2014-07-31 / Around Town

Island Initiatives Recognized


Barbara van Beuren presented an award for The Meeting Room at Queen Anne Square to NRF’s Pieter Roos and Newport Public Services Director William Riccio. Barbara van Beuren presented an award for The Meeting Room at Queen Anne Square to NRF’s Pieter Roos and Newport Public Services Director William Riccio. More than 50 Aquidneck Island community leaders – including representatives from neighborhood and cultural groups as well as state and municipal officials – joined with board and staff from Grow Smart Rhode Island on July 17 for a “friendraising” reception in Honyman Hall at Trinity Episcopal Church. The event, which was hosted by Grow Smart Board member and Aquidneck Island resident Barbara van Beuren, provided the opportunity for Grow Smart to honor two local initiatives that received Rhode Island Smart Growth awards this year. It also provided a forum for Aquidneck Island leaders and Grow Smart board and staff to talk informally about their shared interest in enhancing quality of place and quality of life.

Van Beuren presented an Outstanding Smart Growth Project Award for The Meeting Room at Queen Anne Square to Newport Restoration Foundation Executive Director Pieter Roos and Newport Public Services Director William Riccio.

Praising the transformation of the square into “a vibrant destination in the center of colonial Newport which celebrates the best of smart growth principles at work,” she congratulated NRF and the city for their collaborative efforts.

The Smart Growth Leadership Award went to Bike Newport and Bari Freeman. Newport has been recognized as the first Bicycle Friendly Community in Rhode Island by the League of American Bicyclists.

In addition to its many initiatives, Grow Smart has worked with partners to get several critical bond issues on the November ballot. The $35 million Creative and Cultural Economy Bond would fund the rehabilitation of a number of art and cultural facilities, including the Newport Opera House, and also includes a pool of funding for grants to public historic buildings such as town halls, museums and libraries.

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