This summer the Norman Bird Sanctuary introduced its inaugural Conservation Crew: a dedicated, multi-generational group of volunteers that provides land stewardship while learning conservation techniques from NBS staff.

“We are grateful to the van Beuren Charitable Foundation for their support in launching this new program,” said Norman Bird Sanctuary Executive Director, Kaity Ryan in a statement. “Conservation is at the core of the Norman Bird Sanctuary mission. Protecting the natural resources in our care is essential to supporting the health of the wildlife, ecosystems, and habitats here.”

Utilizing a variety of skills to help tackle projects across the Norman Bird Sanctuary campus, this group of hands-on volunteers are actively participating in the stewardship and conservation practices that will impact the Norman Bird Sanctuary and Aquidneck Island for years to come, according to the Norman Bird Sanctuary.

The Conservation Crew not only offers the opportunity to learn about natural and cultural resources but teaches participants the skills they need to bring these land management techniques back home with them.  Led by Norman Bird Sanctuary staff and educators, the Conservation Crew assists with a variety of both physically and mentally driven projects across the 300 acres managed by the nonprofit organization. Throughout 2022 and 2023, this work will include bird nest box monitoring, invasive plant management, stone wall restoration, gardening, curricula design, trail improvements, signage design, and more.

The Norman Bird Sanctuary is currently accepting Conservation Crew applications. Those interested can learn more and apply on the Norman Bird Sanctuary website via:

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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.