Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) has announced that they have completed improvements to Oakland Forest and Meadow Preserve after receiving a $1,500 grant from the National Association of Realtors.

Two trail kiosks, a trailside bench, and directional trail signage were installed on the 30-acre preserve, one of 77 ALT-conserved properties on Aquidneck Island. The site has a half-mile trail loop through the forest and meadow.

“The trails in the preserve are now more accessible and inviting,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director of ALT. “Visitors can relax on the bench and learn about the local history of the site through the signage. Oakland Forest has an old-growth beech forest over 250 years old; it is a very special, publicly-accessible property. We encourage people to visit and enjoy this beautiful site.”

Annie Becker, president of the Newport County Board of Realtors, presented ALT with the award in November 2017.

“This generous grant generated several productive collaborations,” said Allott. “Portsmouth Boy Scout Jack Harding, from Troop 1, built and installed two kiosks as part of his Eagle Scout project, Rogers High School students painted the fence at the Oakland Farm entrance, and ALT staff installed the bench and directional signage. Many island residents came together to make these improvements to Oakland Forest and Meadow Preserve, and we are very grateful to them and to the National Association of Realtors for their support.”

The Oakland Forest trailhead is located at the western end of Carriage Drive in Portsmouth.

For more information on the Aquidneck Land Trust, visit

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 -

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 and 401-662-1653.