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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » Forest Health Works Project
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dgregg on 07 Apr 2010 12:03 pm

Forest Health Works Project


Welcome to the Forest Health Works Project (FHWP).  Rhode Island’s forests contribute significantly to the state’s economy and environment yet their health is in jeopardy due to a growing number of threats. The FHWP is an effort to combat one particular forest threat — non-native invasive plants. FHWP was funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant (a federal stimulus grant) from 2009 through 2011. This page includes information on the project during that period. Two parts of the FHWP are going forward on their own and we hope they will be part of the long term return on the ARRA investment–the Rhody Native plant project and the Rhode Island Youth Conservation League.

If you’d like to read about the FHWP accomplishments, the FHWP report is available in various formats. You can read the:
Executive Summary
Longer Summary
Full Report (The full report is too large to post (2 GB), so if you’d like a copy, please contact the RINHS office.)
Data Deliverable (Map data from the project should be available on RIGIS in early 2012.)

The Forest Health Works Project has been a partnership between the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and RINHS, with the assistance of numerous other organizations. Beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2011 this project will inventory, manage, and restore up to 50,000 acres of forestland Rhode Island.

The FHWP is uniquely focused on job training and job creation – it is a “Works Project”.  Funded through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Forest Service, the FHWP will provide training and employment opportunities for Rhode Islanders in the landscaping, arborist, nursery, and related industries.

This is a long-term investment in forest health. Ultimately, the projects completed through the FHWP help ensure the long term productivity and biodiversity of our forestlands.  Our goal: “To Make Forest Health Work!”

One Response to “Forest Health Works Project”

  1. on 14 Aug 2010 at 8:05 am 1.Deborah Arnold said …

    I read in the Providence Journal about the grant that will help improve our Forests here in RI.
    I walk the trails of Goddard Park, in Warwick’s Potowomet section, daily and have for many years.
    I have seen such a change in the once dense forest, due to the tenacious vines you mentioned in the Prov. Journal article. I have included a little history about the forest in Goddard Park as I think it is noteworthy that this once private estate was donated to the State of Rhode Island with the provision that it be maintained. Understandably, money isn’t always available for the purpose of reforestation, but now that it is, I sincerely hope you will consider this Park in your goals for healthier forests here in RI. I encourage you to come and walk the trails (most importantly the trails on the east side of the park).

    Goddard Park ’s 489.2 acres in Warwick has had a colorful history down through the years. As a private estate Goddard Park had been richly endowed with spacious lawns and fields and forested areas wherein there were trees from all over the world,
    The wooded portion which amounts to more than 200 acres abounds with fine specimens of red and white pine, red and white oak, larch, Douglas fir and almost every kind deciduous trees which are hardy in this climate. This tract is the result of a carefully thought out course of reforestation covering a long period of years, and has been described by the United States Department of Forestry, as “the finest example of private forestry in America “.
    The 1935 hurricane raised great havoc with the wooded areas of the reservation and many valuable trees and plants were lost. (Information gathered from the riparks.com/goddardhistory/htm website.)
    *Note:There was a reforestation program after the hurricane of 1935.

    Unfortunately, there has been no upkeep or reforestation program in this beautiful stretch of park, probably since 1935. It is shameful to see such a loss of forest. I sincerely hope that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant funding for Forest Service can help control and improve the health of the Goddard Park’s Forest. I urge you to look at the Goddard Park website, it has a very long history and the donor’s intention was clearly to preserve these 489 acres for future generations to enjoy.

    Thank you for your consideration.


    Deborah Arnold

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