2017-07-27 / Around Town

Merritt Fund Grants Awarded

Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) has awarded 15 grants totaling over $14,000 to local community and neighborhood groups through its annual grant program, the Merritt Neighborhood Fund. Grant awards ranged from $250 to $2,000.

Established in 1999 to honor the late Peter M. Merritt, the organization’s president emeritus, the fund supports projects that strengthen community identity and character, and which model the ethic of land conservation and stewardship through community volunteerism. A recent donation of $50,000 to the Merritt Neighborhood Fund from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation allowed ALT to offer more grants than in previous years.

“We are delighted to announce the recipients of this year’s awards and are excited to see the completed projects,” said Chuck Allott, ALT executive director. “A generous gift from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation allowed us to increase the number of awards given this year, and we will be able to sustain this higher level for several years. It is really a pleasure to support these projects as they will have a tremendous positive impact on thousands of Aquidneck Island residents and visitors.”

The process to apply for the 2018 Merritt Neighborhood Awards will be announced in February. For more information on ALT and its programming, visit ailt.org.

2017 Award Winners

Emmanuel Church and School: creation of raised garden beds ($500)

Daffodillian: purchase of daffodil bulbs ($1,000)

Friends of King Park: plantings for Rochambeau Wall Garden ($965)

God’s Garden: vegetable garden improvements ($1,837)

Norman Bird Sanctuary: purchase and installation of deerproof fencing ($1,200)

Newport Tree Society: signage for Miantonomi Park ($2,000)

The Pennfield School: creation of pollinator garden ($700)

. Portsmouth Middle School: creation of vegetable garden ($1,000), plus rain barrel

Portsmouth Dog Park: park improvements ($1,000)

Portsmouth Garden Club: improvements to Legion Park ($250)

Prudence Conservancy/Farnham Farm: improvements to community garden ($1,000)

Rogers High School: improvements to vegetable garden ($612)

Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation: purchase and installation of tree and plant tags ($500)

Town of Middletown: bench installation at Paradise Park ($1,200) City of Newport/Plug Park: planting ($500)

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