Middletown, R.I. – May 14, 2019 – Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) announces the opening of nine raised garden beds at Spruce Acres Farm, now available for public use. The beds were constructed in April 2019 as part of an Earth Day volunteer event held at the property, which is located at 1286 East Main Road in Middletown. ALT permanently conserved the 22.67-acre parcel in 2017.

“We encourage Islanders to take advantage of this wonderful setup,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director. “Our purpose in providing the gardens is to inspire people to grow some of their own produce and to spend more time outdoors, enjoying the natural world; it is truly an idyllic spot, with 1.5 miles of nature trails, picnic tables, and benches on the property.”

The garden beds are 8’x4’ and are filled with a compost and soil mixture. The area has an 8’ deer fence and is located next to the property’s parking lot. There is water on-site and there will be a garden bench inside the fenced area. The cost to rent a garden bed is $50 per year; the season runs from April through November. Spruce Acres Farm is open from dawn until dusk daily. Registration is now open through the Spruce Acres page of the land trust’s website, at https://ailt.org/trails-maps/spruce-acres-farm/, or by calling 401-849-2799.

Middletown, R.I. – May 2, 2019 – Aquidneck Land Trust announces a lecture on climate change given by Dr. Martha McConnell on Wednesday, May 8, at Rogers High School in Newport. The free event will take place at 7:00 p.m. and is titled “Climate and Ocean Changes: A View from the Polar Regions.” Dr. McConnell’s talk will focus on how changes in the polar regions affect residents of Rhode Island in a variety of ways, including sea level rise. Options for responding to climate change will be discussed.

The talk is underwritten by The William H. Donner Foundation, Inc., which has also supported a climate resiliency project at Rogers High School aimed at exposing students to the effects of global climate change on Aquidneck Island. Dr. McConnell will present to four science classes at the high school as part of the unit. Attendees for the May 8 talk are requested to register on the ALT website (www.ailt.org).

Dr. McConnell is an ocean scientist with A.I.S. Inc. with extensive experience in polar science, policy, and education. She has served as Visiting Professor at the United States Coast Guard Academy, teaching oceanography and atmospheric science, and adjunct at Salve Regina University. She managed the Polar Programme for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and directed studies on ocean, polar, and climate science policy issues for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). A member of The Explorers Club, Dr. McConnell holds a B.A. in Geology from Colgate University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Paleoceanography from the University of South Carolina.

Middletown, R.I. – April 29, 2019 – Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) announced that a 6.20-acre property near Third Beach Road in Middletown has been placed under conservation easement. The parcel is owned by Sandra Allen, who donated the easement to ALT. The land trust has now conserved 2,605.55 acres, spread over 81 properties on Aquidneck Island.

“This is a fantastic property with many important conservation values,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director. “It has USDA prime farmland soils, supports a variety of wildlife species, and is located within the Maidford River and Paradise Brook drinking supply watershed. This is extremely important because the streams drain into Gardiner and Nelson Ponds, which provide drinking water for our community. Sandra Allen has done a wonderful thing by permanently conserving her land, and we will all benefit from her generosity.”

The site is located within the Sakonnet Greenway of ALT-protected lands, which run along the eastern side of Aquidneck Island and total over 1,282 acres of land spread across 36 conservation easements. This corridor of connected, conserved land provides key habitat patches for a number of species. Allott noted that Allen specifically wanted to “protect the land for animals, so they can freely roam.” The property will remain private land but is protected forever from development, and will be used for agriculture and wildlife habitat.