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Middletown, R.I. – January 15, 2020 – Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) will offer a third series of courses about bird biology, taught by Dr. Charles Clarkson, ALT board member and professional ornithologist. The series, “Amazing Birds III,” is open to all, regardless of the participant’s level of bird knowledge.
Classes will take place at the Greenvale Vineyards tasting room, 582 Wapping Road, in Portsmouth. They will be held on April 7, 15, 21 and 28, from 6:00–7:30 p.m. There will be two Saturday field trips on April 18 and May 9, from 8:00–10:00 a.m. The field trips will focus on the birds that pass through Rhode Island on migration. The cost is $125 for ALT members and $150 for non-members; check the ALT website or call 401-849-2799, ext. 10, for registration.
Dr. Clarkson received his doctorate from the University of Virginia, where his primary focus was on the impact of mercury on the growth and development of nesting waterbirds. He moved to Rhode Island in 2011 and has taught at Salve Regina and Roger Williams Universities. In 2015, Charles was employed as the coordinator for the Rhode Island Bird Atlas, a five-year, statewide project aimed at documenting the distribution and abundance of the state’s birds. In addition to coordinating the project, Charles serves as a board member for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and ALT, and as the co-chair of the Conservation Committee for the International Waterbird Society.

Middletown, RI. – January 15, 2020 – The Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) has announced 18 student winners in the 2019 ALT Art & Writing Contest, held annually to promote the importance and value of a healthy environment. Students at Aquidneck Island schools were invited to enter artwork of their favorite local vista, or written work in prose or poetry form describing the same. “We had a tremendous response to this year’s contest,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director of ALT. “Over 340 entries were submitted, and the level of talent was superb. It is clear that students on the island treasure its natural beauty.”
Art entries were judged by a panel that included Norah Dietrich, Executive Director of the Newport Art Museum; Erik Greenburg, Director of Museums at the Newport Restoration Foundation; Susan Woythaler, artist and musician; and Jonathan Gewirz, ALT board member. Written entries were judged by Annie Sherman Luke, writer; Katherine Gagliano, principal, Amplify Marketing; and Jonathan Gewirz, ALT board member. The contest was underwritten by a grant from local design/build firm Sixteen on Center.

Art winners in the kindergarten through grade four category are Oscar Villanueva Rodriguez, first place (Pell Elementary School), Leila Costa, second place (Pell Elementary School), and Margaret Berkeley, third place (Aquidneck Elementary School). Winners in the grade five through grade eight category are Jada Unger, first place (Thompson Middle School), Willow Foregger, second place (Pennfield School), and Paola Budde, third place (Thompson Middle School). Winners in the grade nine through grade twelve category are Kamden Grant, first place (Rogers High School), Samantha Durham, second place (home-schooled), Ashley Desmarais, third place (Rogers High School) and Ashley Aquilar, honorable mention (Rogers High School).

Writing winners in the grade five through grade eight category are Eva Mermin, first place, (Pennfield School), Sophie Garman, second place, (St. Michael’s School), Dashiell Seals, third place, (St. Michael’s School), Thais Jackson, honorable mention (Pennfield School) and Isabel Swain, honorable mention (Pennfield School). Winners in the grade nine through grade twelve category are Pauline Cooper, first place, Patrick Bryan, second place, and Maeve Crowley, third place, all of Rogers High School.

Awards will be presented at the ALT Annual Meeting on February 6, 2020. The school of each first-place winner will receive a $500 grant to support their environmental science curriculum. “We are very grateful to Sixteen on Center for their generosity and commitment to environmental education,” said Allott. “We also appreciate the support of local teachers, who understand the importance of protecting the island’s natural beauty and unique environment.”