International Coastal Cleanups at Salter Grove

Save the Bay hosted a corporate cleanup event at Salter Grove in 2019

Salter Grove plays an important role in the struggle for the health of the oceans as one of the settings of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) organized by the Ocean Conservancy and Save the Bay.

Each year, volunteers around the world join together in both cleaning beaches and documenting the waste and pollution that they find. The Ocean Conservancy launched this project over 30 years ago.

Salter Grove is the site of three of the 30 ICC events this year planned by Save the Bay as the Rhode Island State Coordinator. The first took place on September 11, which also coincided with the National Day of Service and Remembrance commemorating the 2001 terrorism attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Another public volunteer cleanup is scheduled for September 25, and a corporate group will do a cleanup in October.

This year’s total is one event shy of the 2019 record, when Salter Grove hosted four ICC cleanups and over 70 volunteers.

Additional ICC events are happening around the state. Last year, even with the partial shutdown of activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 600 volunteers joined in the ICC, collecting more than 4,000 pounds of trash from Rhode Island Shores.

Top three trash items collected in 2020 RI International Coastal Cleanups:
11,662 cigarette butts
5,250 plastic pieces (under 2.5 centimeters)
2,623 plastic bottle caps
Source: 2020 International Coastal Cleanup / Rhode Island Report & Call To Action.

The efforts of individual volunteers and Save the Bay groups have improved the trash control situation at Salter Grove, but more needs to be done. Food and beverage packaging left behind by recreational visitors and washed in by the waves still pollutes the area and poses risks to wildlife.

Volunteer efforts are gradually bouncing back with the reopening of normal activity in the state. The number of volunteers per cleanup has returned to a little more than 60% of the 2019 average.

If you are interested in participating in a public cleanup and at least 13 years of age, visit Save the Bay and learn how to register. 

Finding Artistic Inspiration at Salter Grove

Oil painter Pat Perry at Salter Grove on July 23, 2021

Salter Grove isn’t just a great place to picnic, play, and go fishing—you can also find it artistically inspiring like Pat Perry did in July! Pat set up her portable easel for a bit of “plein air” painting, capturing the beauty of the cove, causeway, and breakwater from the eastern shore under a bright summer sky.

Pat came “all the way” from West Greenwich to paint a view from Salter Grove.

And earlier today on the west side of the park, “sidewalk artists” Sabrina and Adam created quite an impressive display of magical beasts, national flags, and planets to explore in chalk on the paved path to the playground.

Adam and Sabrina and their sidewalk chalk masterpiece on August 2, 2021

You never know what may inspire you at Salter Grove!

Nature Trails and Guide Launched

Mayor Frank Picozzi demonstrates how to access the online guide via the QR code on the orientation plaque just south of the parking lot. 

On Saturday, May 15th, the nature trail system, complete with plant labels, observation stations, and smartphone-accessible guide saltergrove.org was officially launched.

Addressing the gathering, Mayor Picozzi revealed that he has been most impressed by how the people of Warwick come together to make great things happen.

Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Wiley urged visitors to respect and enjoy Salter Grove in ways that don’t impair others’ enjoyment. 
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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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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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