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by Rosemary Tobin

This is my first blog. I am kind of shy about blogging, which is funny.  If you know me the word "shy" does not come up very much, but this is such a success I have to share.

I am on the board for the Block Island Conservancy and this year we are celebrating 40 years of conservation on Block Island.  Through contributions and donation of land the various conservancy groups have be able to preserve 43.59% of the land in the last forty years.  The goal of the conservancy groups is 50% and hopefully beyond that.  Below is the mission of the Block Island Conservancy which can be viewed on the website www.biconsevancy.org 

"The Conservancy’s purpose is to protect Block Island’s natural heritage, rural character, and access to its resources. This is accomplished primarily by preserving land as open space through acquisition or via conservation easement. In 1972, when Captain John R. Lewis and other Island residents founded Block Island Conservancy, local land trusts were a little known idea. The efforts of this determined group generated such a strong grass-roots support that The Nature Conservancy, an international organization with similar goals, committed its talent and expertise to Block Island projects. Although similar in name, there is no formal affiliation between the two organizations.

They have worked together for years as partners in land protection, each complementing the strength of the other, to secure common goals. More than 40% of the Island is preserved as open space in perpetuity; a legacy that will be passed to future generations. This achievement provides recreational areas, preserves scenic views, protects crucial habitats for rare plants and animals, and protects the natural recharging of the Island’s sole source aquifer, its only water supply. But there is still much to be done. All open land is critical to maintaining the heritage and character that is Block Island."

     On Sunday, September 9th, we celebrated the 40th Anniversary at the infamous Sullivan House on Block Island.  It truly is one of the most beautiful locations on the Island. Lila Delman Real Estate “conserved” a table for the event. Kay, Leo and I joined with some of our friends and supporters to proudly represent Lila Delman. The event was a great success and super fun.  We dined and danced to the most fabulous band, The Beantown Swing Orchestra. www.beantownswing.com   I am not sure if anyone has ever been to one of their shows or seen them at an event, but they are extremely talented and so fun to watch and dance to.

The event was not only a celebration of the forty years but also a fund raiser for a project that Block Island Conservancy is working on right now, The Solviken Solution.   The Solviken property involves three lots totaling an acre and half that are an “in town” location.  It is an area that has been treasured for years by locals and visitors to sit and have lunch, watch the ocean and park to go surfing. It is a fragile area between the ocean and Harbor Pond.  Block Island Conservancy together with the Block Island Land Trust have made it top priority to purchase this property so that it can continue to be adored.  Two of the lots were obtained this past spring with the help of an abutter. The remaining lot has a purchase deadline by November so we are still trying to reach that goal.

If you are interested in helping the Solviken Solution please visit the website at www.biconservancy.org.

They call Block Island “one of the last great places.” Block Island Conservancy with the efforts of its donations and collaboration with other conservancy groups will make sure that the Island stays a place for people that live here and visit to enjoy for years and years to come.

I love history and I often feel disappointed that I am not going to see the world in a hundred years.  Being a part of something that preserves a piece of land, a view or wildlife makes me feel that I am going to live forever!

It really is terrific what you are doing. Love to see people give back to the places that they love. Nice job Rosemary. And keep blogging-you did a great job!!