Welcome to KeepSpace Westerly!
A community is more than the structures, streets, and geographic features that define its physical space. It is formed by the interactions of groups of people who live, work and play within its borders. The KeepSpace statewide community building initiative embraces the spirit of collaboration to assess the needs of these groups, identify bright spots and create a plan for positive change. Launched in August 2007 by Rhode Island Housing, KeepSpace brought together representatives from state agencies, private and nonprofit housing professionals, community agencies, and organizational leaders with the common goal of building better, more sustainable and thriving communities.
Westerly was one of the original four KeepSpace communities selected in 2007. The planning phase of the KeepSpace Westerly process kicked off in November 2010 and lasted for one year, culminating in a Community Design Plan, finalized in the autumn of 2011. We are now in the implementation phase, during which catalytic projects will be nurtured and funded, in accordance with the Community Design Plan, under the guidance of the KeepSpace Westerly Implementation Review Panel. The Westerly Land Trust is financial agent and custodian for KeepSpace Westerly.
ARISTA Award for Rhode Island: KeepSpace Westerly
KeepSpace Westerly was recently the winner of the annual ARISTA Award from the Sustainable Tourism Lab, an arm of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. The award was accompanied by a $250 cash grant and some very nice citations from Governor Chafee, Senator Whitehouse, and Representative Cicilline. Here’s our portion of the award citation:
Downtown Westerly has been selected to become a KeepSpace Community – a unique and innovative opportunity to create new homes, support business and economic development, and protect the environment. The project we commend focuses on the areas around the train station and the Main Street riverfront, and how they connect to one another, the rest of downtown, and the neighborhoods that surround them, such as the North End and Wilcox East, as well as downtown Pawcatuck. Sustainable tourism planning integrates multiple sectors, involves citizens’ groups, private corporations, government and individuals, providing the widest possible benefits to the community. According to Dr. Bob Billington, president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and executive director of the Sustainable Tourism Lab, “The ARISTA is presented to organizations that regard the protection and appropriate economic uses of the natural and human environment as vital.”
Please feel free to explore this site and, better yet, get involved. For more information, contact Mark Gordon at 401-954-2029 or email@example.com.
Thanks to the New London Day for the images at the top of this page.