Blackstone Parks Conservancy

Spring at Last!

Cherry trees in bloom at the Trolley Shelter on Blackstone Boulevard and at the entrance to Swan Point brightened a rainy April 29th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackstone Parks Conservancy needs your help in order to finish a post-and-rail fence in an important area of our park that protects over 1000 native plants.

Six years ago a severely degraded portion of Blackstone Park was cleared of invasive plants, then restored with over 1000 native plants and partially surrounded with a post-and-rail fence. We need your help protecting this important project by finishing the missing part of the fence – a 225 foot long section that will protect the restored area and enhance its beauty.

We have a generous donor who has pledged to match each gift dollar for dollar until we reach our goal of $1800. Your donations will go directly to the completion of this fence and towards the protection of the native plants in this portion of the park.

This is a great opportunity to give your first online donation to support the important work in Blackstone Park that helps to protect our precious park and the native plants within it. Thank you!

Meet us at the Parkside entrance to Blackstone Park for a spring renewal in our park to celebrate, from 1:30 to 3pm on Saturday, April 28th.  To spread mulch, fix fencing and signage, and fresh up the park for the spring. We will supply everything needed please come in comfortable shoes and clothing that is ready for work. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Spring at Last!

Time for the 2018 program for young conservationists at Blackstone Park to begin! In addition to repeating popular events like the Moonrise over the Seekonk in late August and River Rides in September, this year the Blackstone Parks Conservancy (BPC) is adding special nature programs in RiverWood. This gathering place for children in K-5 sits just inside the woods at the back of Blackstone Field on River Road opposite the Narragansett Boat Club.

Led by the BPC Coordinator of RiverWood, Elena Riverstone, and other committee members, the new programs will introduce new ways of seeing nature. Exploring “the world of mud in the woods” and making “mud monsters” promises to be an instant favorite.

Winter, which is normally just planning time for the BPC Education Committee, now features a popular duck walk led by Dan Berard in February. Dan will return for another bird walk on June 2nd this year.

Volunteers are always needed to help out at these events, which often require a fair amount of preparation—part of the reason they’re so successful. If you are interested, please contact the Conservancy. See full schedule below.

Remember, too, the Boulevard Concert series in July and August. Dates and musicians will be posted on the BPC website.

Note: Both Boulevard and Blackstone Park Conservation District program dates are affected by weather, so be sure to check the website on the scheduled day if there is any question of rain or snow.

Jane Peterson

 

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