Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County.

Aquidneck Land Trust (“ALT”) is now accepting applications for grants from the Merritt Neighborhood Fund, an endowed fund which seeks to support the preservation of small parks, community gardens, and other natural spaces on Aquidneck Island.

Established in 1999 to honor the late Peter M. Merritt, the organization’s president emeritus, the Fund supports projects that strengthen community identity and character, and which model the ethic of land conservation and stewardship through community volunteerism. Grants typically range from $250 to $2,500. 

“Merritt grants provide a way for local neighborhoods and groups to improve the shared public spaces on Aquidneck Island,” said Alex Chuman, Conservation Director. “Although the projects may be small individually, they have a tremendous cumulative impact by connecting people to the land around them and beautifying our communities in ways that benefit everyone.” 

The projects funded last year were: Aquidneck Community Table (repairs to Great Friends Garden); Common Fence Point Improvement Association (rain garden); God’s Community Garden (aerobic composter and herb garden); John Clarke Senior Living (raised bed gardens); Newport Boys & Girls Club (edible garden); Newport Mental Health (pollinator and ADA gardens); Newport Tree Conservancy (trees for Miantonomi Park); Norman Bird Sanctuary (improvements to Mabel’s Garden); and Old Fort Road Pocket Park (native species garden). 

Applications for 2023 Merritt Neighborhood Fund grants may be found on the ALT website. Applications must be received by Monday, April 3, 2023. Award decisions will be announced by mid-May.

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