One sign of spring at Salter Grove is the flocking of volunteers to clean up the park and help make it more enjoyable for visitors and safer for wildlife.
For many consecutive years, Save the Bay in Providence has organized groups for two-hour shoreline cleanups on evenings and weekends.
On April 2, 28 enthusiastic volunteers braved a sunny but cold and windy day for the first cleanup of 2022. They gave the season a great start by hauling out 376 pounds of refuse. Items ranged from small plastics, such as water bottle tops and cigar tips, to large foam pieces of boating equipment that weighed more than 20 pounds.
The first cleanup of the year is typically a large haul because so many items accumulate during the winter months. Anything that wind and waves can move end up trapped in vegetation of the park or mired in the mud of the shoreline.
A second group came out on May 23, an event that was part of the Earth Day and Earth Week initiatives planned by Save the Bay at many locations around the state. On a chilly morning, 25 volunteers removed about 110 pounds of trash. The teams did painstaking work in the northwest corner of the park between Narragansett Parkway and the waterline. This area of the park was recently cleared of brush by a separate group of FoSG volunteers. This project revealed years’ worth of accumulation of small plastics — not heavy, but great in number.
This year, a number of new cleanup leaders are training at Salter Grove, a good sign that the efforts will be sustainable for years to come. Salter Grove is an important site for cleanups, both because of its rich ecological diversity and the number of anglers it attracts each year.
The next spring cleanup will take place on Sunday, May 22, at 9 a.m. Interested volunteers should register at volunteer.savebay.org before attending.
A thick layer of Rec Mix (thrice-ground wood fiber) purchased from Thompson Native Lumber was applied to the playground on Saturday, April 30th to restore safe play conditions.
A hard-working group of FoSG members and volunteers spread 40 cubic yards of fiber in three hours.
Not pictured in the group photo, but still contributing mightily were FoSG member Rep. Joe McNamara, and a visiting family that volunteered on the spot: Sean, Ben, and Maggie Rogan. (Sean P. Rogan is a member of the local Salter’s Groove band.)
When the playground was first constructed in 2019, too little wood fiber, especially in the swing area, and exuberant use led to exposure of the underlying geotextile and gravel.
This was both unsafe and unsustainable.
Two City administrations failed to address these hazardous play conditions despite FoSG’s repeated requests, so we acted to fill the breach.
Rubber swing mats have also been ordered to prevent excessive wear under the swings and slide for a total cost of $4,061.
We thank the Vivian J. Palmieri Charitable Trust for a generous grant that enabled this project.
The playground and its plantings have cost more than $134,000, which took three years and considerable effort to raise. We need to make this last!
As guardians, let’s be sure that equipment is used responsibly and children are kept safe. Dogs must be leashed and under their owner’s control. Children should be coached on how to behave in a shared space.
Large rocks have been placed around the entire perimeter of the parking area and its access road to guide visitors to the 21 designated parking slots. Your cooperation in parking on a side street if all designated slots are occupied will be much appreciated.
Many of the plants at Salter Grove are wildflowers from other continents! Here, however, they are usually considered weeds because they readily colonize waste areas and lawns. Rarely are they given a second look before they are pulled up or mown down. Some of these are quite interesting and have been showcased east of the parking lot.