BankNewport has provided funding to support a sunshade at the Portsmouth AgInnovation Farm.

The farm is a partnership between Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District and Portsmouth Middle School. The after-school program and summer camp, led by Portsmouth School District Science Coach Margie Brennan, teaches kids about sustainable agriculture. The funding will allow the farm to install a covering so that the kids can have a shaded area to be outside at the farm.

The sun shading will be installed in Spring 2023. Though the farm is in the process of being winterized for the season, the educational programming continues all year long. In the program, students learn about a wide range of science topics, all related to agriculture and our food system. They learn about plants, pollination, soil health, the watershed, and much more.

Brennan said, “We are thrilled to be able to have this sun shade for next summer. The point of the program is for kids to learn science in a hands-on way, so being in person at the farm is critical. It can get hot out there so this will provide us a safe place to gather and learn. BankNewport has been generous to us in this process, they also provided funding for attachments for our new tractor. We are so thankful to all of our amazing community partners.”

The project is student-led, and a group of Portsmouth Middle School students were recently awarded with the President’s Environmental Youth Award, a prestigious national award recognizing outstanding environmental stewardship projects developed by K-12 youth. They won the award for the design and implementation of the farm. Produce grown on the farm is donated to local food banks.

To learn more about the farm visit

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