Roger Williams Park Ponds Restoration Public Meeting
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011, 7-9 p.m.
The Casino at Roger Williams Park
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI
Hosted by the City of Providence and Narragansett Bay Estuary Program
Contact: Robert F. McMahon, Supt. of Parks, 401-785-9450
The Ponds: Roger Williams Park is the largest area of public open space in Providence|a regional resource and a neighborhood park, with more than a million visitors each year. The centerpiece of the park is a 100-acre system of interconnected freshwater ponds, created when the park was built, flowing into the Pawtuxet River and Narragansett Bay. The ponds are important for boating, fishing and scenic value, yet they suffer from persistent water-quality problems, caused in part by storm-water pollution from local sources and urban areas upstream.
The Project: The City of Providence and Narragansett Bay Estuary Program are undertaking an important new project to restore shorelines and water quality in the park ponds. The goal of the project is to improve and beautify the park for all its users; to improve the broader environment of the city; and to help restore Narragansett Bay. Our work began with a study to map the watershed of the ponds and better understand pollution sources; now, we’re identifying best management practices such as rain gardens, shoreline plantings, and waterfowl control programs, which will be incorporated into a master plan to guide restoration of the ponds. Construction of the highest-priority restoration measures will begin in 2012. The restoration is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and City of Providence, with significant in-kind support from more than a dozen partner organizations (see list below).
The Meeting: On November 15th, the City and NBEP will host a public meeting to engage the public in the project. The meeting is free and open to the public; all are welcome to attend. We’ll share the results of our initial studies of the ponds and their watershed; present potential actions to reduce pollution; and seek public comment on the restoration of the ponds.
Our Partners: City of Providence; Narragansett Bay Estuary Program; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1; USEPA Atlantic Ecology Division; University of Rhode Island Outreach Center; URI Coastal Institute; URI Marine Ecosystems Research Laboratory; Urban Park Procession; R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council; R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management; R.I. Dept. of Transportation; R.I. Natural History Survey; Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island; Save The Bay; R.I. Bass Federation; Roger Williams Park Zoo; Serve Rhode Island; Pawtuxet River Authority