Five local organizations have created a partnership to develop a comprehensive master plan for trees, parks and open space in the City of Newport.  Project leaders will seek public participation as the key element in planning a sustainable future for the public use and enjoyment of Newport’s invaluable environmental and recreational assets.   

The first open meeting on the project will be held Monday night, September 14 at the Pell School at 35 Dexter Street in Newport.  An open house will start at 5pm, and a presentation and discussion will follow at 5:45 pm.

The project partners are the City of Newport, the Newport Tree and Open Space Commission, the Aquidneck Land Trust, the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission and the Newport Tree Society and Arboretum.  

According to Newport Tree Society president Lilly Dick,  “The Newport community has not had such an opportunity since 1913, when Frederick Law Olmsted produced an open space plan called “Proposed Improvements for Newport.”  More than one hundred years later, we expect to produce a master plan that rivals Olmsted’s work.”

The “Newport Open Space Partnership: Planning for the Future” seeks to inventory and assess all the parkland, tree canopies and open space in Newport to determine how best to plan for public use, sustainability, recreation and environmental protection, including sea-level rise.  Using a collaborative approach, citizen input will be solicited regarding short and long-term use of these spaces.  

The open space project is funded by the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust and the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.  

The master plan includes a wide range of deliverables.  The Project Team will work collaboratively with the city planning board and the public to produce the state-required Open Space Element of the 2016 Comprehensive Plan.  

The architectural landscape design firm, Sasaki Associates, was selected by a diverse interview team, and is known for engaging citizens in projects across the country to collaboratively build trees, park and open space master plans that meet the need of communities.   

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.