Blacktone Parks Conservancy

We invite you to attend the family event “Moonrise on the Seekonk River.”

This event is part of a series of free events offered by the Blackstone Parks Conservancy with support from the Partnership for Providence Parks and Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.

Join us on Saturday August 9 at 5:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m. in the Blackstone Field (across from the Narragansett Boat Club, 2 River Road, Providence, RI 02906 – between Angell Street and Irving Avenue).

Map coordinates:  41°49’58.8″N 71°22’40.9″W

All ages are welcome!

Rain date is Sunday August 10, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

 

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Down on River Road by the Seekonk River, children’s voices filled the air at Blackstone Parks Conservancy (BPC) Saturday events. Above on weekdays, workmen operating heavy machinery and wielding shovels finished the long-awaited repair and upgrade of trails in record time. BPC volunteers overseeing the events below and the project above worked long hours. And that was just June in the Blackstone Park Conservation District.

In July the ever-popular Trolley Shelter concert series began. Work on the overgrown South Garden at the foot of the Boulevard started with a grant from state Senator Donna Nesselbush. It is the latest of many years of enhancements by the Boulevard Committee led by Gale Aronson.

 

Stewardship and Children

As co-stewards with the Providence Parks Department of both the semi-wild park overlooking the Seekonk and the groomed Blackstone Boulevard Park, for years the BPC has focused mainly on physical care of these historic places. Maintenance of the two parks is both challenging and absorbing because of their fragile soils and heavy use by thousands of visitors.

Winning major grants from state environmental agencies made it possible this year not only to gain a meaningful foothold in the erosion-prone Conservation District, but also to finally bring education into this volunteer organization’s mission. Unsurprisingly, it turned out to be a natural fit.

The transformation began several years ago with Rhode Island Audubon Society- Providence After School Alliance classes in Blackstone Park with Nathan Bishop Middle School students taught by April Alix. The love these 12-14-year-olds showed for the park and their desire to protect it clearly demonstrated the Conservation District’s suitability as a place for children both to escape city pressures and to learn about nature–a place to play and learn at the same time.

Fortunately for the Conservancy, an early childhood specialist, Rick Richards, stepped forward in 2012 to chair the BPC’s new Education Committee and others experienced in early child development quickly joined him. They spent months mining the rich history and biology of the Park, organizing a trove of information for trail walks and for signs that could be accessed by smart phones, ever mindful of the need to train future stewards of this precious land. They reached out to people in spheres ranging from Indian lore to music to bird banding.

The committee’s months of work led to events last summer and this one that drew numbers of excited children and parents not seen in the Park for many years. The enthusiasm of the committee members is contagious.

 

Trail Upgrades and a New Entrance

While the Education Committee was establishing the Conservation District as the “GO TO place for kids,” the Park Committee and the Parks Department were shepherding to completion trail improvement plans that had been years in the making. Generous grants from Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management and its Coastal Resources Management Council along with assistance from dedicated staff members in both agencies have now produced safer and more enjoyable center-section trails and a much enhanced entrance at Parkside and Angell streets.

Judging from the comments of many visitors, some of whom had been anxious over the prospect of change, most people have enjoyed the improved trails and the native plants installed in eroded areas to help keep soil in place. It all fits our vision of Healthy Urban Green Space for All.

Jane Peterson

Calling all Bird watchers! We invite you to attend a presentation and trail walk about Birding led by bird watcher and photographer, John Balletto.

This event is part of a series of free events offered by the Blackstone Parks Conservancy with support from the Partnership for Providence Parks and Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.

John Balletto is an amateur, but seasoned birdwatcher and photographer whose interest in birding was sparked by his years of frequenting the Seekonk River and Blackstone Park area.

The program will include:

  • A 30-minute presentation about the birds of Blackstone Park & the Seekonk River
  • A one-hour trail walk and opportunity to identify local birds

Join us on Saturday July 12 at 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.  The program will begin promptly at theNarragansett Boat Club (2 River Road, Providence, RI 02906) and then progress to the Blackstone Woods for the trail walk.

Adults, children and youth (Ages 7-17 years) are welcome!

Rain date is Sunday July 13, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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We invite you to attend the event “The How & Why of Bird Banding.”

This event is part of a series of free events offered by the Blackstone Parks Conservancy with support from the Partnership for Providence Parks and Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.

Watch Certified Bird Bander Dr. Peter Paton put up his net, bring in his bird, band it and set it free again! Dr. Paton is a professor and Chair of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island. He can comment on all aspects of bird and amphibian ecology, especially the affect of urbanization on these creatures.

The program will include:

  • Discussion about why we band birds
  • Opportunity to hold a bird and try out banding

Join us on Saturday July 12 at 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. in the Blackstone Park Field (across from the Narragansett Boat Club, 2 River Road, Providence, RI 02906).

GPS:  41°49’58.8″N 71°22’40.9″W

Adults, older children and youth (Ages 10-17 years) are welcome!

Rain date is Sunday July 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

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We invite you to attend a three-part family event series: “Storytime down by the Riversidehosted by Judanne Hamidzada of the Rochambeau Library.  This event is in partnership with the Providence Community Library- Rochambeau Branch and Partnership for Providence Parks.

Families and children of all ages are welcome!

Join us on Thursdays May 15, June 19, and July 17 at 1:00 P.M. at the Blackstone Field across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Road, Providence, RI 02906).

In the event of rain, please meet at the Rochambeau library.

Families are encouraged to bring a blanket.

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We invite you to attend “Finding the Champion Trees of Blackstone Park: A Trail Walk.” The trail walk will be led by John Campanini of the RI Tree Council.

John is a Providence city forester and chairman and founding director of the Rhode Island Tree Council. The Rhode Island Tree Council is a non-profit group dedicated to improving Rhode Island’s tree resources. It is composed of members, professional consultants and volunteers. For more information about the RI Tree Council, please visit www.RITree.org.

This event is part of a year-round, monthly series offered by the Blackstone Parks Conservancy with support from the Partnership for Providence Parks. It is recommended for adults and older children ages 10-17 years.

Join us on Saturday July 19 at 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Blackstone Field (across from the Narragansett Boat Club, 2 River Road).  GPS: 41°49’58.8″N 71°22’40.9″W

The program will include:
• A guided one-hour walk along woodland trails to begin the search in Blackstone Park for our local champion trees.
• A half-hour presentation at the Boat Club about how to measure trees on your own.

We suggest wearing sturdy shoes and long pants or high socks as we may encounter mud, stairs, or poison ivy along the walk. Sunscreen is also recommended.
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We invite you to attend the nest building workshop event “Bird Nests… How do they do it?” 

This workshop is part of a series of free events offered by the Blackstone Parks Conservancy with support from the Partnership for Providence Parks and Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.

The program will focus on birds of prey (e.g., bald eagle and osprey) and be led by Laurita Moscatelli, a New Dawn Educator at the Mercy Ecology Center in Cumberland, RI. Mercy Ecology is a new ministry, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, created to work toward the sustainability of all life. For more information, please visit www.mercyecology.org

Join us on Saturday July 19 at 10:00 a.m. -noon in the Blackstone Field, across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Road, Providence, RI 02906; GPS: 41°49’58.8″N 71°22’40.9″W).

All ages are welcome!

Rain date is Sunday July 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.-noon

 

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