Middletown, RI. – February 15, 2022 – ALT is now accepting applications for grants from the Merritt Neighborhood Fund, an endowed fund which seeks to support the preservation of small parks, community gardens, and other natural spaces on Aquidneck Island. 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. Grants typically range from $250 to $2,500.

“Merritt grants help our community to improve and beautify many of the special shared places on our island,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director of ALT. “The fund supports projects that enrich the lives of residents and help us all feel closer to nature. Collectively, the impact of these projects is tremendous and reflects our desire to connect people to the land around them.”

The projects funded last year were: Aquidneck Community Table (improvements to the Food Forest); Bike Newport (solar water pump at community gardens); Newport Boys & Girls Club (restoration of exterior landscaping); Butts Hill Fort Restoration/Portsmouth Historical Society (removal of vegetation at historic site); Daffodillion (daffodil bulbs); Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (garden beds at Portsmouth Aginnovation); God’s Community Garden (garden supplies and improvements); Norman Bird Sanctuary (vegetable garden improvements); Newport Tree Conservancy (plant 30 trees at Miantonomi Park); The Pennfield School (raised bed gardens for the outdoor classroom); Portsmouth Garden Club (improvements to three public gardens); St. John the Evangelist Church (landscaping); Town of Middletown (bike racks for public beaches). The grants totaled $18,000 in 2021.

Applications for 2022 Merritt Neighborhood Fund grants may be found on the ALT website ( Applications must be received by Monday, April 4, 2022. Award decisions will be announced in mid-May.