Blackstone Parks Conservancy
The Seekonk river: current health and future. A briefing and Q&A with RI DEM Deputy Administrator Sue Kiernan


Organized by the Narragansett Boat Club, Co-sponsors:

  • Blackstone Parks Conservancy
  • Fox Point Neighborhood Association
  • Friends of India Point Park
  • Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
  • Providence Stormwater Innovation Center
  • Save the Bay
  • Seekonk Riverbank Revitalization Alliance

Wednesday, September 30th, 6:30-8 pm, by Zoom

The event is free and open to the public, and being held over Zoom. Please register here at, the Zoom link will be emailed to you two days before the event.

What is happening with the Seekonk? Thousands of people use the river and its shores, and with the pandemic, that number has skyrocketed. From India and Bold Points to the falls below Slater Mill in Pawtucket, the Seekonk is coming back to life, now rich with pogies (river herring), eels, osprey, cormorants, gulls, kayakers, fishers, scullers, birdwatchers, and the occasional seal. But with global and local temperatures rising rapidly, sewage nutrients and runoff from roads, lawns, farms, graveyards and golf courses in two states, the river teeters on a knife’s edge. What does the future hold for this place we value so much?

To gain some insight, join us on September 30th for a briefing by Sue Kiernan, Deputy Administrator in the Office of Water Resources of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Sue has 33 years working on protecting the upper Narragansett Bay. Some things we’ve asked her to talk about:

    • Long-term trends in water quality in the upper bay
    • Trends in fish kills
    • What the main sources of pollution are
    • Plastic waste
    • Wildlife trends
    • Status of the Phase 4 stormwater tunnel
    • Green infrastructure solutions and yard/farm approaches to improving water quality
    • The impact of sea level rise, temperature rise, and other consequences of a changing climate
    • Better boating access
    • Swimming in the Seekonk
    • How individuals and groups might help the Seekonk


6:30-6:35 pm: Welcome by Jamie Reavis, President of the Narragansett Boat Club

6:35-6:40 pm: Introduction of Sue Kiernan by Timmons Roberts, Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

6:40-7:00 pm: Presentation

7:00-7:45 pm: Q&A

7:45-8:00 pm: Discussion of next steps (if any) and wrap up

Coyote Alert

The evening of September 19th (Saturday), a coyote closely approached a pedestrian walking a dog on Angell, along the edge of this park. When the person waved arms and stomped feet to scare the coyote, it did not retreat. This is unusual behavior.
Please keep your dogs leashed and be observant.
If you see a coyote behaving strangely or aggressively, call
Providence Animal Control: 401-243-6040 (Tues-Sat)
or Providence Police: 401-272-3121
Report any injuries to RI Division of Fish and Wildlife: 401-789-0281
For more information on coyotes in RI, and what to do if you see one, please see:

Learn about the amazing ways seeds travel and even “time travel” as you hunt for seeds, sort by mobility, and look for “hitchhikers”.  Meet “Methuselah”, the oldest viable seed in the world!  Registration and masks required.  Fun for the whole family!At Blackstone Field, across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Drive, Providence, RI 02906). Check the 15 Minute Field Trips Facebook page for weather updates.

Masks and registration required.

A mix of regulars and occasional participants have been hard at work removing invasive plants, spreading wood chips, and fixing trails.  In late June and throughout July we worked in all three sections of the park.  In spite of the heat, it’s been fun and extremely satisfying to know that we’re giving native plants some space to thrive, clearing sightlines for park users, stabilizing trails against erosion and damage, and increasing the ability of stormwater to soak in where it falls.

More park-keeping events will be scheduled for the late summer and fall: if you’re interested, please contact us or stay tuned to our website.

Wendy Klein. (Photo R Arias)

After much deliberation, we announced last june that the 2020 Boulevard Summer Concerts have been cancelled. Given the concerts are held at the Trolley Shelter in a relatively small area there were too many challenges around controlling maximum crowd size the required social distancing and ensuring safe conditions for musicians.
Providence Parks and Recreation Superintendent Wendy Nilsson and representatives for the city’s permitting department were most helpful with this decision sharing that most summer concerts citywide have been cancelled with uncertainty as to when larger gatherings will be permitted.
Performers Miss Wensday, Latin Jazz with Wendy Klein and Robertico Arias, Classical Gas and Nickel Jukebox were hopeful as was the Board that things would improve in time to allow for the concerts and were all gracious enough to hold the dates. We offer thanks for their patience and understanding.
We will miss the wonderful and diverse music this year – since the first season in 2009 the concerts have become a celebratory summer tradition that is enjoyed by Providence locals and our neighbors from other locales. We will also miss topping the evening off with a specialty hot dog by Muzzled Hot Dogs followed by a delicious treat from Palagis Ice cream and a frozen lemonade from New England Lemonade.
We thank you for your support of the concerts and look forward to seeing you next year.  Here are some photographs and videos from previous seasons.

Miss Wensday kindly shared with us two videos from previous seasons.  Enjoy!