Middletown, RI. – January 10, 2019 – The Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) has announced fifteen student winners in the 2018 Sixteen on Center Art & Writing Contest, held annually to promote the importance and value of a healthy environment to the youth of Aquidneck Island. Public and private schools were invited to submit artwork and essays (or poems) created by their students, highlighting favorite Aquidneck Island scenic vistas.

“We are thrilled with the entries for this year’s contest,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director of Aquidneck Land Trust. “The students showed incredible creativity and talent, and it’s clear that they treasure the beauty of our island. We appreciate the wonderful participation in the contest and are pleased to award prizes to the students and their schools.”

The nine winners in the art category were selected by popular vote using the social media platform Facebook:
• Lev Wyllie, grade 1, Pell Elementary School (first place K-4)
• Austin O’Brien, grade 1, Pell Elementary School (second place K-4)
• William Kimes, grade 1, Pell Elementary School (third place K-4)
• Nichelle Collier, grade 7, Thompson Middle School (first place gr. 5-8)
• Jazelle Ramos, grade 5, Thompson Middle School (second place gr. 5-8)
• Tess Margolis, grade 5, Thompson Middle School (third place gr. 5-8)
• Katherine Warner, Rogers High School (first place gr. 9-12)
• Jonathan Guzman, Rogers High School (second place gr. 9-12)
• Jaden Petrie, Rogers High School (third place gr. 9-12)

A panel of judges selected six winners in the writing category.
• Thais Jackson, grade 6, The Pennfield School (first place gr. 5-8)
• Isabel Swain, grade 7, The Pennfield School (second place gr. 5-8)
• Lila Bragan, grade 6, The Pennfield School (third place gr. 5-8)
• Aspen Pearson, grade 7, Thompson Middle School (honorable mention)
• Madison Biastre, grade 7, Thompson Middle School (honorable mention)
• Charlotte Colby, grade 6, The Pennfield School (honorable mention)

Winners will each receive a cash prize, awarded at the ALT Annual Meeting on February 7, 2019. The schools of the first-place winners will also receive a cash prize to further the goal of educating students about the environment.

“We are very grateful to our sponsor, Sixteen on Center, for their generosity and commitment to environmental education,” said Allott. “It is a wonderful example of the community support given to ALT and other non-profits on Aquidneck Island.” Sixteen on Center is a design/build company based in Tiverton, RI.

Middletown, R.I. – January 2, 2019 – Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) and the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust announce that the Blue Garden, a historic Newport property designed from 1910–1918 by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., has been placed under permanent conservation easement. The 3.68-acre property will remain under the ownership and care of the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, which donated the easement, and function as it has since its restoration in 2014. It is the 80th property conserved by ALT since its founding in 1990.
“The Blue Garden is a phenomenal property and we are absolutely thrilled to work with the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust to preserve it,” said ALT Executive Director Chuck Allott. “It has very significant conservation and historic values, and is a notable addition to the list of conserved lands on Aquidneck Island.” Properties under conservation easement are protected in perpetuity from development.
“The Blue Garden should at all times be a reflection of the aesthetics, health, maintenance, and love that represent our mother’s vision for the garden, her generosity in rescuing this important place, and her faith that those standards are never compromised,” said Matthew Hamilton. “For this reason, the Hamilton Family has partnered with the Aquidneck Land Trust knowing they will provide unwavering dedication to our shared goals.”
Originally designed for Newport residents Arthur Curtis and his wife, Harriett Parsons James, the Blue Garden was unveiled in 1913 in a celebratory event that was chronicled in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. After the owners’ deaths in 1941, the garden fell into disrepair. The James’ mansion on the property was destroyed by fire in 1967 and later demolished, the land subdivided into lots and sold. In 2012, Newport philanthropist and horticulturist Dorrance Hamilton, who had purchased the property, hired Providence-based Parker Construction and Cambridge-based Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture and other consultants to recreate the garden from archival material at the Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, and other repositories including the Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport. Groups and individuals associated with garden design, landscape architecture, horticulture or historic preservation may request a tour on Thursdays from mid-June through mid-October; information is on the website: www.thebluegarden.org/visiting.