The Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) today announces that its campaign to purchase and conserve Rego Farmland is complete.

The 12-acre Portsmouth farm, located on East Main Road approximately .5 miles north of Glen Road, is now protected from development in perpetuity. The property is an active hayfield with 100% prime soil, which  ALT will continue to lease for farming.  

“We sold this property to ALT so that it would remain farmland, which is disappearing on Aquidneck Island,” said Marilee Ottilige in a press release, whose family has owned the land for two generations. “No land, no food,” she stated, stressing the importance of protecting local agriculture. “ALT was pleasant to work with and we very happy to know that this farm has been permanently protected,” said Ottilige.  

Rego Farmland is one of two properties in the current land campaign; the second property, Jones Preserve, is a 15.38-acre site situated within a 92-acre tract of forestland. ALT reports that it has approximately $10,000 left to raise to conserve the Jones property, which, aside from one new residence site, will be managed as a combination of wildlife habitat and farmland protected under a conservation easement.

Both properties are situated along ALT’s Sakonnet Greenway habitat corridor, an area that includes 40 properties already protected by ALT. The corridor covers nearly 2000 acres of conserved land on the east side of Aquidneck Island, 1,365 of which was conserved by ALT. 

“Rego Farmland and Jones Preserve are two very important open spaces,” said Chuck  Allott, ALT Executive Director. “We are very grateful to the island community for supporting our efforts to conserve them both. Hundreds of residents, foundations, and businesses have sent donations, proving how highly Islanders value these types of open space. We are grateful to the  property owners for agreeing to conserve their land and we are thrilled to extend the acreage in  the Sakonnet Greenway habitat corridor.” 

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 - 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.