Community Development Press Releases

RIDEM Public Meeting Announcement

Public Meeting Announcement

Topic: Bay View Avenue, Bristol – Plat 47 / Lot 4
When: May 11, 2022, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Bristol Parks and Recreation Department Building, Quinta-Gamelin Community Center Meeting Room (101 Asylum Road, Bristol, RI 02809)

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM’s) Office of Land Revitalization and Sustainable Materials Management’s Targeted Brownfield Assessment (TBA) Program is providing notice to the community that a public meeting for the Bay View Avenue property in Bristol, further designated as Plat 47, Lot 4, will be conducted on May 11, 2022, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Bristol’s Parks and Recreation Department Building.

This meeting is being held to educate the community about RIDEM’s TBA Program and to discuss future assessment activities to be completed at Plat 47 / Lot 4. The community will have an opportunity to learn about the prior use of the Site, the anticipated use of the Site in the future, and how the assessment activities completed by RIDEM will help Bristol transform this property. It is also an opportunity for the community to provide RIDEM with any knowledge they might have about this particular property and voice any concerns.

Should you not be able to make the meeting and have any questions and/or concerns regarding this project, please contact:

Rachel Simpson
R.I. Department of Environmental Management
Office of Land Revitalization & Sustainable Materials Management
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-2797 ext. 2777105
Email: [email protected]

Administration Community Development Press Releases

Arbor Day Foundation Recognizes Bristol as a Tree City USA®


Arbor Day Foundation
Lauren Weyers
[email protected]

ArborDay Foundation Recognizes Bristol as a Tree City USA®
Bristol earns the Tree City USA recognition for its commitment to urban forestry

LINCOLN, Nebraska (3/18/2022)- Bristol was named a 2021 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Bristol achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: forming a tree board or department,  creating a tree-care ordinance, having an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor  Day observance and proclamation.  The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor  Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“Tree City USA communities benefit from the positive effects that an urban tree canopy has year after year,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor  Day Foundation. “The trees being planted and cared for by Bristol ensure that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program  helps  cultivate a sense of stewardship and pride for the trees the community plants  and cares for.”

Planting trees in an urban space comes with a myriad of benefits past the recognition of this program. Urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25%, which will reduce general energy costs and help with the overall cooling of the city as well. In addition, members of the community benefit from properly placed trees as they increase property values from 7-to 20%. Trees also positively affect the local ecosystem by helping to clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.

More information on the program is available at

About the Arbor  Day  Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members,  supporters, and valued partners, Since 1972, almost 500 million  Arbor  Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.

As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners, and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees. More information is available at


Community Development Press Releases

Bristol Awarded One of 25 Nationwide Love Our Byways™ Grants, Announces Daffodil Planting Event

Bristol, RI– On Thursday, the Town of Bristol announced a $2,000 micro-grant award through the new Love Our Byways program. These funds, which were awarded by the National Scenic Byway Foundation, American Park Network, and Official Automotive Partner Toyota Motor North America, will help support the beautification of Bristol’s Revolutionary Heritage Byway (Route 114).

The Love Our Byways™ program was launched in 2021 by the National Scenic Byway Foundation to, “…energize byway organizations to maximize community volunteer involvement. Winning projects will improve or enhance the byway’s “scenic viewshed” by improving an existing view through clean-ups, plantings and other enhancements, or by mitigating a poor or unsightly viewshed.”

In conjunction with the national Love Our Byways™ program, the Town of Bristol has partnered with the Bristol Garden Club to host a daffodil planting event on Saturday, September 25th, 2021, at 10:00 AM. 

The event begins at Roger Williams University (One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809) and is open to the public. Daffodils will be planted in strategic locations along Route 114.

Community members are encouraged to show their support of Bristol’s Revolutionary Heritage Byway (Route 114) on social media by using the hashtags #letsgoplaces, #toyotapartner, #loveourbyways, and #scenicbyway.

To sign up to volunteer, please email [email protected] or call 401-253-3939.

For more information on Bristol’s Daffodil Planting Event, please visit the event page at:

The event is sponsored Toyota Motor North America, Bristol Toyota, the National Scenic Byway Foundation, and the American Park Network.


Community Development Press Releases

Bristol Announces Additional Bike Project Workshops

  • Thames Street:    January 25, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 516803
Or join by phone: Dial +1 301 715 8592 
Webinar ID: 998 3975 3997

  • Ferry Road and Hope Street:  January 26, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 620132
Or join by phone:  Dial +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 973 8589 3200

  • Wood Street, Walley Street, Franklin Street, and State Street: January 28, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 038027
Or join by phone: Dial +1 301 715 8592 
Webinar ID: 958 8516 8430

  • High Street,  Constitution Street, Church Street, Washington St.: February 3, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 162251
Or join by phone: Dial +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 950 1509 9979

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

BRISTOL, RI-The Town of Bristol is currently assessing ways to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections between the East Bay Bike Path, downtown Bristol, and the southern end of Town.  The linkage of these areas along with cultural and historic sites and neighborhoods by improved sidewalks and bike connections has been a Town goal for several decades.    

