The Issue: Conserve Aquidneck Island’s Open Spaces
Rhode Island is one of the national leaders in the percentage of farmland lost to development. In its Narragansett Bay, Aquidneck Island supports roughly 60,000 residents and welcomes 3 million visitors onto its hills and into forests annually. Yet of the island's nearly 25,000 acres, a little more than 2,000 strategic open-space acres are left to conserve.
The Campaign: Grants to Help Preserve Natural Spaces
If this Grassroots campaign raises $800, then Aquidneck Land Trust can provide a Merritt Neighborhood Fund grant to one of Aquidneck Island’s neighborhood or community groups to support the preservation of small parks, playgrounds, and other natural spaces. The groups work together to complete a project in a nearby open space, whether it be revamping a park or planting a garden. With modest grants, communities can work together to beautify the island, model the principles of land stewardship, and foster a sense of community through volunteerism and conservation. Each additional $10 donation will help fund another grant.
To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to this campaign.
Aquidneck Land Trust
The Aquidneck Land Trust began in 1990, when a group of local residents gathered together to dedicate itself to saving the natural character, economic value, and environmental health of Aquidneck Island. Since then, the organization has conserved more than 2,300 acres on 66 properties. Along with ongoing projects for Merritt Fund recipients, Aquidneck Land Trust’s current priorities include completion of the Sakonnet Greenway Trail and conservation of 70-plus acres on Saint Mary’s Church land. By working with landowners, foundations, government agencies, and communities, the organization aims to protect and conserve roughly 4,000 acres of open spaces.