Local high school students can now serve the community by getting active and learning in nature at Norman Bird Sanctuary’s new Ready, Set, Hike program this fall.

Over the course of 5 Sunday hikes, high-schoolers will explore all seven miles of hiking trails at NBS with an eye out for birds and native wildlife. During the hikes, the students will collect data and learn naturalist skills such as basic plant and animal identification and water quality testing techniques.

“Teens love being outside and exploring the trails,” said Norman Bird Sanctuary’s Director of Education Rachel Holbert, “and the Ready, Set, Hike program lets them develop new skills while contributing to our understanding of the incredible biodiversity of these 325 protected acres.”

Students who complete at least four hikes earn a $100 stipend, community service hours, and receive a Norman Bird Sanctuary water bottle. They also have the option of attending a free First Aid/CPR certification course.

This program is designed to get teens active outdoors while establishing meaningful connections to nature with hands-on environmental education.

The Ready, Set, Hike program is “Powered by Prince,” through a grant from the Frederick Henry Prince Memorial Fund at Newport Hospital.

The hikes will run 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every other Sunday beginning September 24th. Space is limited. Register online at: www.NormanBirdSanctuary.org/Education/Hiking-Programs/

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore 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 previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

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

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.