FAQ

The Warren Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) is an all-volunteer, non-profit private land trust in the Town of Warren, RI. We were established in 1987 to protect the open spaces of our town. We work alongside the citizens of Warren, and with Town officials and state agencies, to preserve and enhance Warren’s natural environment.
We are a community-based organization devoted to conserving, caring for, and providing access to our town’s open spaces and waters. The town’s shorelines – the Warren River, the Palmer River and the Kickemuit River – anchor our vision, with their large stretches of connected marshland and wetlands.

The WLCT receives most of its properties through donations. These lands we then protect from development, often performing projects to restore environmental conditions damaged by human activity.

The WLCT is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that actively works to conserve the natural environment. We follow in a long tradition of land trusts, dating back to 1891 when the first land trust was founded. In the past four decades, land trusts have become wide spread and highly valued community partners. Land trusts now form one of the fastest-growing and most successful conservation efforts in American history.
Rhode Island has more than 45 land trusts. About 18 of them are “municipal” land trusts, meaning the land trusts are organized, funded and staffed by the town or municipal government in which they reside. The rest – like the WLCT – are private land trusts.

We are an independent entity and enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Town of Warren. This includes the recent donation to the WLCT of 60 acres the Town had held in “tax title” property. The Town retained conservation easements on these lands.

Land trusts conserve property that townspeople recognize as valuable community assets. Once a property is protected, the land remains free of development.

There is also the benefit of managing, maintaining and protecting the town’s historic character and open spaces. As a land trust, we regularly walk our properties. Where possible, we develop trails for the public to use.

Tax payers receive benefits as well. Studies show that municipal governments pay out more to support municipal services than they take in from residential real estate taxes. This makes sense. Open land costs less to maintain than land that has been improved with houses and roads.

We receive property through donation. We then steward these lands, to protect their natural, ecological, or historic characteristics.

A landowner who donates land to a land trust, and meets certain criteria, may realize income tax benefits, property tax benefits and/or estate tax benefits. Always check with your legal and tax advisors to determine if land conservation is in your best interest.

First and foremost, we want to meet you and talk to you about your property. Landowners have different needs when it comes to deciding what to do with their land.
  • Some want to arrange for easements with governmental agencies that can produce financial benefits.
  • Some want to donate their property for estate planning or to end paying taxes.
  • And some want to memorialize their parents, a loved one or a good friend.
The WLCT seeks out landowners who are willing to work with us for the preservation of their property. The Warren Land Conservation Trust works to conserve lands in town that have specific conservation values:
  • enhancing water resources,
  • maintaining or improving wildlife habitats,
  • maintaining or improving scenic vistas,
  • improving public access to our shoreline,
  • helping to maintain working farmland and agricultural values,
  • and improving storm resilience.
The WLCT currently owns properties totaling approximately 150 acres in roughly 20 sites around town. We own the land itself, with most of these properties covered by conservation easements, to ensure they will remain forever undeveloped. See the properties we protect page for a map of our properties.
Our goal is to have our properties open to the public, where site conditions allow. We permit passive recreational walks and hikes on developing trails. We work to link our properties with other open spaces held by the town, the state and other private non-profits.
  • Jacob’s Point off the East Bay Bike Path is open to the public.
  • Our recently acquired Haile Farm property off Market Street on the northern side of town will be open to the public soon.
Our other properties are not open, in order to protect fragile wildlife habitats.
Our financial support comes almost entirely from the community, through membership dues and fund-raising activities. We hope that you consider joining the WLCT. Visit our membership page to become a member or our donation page to make a donation and help the trust keep protecting open space in Warren.

And keep us in mind in your estate planning process. We have established the Warren Land Conservation Trust Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation as an endowment for ongoing support our activities.

Our volunteers are essential to the Warren Land Conservation Trust to accomplish our mission. We actively seek out any individual who can help create and maintain our trails, take part in our special events, attend our monthly meetings, and/or take an active role in other activities. If you want to make a difference in the town where you live, we want you. See our volunteer page for more information and to sign up to volunteer!
Our meetings take place on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. We meet at the Bagy Wrinkle Cove Clubhouse. Here's the map: WLCT Meeting Location Visitors are welcome to our meetings. To check on a meeting or ask a question about the WLCT, call Mike Gerhardt at 247-2097 or write us at warrenlctri@gmail.com.

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