Ruth S. and Leonard P. Perfido established Block Island Conservancy’s Eric Jess Spirer Fund in 2004 in memory of their son and stepson, Eric, who died suddenly in 2001 at the age of 32. The initial $35,000 fund provided for the maintenance of 10 acres of rolling Block Island land surrounded and crossed by stonewalls. The rolling fields are an example of the geological formation of the Block Island topography at the end of the last ice age about 9000 years ago when the edge of the glacier was melting and depositing clay, sand and rock on what became Block Island. The stonewalls are an example of the clearing of the stone, deposited by the glacier, to create fields that were farmed from the late 1600’s to the early 20th century. Eric loved Block Island and often commented on the beauty of these fields. The Perfidos felt that in the next ten years as the protected land on Block Island reaches 50% and development reaches 100% building out, the stewardship of Block Island Conservancy land would become the focus of fundraising rather than the purchase of land. Their intent was to set up a model for Block Island Conservancy to promote the establishment of stewardship funds for other Conservancy land. The Perfidos plan to continue to add funds to the Eric Jess Spirer Fund so that in the future it will provide stewardship funds for a growing number of properties on Block Island.