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Aquidneck Land Trust Announces 2014 Merritt Neighborhood Grant Winners

$7,000 will be doled out to local groups, schools and community associations for community gardens, green classrooms, daffodil bulbs and more.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

The Aquidneck Land Trust announced today the 2014 recipients of its Merritt Neighborhood Fund grants. 

This year, ALT's Merritt Fund has given $7,000 in grant awards to local neighborhood groups, schools and community associations for the preservation and use of small open spaces. 

Fifteen organizations, three more than last year, from Aquidneck Island’s three municipalities have received grants. They are:

  • Methodist Community Gardens
  • Norman Bird Sanctuary
  • Friends of Touro Park
  • Seaside Garden Club
  • The Pennfield School
  • Town of Middletown
  • St. Mary's Episcopal Church
  • Alliance for a Livable Newport
  • Edward King House
  • Newport Tree Society
  • Seaman's Church Institute
  • The Giving Basket
  • East Bay Community Action Program
  • Melville Park Committee 
  • National Society of the Colonial Dames in America of Rhode Island. 
All of this year's grant recipients were chosen because their proposed projects represent Peter Merritt's vision of fostering a greater sense of community and connection to the land through small scale land conservation and beautification projects.

This year's grant awards will be used to expand community gardens that provide food to local shelters, creation of a school community garden, sustaining a children's green classroom learning program, the purchase of daffodil bulbs, construction of a tunnel greenhouse, installation of public access bike racks, and to plant and maintain trees and flowers at various locations on the Island.

The Merritt Neighborhood Fund at the Aquidneck Land Trust was established in 1999 to honor the late Peter M. Merritt, the organization's visionary Board President Emeritus, for his decade of leadership. The purpose of the fund is to provide modest ($100 - $2,500) grants to Aquidneck Island neighborhood and community groups. To date, the Merritt Fund has awarded $84,000 to over 44 local groups for community gardens, park revitalization, repair and purchase of playground equipment and for landscaping.

ALT's time-sensitive mission is to conserve Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community. The organization has conserved 2,444.37 acres on 71 properties across Aquidneck Island since its founding in 1990. ALT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the first land trust in Rhode Island to have received national accreditation. For more information, visit www.AquidneckLandTrust.org

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