Blackstone Parks Conservancy
For Earth Day at RiverWood, we’ve planned an ambitious and fun event to help increase the numbers of the amazing Monarch butterfly. Monarchs cannot survive as a species without milkweed plants, so we will make paper pots, plant milkweed seeds in them, and build planters of natural materials for our milkweed plants to grow in. There will be extra pots for kids to take home to start their own milkweed garden. All materials will be provided.

Part of our new free Nature Programs for Children in K – 5.

Sunday, April 22nd, 1:30-3pm, at Blackstone Field (, across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Road, Providence, RI 02906). Please register at

To the dismay of many people, three large red maples at the edge of Blackstone Field in Blackstone Park beside the Seekonk River were cut down in February. Efforts were made to avoid the loss, but in order to make way for shifting River Road twelve feet to the west (a project nearly ten years in preparation) tree roots would have to be cut and City Forester Doug Still determined that they could not survive.

In place of the maples, several young trees selected by the Blackstone Parks Conservancy (BPC) and Still, and purchased by the Narragansett Boat Club (NBC), will be planted in May in a grove farther back from the road.

The grove’s location was chosen by the organizations working together to provide shade for youngsters—and all visitors—to Blackstone Field. BPC Vice-President Carrie Drake, who has worked with the NBC to figure out a solution to the impending dislocation of the road, sees a positive side to this loss. “Unlike the old trees,” she says, “these will be located in a place chosen for their protection, and they will receive better care from the beginning.”

Partners on River Road

The new grove of trees represents not only compensation for the felled maples but also expanded cooperation between the two neighboring partners, which have long shared space at the river’s edge. Rowers annually stage several rowing regattas in Blackstone Field, and BPC volunteers enjoy the use of NBC facilities for volunteers and occasional events.

In addition to their proximity to the river, a love of the outdoors, and the mutual advantage of sharing “facilities,” the two non-profit organizations also share a commitment to nurturing young people. The NBC introduces young and old to rowing–not an easy sport–and the BPC education committee stages numerous programs that introduce children to aspects of nature and local history. Adding a few feet of space in front of the boathouse will allow room for rowing shells needed by increasing numbers of non-member rowers from area schools.

Education Programs in the Field and Woods

BPC educators spend considerable time imagining and organizing events for young children and adults. “The Not So Spooky Trail Walk” each Halloween, the River Ride in September, and the February Duck Walk are among their popular programs.

Coming: 2018 Education programs and Part Two on York Pond.


Jane Peterson

News of the death of Shirley J. Kezirian, a former board member of the Blackstone Parks Conservancy, came as a shock to everyone. She always asked, “What can I do to help?” and without fuss volunteered for any job that needed doing. She took her membership on the board seriously, giving careful consideration to all the matters brought to her. Shirley was a good friend, and she will be missed.

Calling Hours will be at Nardolillo Funeral Home, 1278 Park Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island on Tuesday, March 27th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 50 Orchard Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28th. Burial will follow at the Kezirian family plot at Swan Point Cemetery. Memorial services will be held at later dates in Sarasota, Florida and London, Ontario.
Visit for online condolences.


Bee Rally at the State House: Tuesday, June 19, 2018; 2:00 – 4:00 pm

State House lit in Bumblebee Black and Yellow: June 18 – 24, 2018

Please respond by March 30, 2018.

Contact: Meg Kerr, Audubon Society of Rhode Island Senior Director of Policy,

Somewhere between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the earth need pollinators. Over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops depend on their services. That means that one out of every three bites of food you eat is on your plate because of pollinators! Many pollinator populations are in decline due to the loss of feeding and nesting habitats, pollution, misuse of chemicals, disease, and changes in climatic patterns.

Join the Rally and Help get Rhode Island Buzzing!

Consider hosting a table, presenting information or providing entertainment. It’s FREE!

For further information please click here.