Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) announces a series of free online presentations titled “Citizen Planning 101,” with one event focused on each of Aquidneck  Island’s three municipalities.

The workshops will be led by GrowSmart RI, a non-profit consultancy that works for sustainable and equitable economic growth. The events will provide participants with information about the land use planning process and will inform them about ways to advocate within their planning and zoning boards, city and town councils, and other decision-making bodies.  

The first event, on July 21, will be geared to Middletown residents; the second, on  August 31, to Newport residents; and the third, on September 28, to Portsmouth residents. The fourth workshop on October 20 is open to all islanders and will include a presentation of best practices in land use planning and zoning, in particular related to conservation and how communities can best allow for economic growth and development while still preserving open spaces.  

“We know that Aquidneck Islanders are interested in having their voices heard within their communities, but it can be difficult to understand the ways in which individuals can participate in the decisions that affect land use, zoning, development, and conservation,” said  Chuck Allott, ALT Executive Director in a statement. “These workshops will provide useful information and  enable people to participate more fully in their local government.” 

All workshops will take place at 5:00 p.m. via Zoom links. Participants may register at or through ALT’s website ( The presentations are funded by a grant from the van Beuren Charitable  Foundation.  

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and 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.