State of R.I. Now Leasing Land for Farming

R.I. Department of Environmental Management

R.I. Department of Environmental Management

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has put out a release asking for Requests for Proposal to farm five parcels of land within management areas in the state. Proposals will be accepted until 10 a.m. on Monday, March 14 at: State of Rhode Island, Department of Administration, Division of Purchases, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908. Questions can be directed to Terri Bisson by Tuesday, March 8. She can be reached at 401-222-2776, ext. 4402 or via email at terri.bisson@dem.ri.gov.

From the R.I. DEM release:

The Department manages numerous parcels of land that were acquired for the benefit of open space preservation, public recreation and wildlife resource protection. DEM is soliciting proposals to raise and harvest agricultural products on some parcels in an effort to preserve their agricultural and wildlife benefits.

The parcels are as follows:
1. South Shore Management Area – Field 3 – Ford Tract, South Kingstown, 22.7  acres
2. South Shore Management Area-Field 6- Finerman Tract, South Kingstown, 23 acres
3. Nicholas Farm, Place Unit , Coventry, 23 acres
4. Sapowet Wildlife Management Area – Babbit Unit, Tiverton, 23 acres
5. Arcadia Management Area, Pratt Unit, Summit Rd, Exeter, 6.7 acres

The successful bidders will enter into a lease agreement with the Department and pay a per-acre fee to plant and harvest annual row crops such as corn, potatoes and other vegetables, or to manage the parcels as hay fields between March 1 and October 1. The leaseholders are required to plant and/or leave standing a small portion of the principal crop (corn) for wildlife habitat. The leaseholders are also required to plant a cover crop of winter rye immediately following harvest of the principal crop to protect and improve soil and nutrient conditions. After October 1 of each year, the property reverts back to the Department for use by the general public for recreation purposes.

This information and the documentation for the RFP and lease can be found in PDF form here on the RI DEM site.

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