive recreation.
  • Town of Middletown: $200,000 grant for the Town of Middletown to purchase 9 acres of a larger 60-acre farmland (wholesale nursery) tract with the remaining 51 acres being purchased using Open Space bond funds issued by Middletown. The Town’s plan for the 9-acre parcel includes preserved open space and scenic vistas while the remaining 51 acres would be slated for recreation and municipal functions.
  • Town of Burrillville: $70,000 grant for the Town of Burrillville to purchase 3 acres that abut Granite Mill Park in the historic village of Pascoag. This forested property has approximately 1,000 feet of shoreline along Union Pond and would be accessed by a connecting trail from Gonyea Park and a new parking area to be built on the property off High Street.
  • Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust (PPLT): $42,500 grant for Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust to purchase several adjoining parcels totaling approximately 38 acres in northeastern Tiverton. This land abuts the Rhode Island/Massachusetts state boundary and is within proximity to the Fall River metropolitan area. PPLT intends to use this land for conservation, recreation, memorialization, and preservation of historically significant tribal lands.
  • Town of Bristol: $197,500 for the Town of Bristol to purchase 7 acres abutting the 110-acre Perry/Tavares open space tract owned by the Town and managed for public access and passive recreation by Bristol Conservation Commission. This forested property contains an intermittent stream that connects to a perennial stream on the existing protected open space to the north. This is the last sizable parcel abutting the Perry/Tavares tract that remains open space.
  • Town of Burrillville: $250,000 for the Burrillville Land Trust to purchase the 65-acre O’Leary farmland contiguous with the 150-acre Buck Hill Scout Reservation and 1,300-acre Buck Hill Management Area. The property contains roughly 20 acres of prime agricultural soils and 45 acres of forestland. The O’Leary farmland is one of the last remaining working farm parcels in the Town and boats more than 4,000 feet of road frontage along Buck Hill and Croff Roads.

For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.

R.I. Foundation awards $660K to 11 minority-led nonprofits

Funds will focus on helping BIPOC-led organizations expand services to communities of color across Rhode Island

Rhode Island FoundationBy Chris Barnett | November 22, 2021
See Press Release

The Rhode Island Foundation today announced it has awarded $660,000 in grants to build the capacity of nonprofits led by people of color. Eleven organizations will receive $60,000 apiece over the course of the two-year program. Only nonprofits led by people identifying as Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous or multi-racial were eligible.

“Structural racism is a growth barrier to many organizations. Our grants give them the resources necessary to break the ‘starvation cycle’ that limits their ability to maintain or grow their programs.”

– Angie Ankoma, executive director of the Foundation’s Equity Leadership Initiative and a vice president at the Foundation

The nonprofits will co-create the learning curriculum, which will cover topics such as good governance, fundraising, communications planning and financial planning. In addition, consultants of color will provide workshops and technical assistance.

Movement Ground Farm of Tiverton is among the nonprofits receiving grants. The 10-acre farm gives people of color the opportunity to work the land in a communal effort to raise vegetables, fruit and meat birds for sale and their own consumption.

“In order to straddle giant leaps forward in organizational growth and expansion of critical farm infrastructure, we are looking inward to build the leadership capacity to carry out the work. We will use the grant to build sustainable, perennial, BIPOC-leadership in our farm organization by developing a cooperative model of leadership and commit to practices that invest equitably in the organization, the land, and its workers,” said Kohei Ishihara, executive director. “This grant is just what we needed – a flexible and unrestricted source of income to meet us in this dynamic moment of growth.”

The other recipients are A Leadership Journey in Providence, Mixed Magic Theatre and Cultural Events in Pawtucket, Movement Education Outdoors in Woonsocket, Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust in Cranston, Reentry Campus Program in Providence, Sankofa Community Connection in Newport, Sunrise Forever in Providence, Women’s Refugee Care in Providence, Mount Hope Community Center in Providence and Youth in Action in Providence.

The capacity-building program is just one facet of the Rhode Island Foundation’s broad, three-year, $8.5 million plan to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and access – with a first focus on racial equity – above and beyond its traditional yearly grant-making.

Recent work includes launching the Equity Leadership Initiative to develop a pipeline of leaders of color for positions of influence throughout Rhode Island and creating a grant program to help nonprofits create anti-racist organizational cultures.

“Eliminating disparities and inequities is among our core values, and is a major focus across all of our work in the community. We use a racial equity lens while making decisions about allocating resources to improve health, educational success and economic security among other critical issues,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.


The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $68 million and awarded a record $87 million in grants in 2020. Since its centennial five years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $284 million in grants and has raised more than $328 million. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

Collaboration for Conservation and Native Land Stewardship

USDA – NRCS – Conservation Collaboration

PPLT is collaborating with Global Village Farms, World Farmers, and  Somali Bantu Community Association to outreach to historically underserved farmers to increase conservation land stewardship practices. We aim to support Indigenous, Black and other farmers of color in accessing resources such as NRCS programs that improve the environmental quality of soil, water, air, plants and animals. Contact us for more information about getting technical assistance to make management plans or funding for improvements such as high tunnels.