Nature Trails and Guide Launch

On Saturday, May 15th, this orientation plaque will be installed south of the parking lot during a ceremony to launch the nature trails and their online guide.

From 10:00 to 10:30 a.m., Mayor Frank Picozzi, Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Wiley, and FoSG’s Education Coordinator Marina Wong will address attendees.

This ongoing project is a collaboration of Friends of Salter Grove, the City of Warwick, and the RI Department of Environmental Management to create an outdoor classroom at Salter Grove for people of all ages to enjoy its natural history. It was funded by a generous grant from the Vivian J. Palmieri Charitable Trust.

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2021 Cleanups Launch with Unexpected Flare

Warwick firefighters smother the smoldering debris 

April 10 marked the beginning of a new season of cleanups at Salter Grove as 14 volunteers collected litter and other trash that accumulated over the winter.

The volunteers were doubly valuable, as they also helped to spot a smoldering brushfire along the shoreline ridge, about 50 yards east of the parking lot. An expanse of ash stretched about 20-30 feet to the east.

Following a 911 call, the Warwick Fire Department quickly arrived to extinguish the embers and carry some of the smoking logs into the waters of the bay. The fire might have started during the night or even the day before, the firefighters estimated.

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New Amenities Installed

Thanks to a generous grant from the Dziedzic Charitable Fund, two additional picnic tables and a bike rack were added to Salter Grove.

No doubt visitors will be thinking kindly of Brenda and John for making the park, and its wonderful views of the Bay, even more comfortable and enjoyable.

We also thank the Warwick Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation for installing this equipment. 

First to Perch on New Bench

Two local residents enjoying the view from Salter Grove’s newest bench, installed on April 5, 2021

Thanks to a donation in fond memory of Homer and Barbara Patrick there is a second bench on Audubon Hill from which to enjoy the view of the islets south of Rock Island.

Our generous donors made it possible to acquire custom benches crafted by Don Nguyen to maintain a unifying theme throughout the park.

With the shorebird breeding season coming up, this is indeed a timely addition—bring your binocs!

Potential Pre-Colonial Tree Relicts

Measuring potential champion black oak after some banter about where the tape should go 

We learned about Matthew “Twig” Largess and Nathan Cornell in the Warwick Beacon where they were featured as seekers of old-growth forests. The woodland at Salter Grove is relatively young, but there are some unexpectedly large trees in the park so we invited this arboreal dynamic duo to assess them on Saturday, March 27.

They were joined by FoSG coordinator Peter Becker and nature trail volunteers, Carolyn Hardie, Nick Pasterino, Billy McGovern, Nancy Sumrall, and Marina Wong. Twig and Nathan examined and measure the suspected old-growth trees and provided a great deal of information in two short hours. 

We may have a champion black oak north of the parking lot. Our visitors were quite impressed by the very large black gums surrounded by numerous smaller individuals along the pond trail. 

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Romancing the Stone

As a preliminary to a geology section in our developing online nature trail guide, Jonathan Alvarez, a geologist from EA Engineering in Warwick, kindly shared his knowledge of features found at Salter Grove.

It is truly a shame that so many of the exposed rocks have been defaced by juvenile graffiti that obscures a fascinating geological history. Even birds know better than to foul their own nest! Please help us to realize our park’s potential as an outdoor classroom by leaving no trace of your visits.

Jonathan explains how conglomerates, sometimes referred to as puddingstone, are metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. These are part of the Rhode Island Formation and are Pennsylvanian in age (298-323 million years old). These conglomerates formed in a turbulent environment similar to a river bottom where the rounded cobbles and sandy matrix eventually were compressed through burial. During the Pennsylvanian Period, Rocky Mountain-sized ranges occurred east and west of the present Narragansett Bay, and their erosion produced enormous quantities of sediment that filled the space between, including wide river basins similar to the San Joaquin or Sonoma Valleys.

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