The Town was fortunate to receive a grant from the RIDEM Bikeways Program to fund the feasibility study that is now being undertaken.

The overall goals of the project are:

  • to improve overall safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles;  
  • to foster economic growth in downtown Bristol by making it more accessible to cyclists; and,
  • to create a more bicycle friendly downtown as a first step in an overall bicycle network throughout Town.

To achieve these goals, we are exploring enhancements and improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians that:

  • can be constructed in Phases as funding becomes available;
  • are designed to be financially feasible to construct and low cost to maintain;
  • create great rider/pedestrian experiences; and,
  • are highly visible/perceptible to users, potential users and surrounding areas through wayfinding signage, and pavement markings.

This planning project began in the Summer of 2020, and several public workshops and presentations to the Town Council were held in the Fall to present and receive feedback on several possible bicycle routes. Initially a goal of the project was to identify a single route that would connect the points from north to the south. However, many participants in the public sessions expressed an interest in improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities across the project area, instead of having a single designated “bike route”.

Taking that input to heart, the project team has reconfigured the project to propose improvements to several streets in downtown Bristol. Streets that already have adequate sidewalks would receive pavement markings for shared bicycle use, improved crosswalks/stop markings and wayfinding signage. All on-street parking would remain the same under the proposed plan. The west side of Ferry Road and a portion of Hope Street would receive a multi-use path to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

The project team has prepared draft plans, drawings and illustrations to show how these proposals would be implemented and they are available to review via a link from the Town of Bristol Website at or on the project website at: .

Additionally, the Town is hosting a series of neighborhood meetings to present and discuss the bicycle project design in more detail with each of the various neighborhoods.

These meetings will be virtual teleconferences via Zoom in accordance with the COVID 19 requirements.  

We invite you to join the workshop for the night where your neighborhood is indicated.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

For questions, please contact Diane M. Williamson, Director of Community Development [email protected] or 401-253-7000 ext. 126.


Community Development Press Releases

Bike Connector Update: Community Input Period Extended to November 10th

To allow more time for community members to study the project information and participate in the route evaluation process, the period for community input has been extended until November 10, 2020.  Key opportunities for participation will be:

  • Catch up on updated project information on the Bristol Bike Connector project website.
  • New Route Alternatives Map reflecting community input from the August 24, 2020 Community Outreach Meeting.
  • Updated details on potential bicycle/pedestrian facilities for Route Alternatives.
  • Project Information Booth at the State Street Fair on Saturday, September 19, 2020. 
  • Public input comments accepted and integrated in project planning through November 10, 2020.
  • Project update to the Bristol Town Council at its regularly scheduled September 30, 2020 meeting.
  • Community Outreach Meeting #2 on October 22, 2020. This will be a virtual meeting and the link will be available through the project website.
  • Public Hearing with Bristol Town Council (Date TBD).


Community Development Media Mentions

DEM Awards $569,500 in Grants to Improve Water Quality and Reduce Flooding, RI Press Release

Community Development Press Releases

Stony Hedge Farm Preserved Through Purchase Of Conservation Easement


January 16, 2019

BRISTOL, RI-Bristol Town  Administrator  Steven Contente is pleased to announce the purchase of a conservation easement for the Stony Hedge Farm located at 1362 Hope Street.   The Town of Bristol and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resource Conservation  Service (NRCS) have partnered to purchase the development rights to the Stony Hedge Farm property located on 7 acres of land at 1362  Hope  Street.    The Town of Bristol and the NRCS  each contributed  50 percent of the funds towards the $426,000.00 purchase price.  Town funds were authorized through a bond referendum approved by voters in 2016.   USDA funds were provided through the Agricultural  Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) administered through NRCS.

The Stony Hedge Farm is owned by William B. White and is one of only a few active farms remaining in Bristol.   Its preservation will ensure that this property remains agricultural in perpetuity.   The Stony  Hedge Farm currently houses several horses and is also used for the production of vegetables.   The farm property is also located adjacent to over  100 acres of Town-owned open space in the north-central portion of Bristol.  Town Administrator  Contente said “I am proud that this piece of Bristol’s agricultural land will be preserved and wish to thank the NRCS for their assistance and funding. I especially  want to thank Mr. White for his commitment  to preserve his land for future generations.”  Working with the NRCS  and  Mr.  White,  the  Bristol Department of Community  Development, coordinated all aspects of this farmland preservation project.     “Farmland Preservation is an important goal of the Town and a  priority in the Town’s Comprehensive  Plan.   We are grateful to Mr. White and are pleased that we could help him with the preservation of his wonderful farm,” said Diane M. Williamson, Director of Community Development

The Stony Hedge Farm remains privately owned, with the Town of Bristol and USDA holding a conservation easement on the property which prevents its development and ensures that it remains in agricultural use.