AILT

Aquidneck Land Trust launches high school environmental award

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 3.03.14 PM.pngAquidneck Island high school seniors involved in conservation and environmental issues will now have a chance to be recognized by The Aquidneck Land Trust and take home $1,000 with the newly created "Environmental Leadership Award," the ALT said in an e-mail today.

Each Aquidneck Island high school may nominate one senior for the award, which will go to the student who best demonstrates "leadership and/or commitment to any or all of the following: land conservation, open space, clean water, or environmentalism."

Requirements for the application are outlined in the nomination form, which can be downloaded from the ALT website www.aquidnecklandtrust.org. Deadline for nominations is March 7, 2014. For any questions, contact Jessica Pohl, Development Director, at (401) 849-2799 x18 or jpohl@ailt.org.

The award will be presented at the recipient’s school during the end-of-year awards ceremony by ALT’s Executive Director and recognized in a press release and e-newsletter announcement to ALT supporters.

ALT's time-sensitive mission is to conserve Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community. The organization has conserved 2,429.60 acres on 69 properties across Aquidneck Island since its founding in 1990. ALT is a 501©(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.

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02871, Localblogging, AILT, ALT

Aquidneck Land Trust names new Executive Director

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ALT Executive Director Chuck Allott. Photo courtesy of ALT.

On Thursday, the Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) named local attorney Chuck Allott as their new executive director, according to a message from ALT board chair Linda Ujifusa sent to local media. Here's how the Chair described their new ED:

Chuck is an attorney who has a long history of public service and working to conserve Aquidneck Island. He was one of the founders of ALT and since 1990, has been active on virtually all of ALT's committees, as well as the Board of Trustees. Chuck has specialized in real estate and municipal law in private practice, and has been an assistant town solicitor, a town councilperson, and a law school adjunct professor. Chuck stepped in as interim Executive Director on December 14, 2012, and has been working closely with our talented and experienced staff to make sure all ALT's important work proceeds uninterrupted. The Board's unanimous vote in favor of Chuck speaks volumes about our confidence that we have selected an outstanding Executive Director.

In order to ensure an effective, fair and transparent national search and hiring process, the Board consulted with stakeholders, professional strategic planning and executive search experts, as well as former ALT Executive Director, Ted Clement. This process allowed ALT to choose from among a number of extremely well-qualified candidates from across the country. A hiring subcommittee consisting of individuals with a broad range of expertise (e.g., academic/scientific, financial, communications, legal, business) then undertook in-depth credential reviews and personal interviews. A final luncheon where top candidates gave a prepared speech and answered questions before a room full of ALT supporters completed our interview process. While all the finalists were very impressive, Chuck was selected because of a broad consensus that he could best lead ALT to conserve the next 2,000 acres and steward our conserved properties, as well as maintain and build positive partnerships with ALT stakeholders. In sum, the Board selected Chuck because he would make sure that ALT continues to pursue successfully its mission of, "Preserving Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community."

Editorial note: Written from a press release.

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02871, Localblogging, AILT

ALT meets goal to save Portsmouth church land

The Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) has completed raising the $3M necessary to preserve the St. Mary's Church property in Portsmouth, the group announced in a release today. The final piece of the 14-month funding drive was a $110K grant from The Nature Conservancy via The Champlin Foundations, and ALT now plans to work on closing on the conservation rights on 70 acres between East Main Road and the St. Mary’s Pond Reservoir in Portsmouth.

“We are extremely grateful to all who contributed to our Campaign to Save the St. Mary’s Church Land," said Ted Clement, ALT Executive Director, in a statement. "All participants leveraged one another’s limited open space funds so as to permanently protect this land which is priceless to our island community because of the land’s water resource, agricultural, scenic and wildlife habitat values. We have a lot to celebrate at our July 28th summer gala, Fiesta Verde, which will be held on the beautiful and magical St. Mary’s meadows.”

With the grant from The Nature Conservancy and The Champlin Foundations, ALT has now raised enough in grant awards and cash from 3 governmental entities, 6 foundations and 40 individuals to cover the entire project budget of $3,073,894. A number of parties made significant leadership contributions including the United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service, the State of Rhode Island/Department of Environmental Management, the Town of Portsmouth, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the Prince Charitable Trusts, the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust, and The Nature Conservancy through a grant from The Champlin Foundations.

The proposed approximate 70-acre St. Mary’s Church conservation area is strategic from a conservation perspective. Pursuant to the Town of Portsmouth’s 2002 Local Recreation, Conservation and Open Space Plan, the subject land is located within a Town of Portsmouth designated Open Space and Active Agriculture Area, Resource Protection Overlay District Area and Greenways Plan Area. The St. Mary’s Church land 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’s time-sensitive mission is to conserve Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community. The organization has conserved 2,386.50 acres on 66 properties across Aquidneck Island since its founding in 1990. ALT is a 501c(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 and disclosure: Written from a press release; I am a supporter of ALT.

Tags: 
Localblogging, 02871, Preserve Portsmouth, ALT, AILT

Aquidneck Land Trust announces newly conserved Portsmouth space on Sakonnet Greenway

The Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) announced today the acquisition of a perpetual conservation easement on a 14-acre horse farm and woods off Mitchell's Lane in Portsmouth. The land, owned by C. William Welch, is located next to other conserved properties within ALT’s "Sakonnet Greenway."

“We thank Bill Welch for helping us add another important green patch to the impressive green quilt, known as our Sakonnet Greenway, that we have been working on for about twenty years,” ALT Executive Director Ted Clement said in a statement. Said Welch, “For years, we have benefitted from the terrific conservation work of the Aquidneck Land Trust, especially their extensive bridle trails, so we felt it was time to do our part.”

The Sakonnet Greenway runs from near Glen Road in Portsmouth south to Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown. A "greenway" is an area with a critical mass of nearby and connected open spaces which together afford a community substantial benefits such as wildlife habitat corridors, sweeping scenic vistas, recreational corridors that can support outdoor recreation opportunities such as ALT’s Sakonnet Greenway Trail, long buffers for critical water supplies, and agricultural corridors. Fragmentation of agricultural land, caused primarily by development, is one of the significant threats to agricultural viability in New England.

The Welch land has a number of conservation values. This parcel contains United States Department of Agriculture recognized Prime Farmland Soils and Additional Farmland of Statewide Importance Soils. Welch Farm utilizes approximately 3 acres for its horse operation. The rest of the land, designated as the Habitat and Little Creek Buffer Area per the Conservation Easement, has substantial water resource and wildlife habitat values. Little Creek flows through this portion of the property on its way to the Sakonnet River with the forested Habitat and Little Creek Buffer Area providing an important buffer and recharge area for this creek. The Habitat and Little Creek Buffer Area also contains vernal pools and a mature Red Maple-Black Gum Swamp that support a number of wildlife species. Furthermore, Welch Farm affords scenic vistas to the residents and passersby on Mitchell’s Lane and Harvest Drive.

ALT’s time-sensitive mission is to conserve Aquidneck Island's open spaces and natural character for the lasting benefit of our community. With today’s closing, the organization has conserved 2,385.63 acres on 65 properties on Aquidneck Island since 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. Thanks to Mr. Welch and the folks at ALT from all of us here in Portsmouth!

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Localblogging, 02871, open space, AILT

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