Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) announced today that it has awarded ten grants totaling $12,427 to local communities and neighborhood groups through its annual grant program, the Merritt Neighborhood Fund. The scholarships ranged from $465 to $2,000.
Established in 1999 to honor the late Peter M. Merritt, the organization’s Chairman Emeritus, the Fund supports projects that strengthen community identity and character and model the ethics of conservation and land stewardship. through community volunteering. It has awarded grants every year since its founding, distributing more than $159,000 in total. A committee of ALT volunteers and board members determines the awards.
“We love seeing the creative and thoughtful projects that neighborhood groups and small nonprofits come up with each year,” ALT executive director Chuck Allott said in a statement included in a press release. “For 23 years, our modest grants have had an inordinate impact on the beautification of our community and the installation of gardens, landscaping and other public improvements. This year’s winners continue the Merritt Fund’s tradition of connecting people to nature and improving the island for all.
Prizes were awarded to the following candidates:
- Aquidneck Community Table: Repairs to the Garden of Great Friends
- Common Fence Point Improvement Association: Rain Garden
- God’s Community Garden: aerobic compost bin and herb garden
- Island Youth Lacrosse: Trees for Recreational Grounds
- John Clarke Senior Living: raised garden beds
- Newport Boys & Girls Club: creating an edible garden
- Newport Mental Health: Pollinator Garden and ADA Garden
- Newport Tree Conservancy: 25 trees at Miantonomi Park
- Norman Bird Sanctuary: Improvements to Mabel’s Garden
- Old Fort Road Pocket Park: Replacing Invasive Plants with Native Species
Information about the 2023 Merritt Neighborhood Awards will be announced in February 2023, according to ALT.