Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) is pleased to announce that Sofia Taylor, a student of Portsmouth High School’s 2016 graduating class, is the recipient of the 2016 Environmental Leadership Award (ELA). Taylor was recognized at the Portsmouth High School awards banquet on May 26, 2016 for her demonstrated leadership and commitment to environmentalism.

“Sofia has been an active member of the Green Club and led an important project, which was to place waste stations in the cafeterias at the high school so that students could easily separate waste products and increase recycling,” said Chuck Allott Executive Director, Aquidneck Land Trust. “She displays all of the leadership qualities we aim to find in an ELA recipient and she is now our summer intern in the Development Department as well.”

ALT is dedicated to inspiring young people to care for the spaces they love. The ELA supports young leaders who inspire the island community around land conservation and environmentalism. Each year, seniors enrolled at Aquidneck Island high schools are eligible for this $1,000 merit award and each school may nominate one student for this award.

For more information, visit or please contact Laura Freedman Pedrick at or call 401.849.2799, x18.

Aquidneck Land Trust’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 2,552 acres on 76 properties across 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

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).