Portsmouth conservation effort gets $300K boost

The effort by the Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) to save the 70-acre St. Mary's Church land in Portsmouth got a big boost this week in the form of a $300K grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, ALT announced today.

With this grant, the ALT effort is just about $160K from their goal of $3M which needs to be raised by May, 2013, the group said in a statement.

"The van Beuren Charitable Foundation has done so much to help us permanently protect Aquidneck Island’s remaining farms, forests, water resource areas, parks, scenic vistas and wildlife habitat," said Ted Clement, ALT Executive Director. "Their focused support of land conservation on the island has helped us build and protect a large, and interconnected, foundation of natural resources which will help sustain our island for generations to come. We cannot thank them enough.”

The St. Mary’s Church land between East Main Road and the St. Mary’s Pond Reservoir in Portsmouth, and is located next to a number of previously conserved parcels within ALT’s Center Island Greenway thereby building upon and enhancing this past conservation work. The land also falls within the St. Mary’s Pond Watershed, directly abutting the St. Mary’s Pond Reservoir area with over 1,000 ft. of frontage on the reservoir property. The St. Mary’s Church land therefore acts as a natural buffer protecting this important island water reservoir from harmful runoff.

ALT has conserved 2,385.63 acres on 65 properties on Aquidneck Island since its founding in 1990. ALT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the first land trust in Rhode Island to have received national accreditation. For more information, visit www.AquidneckLandTrust.org.

Editorial note: Written from a press release.