By: Tim Studebaker

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The approval of Rhode Island ballot question 3 means $47.3 million in bond money will be used to improve water quality, as well as clean up land, build recreational areas, and more.  But, the money hasn't been promised to particular organizations yet.  The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council is hoping to become one of them.

The Watershed Council’s Executive Director Alicia Lehrer says, "We could not be more thrilled that there was so much support for the Green Economy Bond this year.  Actually, it was the highest support that we've seen for this type of bond in Rhode Island, ever."

There are several different categories of funding that could apply to the watershed council.

Lehrer says, "We're involved in a lot of things that connect to other things statewide."

One example: the watershed council manages the Woonasquatucket Greenway.

Lehrer says, "The bike section of the Green Economy Bond provides $5 million for bikeways, and we are very committed to connecting our Woonasquatucket Greenway, which is 7 miles, to other bikeways throughout the state."

They're also hoping funding from other sections of the bond will help them do things like install small parks, called pocket parks, along the greenway and clean up contaminated sites near the river.

Lehrer says, "Oftentimes, what happens is that these bond funds will come out in the form of grant opportunities.  When that happens, our organization and many others across the state will have a chance to apply for the funds."

To find out more about the watershed council, visit their website here:

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