Ocean Drive, Grace Van Petten, gr. 12, Portsmouth High School

Submitted by Aquidneck Land Trust

Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) has announced 25 student winners in the 2021 ALT Art & Writing Contest, held annually to promote the importance and value of a  healthy environment. Students at Aquidneck Island schools were invited to enter artwork of their favorite local vista, or written work in prose or poetry form describing the same. The winners were announced at the land trust’s annual meeting on February 3, which is available to view on the ALT website.  

“These wonderful entries express the appreciation that the next generation has for the beauty of Aquidneck Island,” said Chuck Allott, Executive Director. “They recognize the importance that open  space has in their day-to-day lives, and it reminds all of us how special our island home is.” 

Art entries were judged by a panel that included Norah Dietrich, Executive Director of the  Newport Art Museum; Erik Greenburg, Director of Museums at the Newport Restoration Foundation; Susan Woythaler, artist and musician; and Jonathan Gewirz, ALT board member. Written entries were judged by Annie Sherman Luke, writer; Katherine Gagliano, Amplify Marketing; Beezie Bickford, St.  George’s School; and Jonathan Gewirz, ALT board member. The contest was underwritten by a grant from local design/build firm Sixteen on Center. 

Art winners in the kindergarten through grade four-category are Gabrielle Silvia, first place  (Melville Elementary School), Cohen Clarkson, second place (All Saints Academy), Noah Adams, third place (Hathaway Elementary School). Honorable mentions were awarded to Caitrin McCoy (Melville  Elementary School) and Zoe Kutsaftis (All Saints Academy.)

Newport Bridge, Gabrielle Silvia, gr. 4, Melville School

Winners in the grade five through grade eight category are Hannah Lee, first place (The Pennfield School), Allison Schlesinger, second place (Portsmouth Middle School), and Willow Foregger, third place (The Pennfield School). Honorable mentions were awarded to Brody Cimaglia (The Pennfield School), and Timothée Delaveau (Gaudet  Middle School).

Hanging Rock, Hannah Lee, gr. 8, The Pennfield School

Winners in the grade nine through grade twelve category were all from Portsmouth High  School: Grace Van Petten, first place, Clara Alcolea, second place, Tatum Horley, third place, and Zoe Vaspol, honorable mention. 

Ocean Drive, Grace Van Petten, gr. 12, Portsmouth High School

Writing winners in the kindergarten through grade four-category are all from Melville Elementary  School: Linnea Ready, first place, Evelyn Munji, second place, Mia Gilling, third place, Abrahm  Aubuchon, honorable mention, and Liam DeArruda, honorable mention.

Winners in the grade five through eight category are Daisy Bistline (The Pennfield School), Adam Conheeny (The Pennfield  School), and Mia Rocco (Portsmouth resident). Winners in the grade nine through grade twelve category are all from Middletown High School: Chloe Christy, first place, Margaret MacKechnie, second place,  and Caitlin Brett, third place.  

Winners receive cash prizes and a household membership to ALT. The schools of each first-place winner receive a grant to support their environmental science curricula. “We are very grateful to Sixteen on Center for their generosity and commitment to environmental education,” said Allott. “We also appreciate the support of parents and teachers, who understand the importance of protecting the island’s natural beauty and unique environment.” 

About the Aquidneck Land Trust: Aquidneck Land Trust’s time-sensitive mission is to preserve and steward Aquidneck Island’s open spaces for the lasting benefit of the community while connecting people with the land that defines the island’s natural character. The organization has conserved 2,691.21 acres on 89 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 www.ailt.org.