Blackstone Parks Conservancy


“Summertime….and the living is easy….” The Blackstone Parks Conservancy is humming with new volunteers and new subcommittees and activities. There are many different ways to enjoy—and contribute to–our parks. Consider the following:

 Playtime and Family Events

You know the tune and the rhythm! Time to get outdoors and sit back! Bring a blanket or a chair to the Trolley Shelter on Blackstone Boulevard (or use ours) and enjoy an early evening concert. The season kicks off June 19 with the Classical High School Jazz Group as well as its Classical Group. Other concerts are on July 10, 24, Aug. 7 and 21. All concerts are at 6-7:30 p.m.

Feel like exploring? Come to the woodland overlooking the Seekonk. The Education Committee is leading Trailwalks rich in information historical and botanical designed to appeal to children and parents. Walkers will assemble at 10:30 a.m. in the River Meadow, across the River Road from the Narragansett Boat Club on the following dates: July 13; August 10; September 14; and October 12. A boat trip on the river is planned for September 21.

Two new Family Events this year: Building Fairy Houses on June 22; and a Treasure Hunt October 19. Other Family Events to be announced. One will feature Judanne Hamidzada, Youth Services Librarian at Rochambeau Library, as part of the Partnership for Providence Parks “Reading in our Parks” program.

Pursuing Invaders

If being active outdoors and working with a team appeals to you, hook up with the new Invasives Control Subcommittee. Led by managers certified in invasive plant removal by URI, the committee and small teams of volunteers tackle the unwanted plants—“superweeds” if you will–that are infiltrating the Blackstone Park Conservation District. Learn about invasive plants and the natives they displace.

Implementing a Major Matching Grant

In partnership with the Providence Parks Department, the BPC is refining its plans for implementing a Recreational Trails Program Grant received for work in the center section of the Conservation District.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and the Department of Transportation (RIDOT) presented the Trails Program award in a ceremony at the capitol in April in the amount of $67,320. This grant gives the Conservancy a chance to put to work lessons about erosion control learned through experience.

This is a very welcome gift with great potential. While the work made possible by the grant may be a fraction of what is needed in the long run, it will enable us to gain a meaningful foothold against erosion.

In order to meet its obligation to match the grant, the Conservancy has to raise nearly $17,000 in the community. Please consider directing your contribution to this fund.

Get Involved

If you enjoy teamwork and like to be part of a going concern, several strong committees and subcommittees would welcome you. The committees for the Boulevard; the “Park” (Blackstone Park Conservation District); and Education are highly productive. If you have an interest in design or planning or publicity, we could use your help. And we always need assistance finding and organizing volunteers.

If You Fear and Loathe Poison Ivy, Read On

We need people who are either not allergic to poison ivy or who are willing to put on the disposable long gloves provided for the purpose of pulling out the dastardly plant in certain areas targeted by the Conservancy. If you are such a person, or if you know one, please contact us. Poison ivy is a native plant and a source of food for birds, but there is a limit even to ardent conservationists’ tolerance. Our compromise plan is to remove it in areas close to heavily used areas.

Jane Peterson