The Rhode Island Blueways Alliance and the Rhode Island Land Trust Council work in partnership on the ExploreRI website, the Blueways Alliance focusing on the paddling side and the Land Trust Council focus on the land trail side.
About the Blueways Alliance:
The Blueways project began in 2006 when the Rhode Island Rivers Council and the National Park Service Rivers & Trails program brought together diverse interests from throughout the state to discuss and plan a comprehensive water trail network. The trails would link Rhode Island's rivers, lakes and ponds to Narragansett Bay and to the rivers in Massachsuetts that flow into the bay, and be used to promote safety, conservation, recreation and economic development. The Rhode Island Blueways Alliance incorporated in the state of Rhode Island as a non-profit corporation in late 2007 and now manages the Blueways project and this web site.
The Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, with organizational affiliations*:
- Bruce Hooke, President
- Chuck Horbert, Vice President, RI Department of Environmental Management
- Meg Kerr, Treasurer. Land and Water Partnership
- Bruce Campbell, Secretary, Friends of the Moshassuck
- Jim Cole, Rhode Island Canoe Kayak Association
- David Stewart
- Glenn Ricci
* Board members do not represent these organizations on the Council. The affiliations are listed to show the board members' connections to paddling and to conservation.
About the Rhode Island Land Trust Council
The Rhode Island Land Trust Council is a coalition of the state’s land trusts. Rhode Island has over 45 land trusts ... non-profit organizations that were formed to protect land in order to save the special places, open spaces, natural areas, scenic views, farm lands, and drinking water supplies in their communities.
Only a few Rhode Island land trusts have staff - the others are entirely volunteer organizations. People across the state volunteer 100's of hours to preserve and manage our communities' most valued open space lands.
In 2013, Rhode Island Land Trust Council teamed up with the Blueways Alliance to add the walking trails section to ExploreRI website. Land trusts are protecting some of the state’s best places to get outdoors, take a walk and enjoy Rhode Island’s beautiful landscapes. We want it to be easy for Rhode Islanders and visitors to find and enjoy these places. So we are putting trail maps and trail information for all land trust trails on ExploreRI. We keep adding information about more trails as land trusts develop new trails and prepare new maps of their trail networks. So check back to ExploreRI periodically to find a new place to take a walk and discover some of the state’s hidden gems.
For more information about the Rhode Island Land Trust Council and to find links to land trusts go to the Council’s website at www.RILandTrusts.org.
The Rhode Island's Blueways network came into being through the contributions of the following formative partners and contributors (listed alphabetically):
- The Blackstone River Heritage Corridor for assistance with compiling the data on the sites on the Blackstone River.
- The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council for their advice, input and support for the project and especially for working with us on developing the paddle tour packages.
- The Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) for sharing their coast access and Daytripper's Guide to Rhode Island data sets with us and for other support and assistance along the way.
- Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) and especially the Kayak School at Lincoln Woods State Park.
- The Greenways Alliance of Rhode Island, which has partnered with us in this effort and generously allowed us to publish numerous articles about the Blueways project in their quarterly newsletter Trail Mix.
- Mike Krabach for generously allowing us to use the data from his website in compiling the data on access sites on this website.
- Ed Mullen for generously allowing us to use the data from his book Kayaking Narragansett Bay in compiling the data on access sites on this website.
- Narragansett Bay Estuary Program: The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) works with local partners on science, restoration and conservation throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed. NBEP's Meg Kerr has worked on the Blueways project since it began.
- National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program: John Monroe assisted during the start-up and launch of Blueways with coalition building, outreach and events. Rivers & Trails staff across the country provide technical assistance for conservation and recreation projects.
- The New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund
- The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for providing a great deal of data that provided the foundation for many of the boat launching listings on this website, and for their general support of this project.
- Rhode Island Foundation
- Rhode Island RC&D Council
- The Rhode Island Rivers Council, which provided the original funding for the website.
- South County Tourism Council
- Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association. WPWA's mission is to promote and protect the integrity of the lands and waters of the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed. WPWA promotes sustainable recreational use of the river and other natural areas in the watershed and has been an active supporter of Blueways.
- Taunton River Watershed Alliance is helping us gather data on the many boat launches and paddling opportunities in the Taunton River Watershed.
- Plus many other individuals, businesses, tourism organizations and other who have been generous with their time and resources!
- Read the national feature release about Rhode Island Blueways sent out by the Rhode Island Blueways Alliance in partnership with the National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program and Rhode Island Tourism Division.
- PaddleRI 2008, our statewide series of paddling events on Rhode Island's fresh and salt waters was a great success! Read more about it in this report (PDF format). 2009 was a great success too and we are looking forward to Paddle10 in the summer of 2010.