Photo courtesy of Kathy Schnabel
In January, two new bird species were observed at opposite ends of the park. An American Kestrel was first seen on Jan. 2, 2020 and then photographed the next day by Kathy Schnabel in the area of the parking lot.
Adopting a sit-and-wait approach, Art Jacques bird-watched from the bench on Audubon field on Jan. 23 and counted 15 species within 30 minutes and added the Field Sparrow to the list of birds observed at Salter Grove.
Salter Grove is a great place to sit and watch the wildlife!
In case you didn’t know, Salter Grove is considered a birding hotspot by eBird, a website where members submit their birdwatching results. Based on checklists on eBird since 2006 and field notes from other observers, the Salter Grove bird list now stands at 124 species—not too shabby for a 12-acre park!
Access to the popular Salter Grove breakwater for sightseeing and fishing remains an important feature for park visitors.
The results of our survey are in and it’s clear that concerned citizens and park visitors want safer access to the breakwater and an improved playground at George B. Salter Memorial Grove! Learn more about the results below:
The New England Grassroots Environmental Fund has recognized the work of Friends of Salter Grove and awarded our group a $992 Seed grant, our first source of funding.
“These grants are intended to support community groups who represent the most exciting energy in the environmental movement, and that are not being reached by traditional funders,” said Peter Becker, coordinator of FoSG.
The Fund officials cited “clear objectives and skilled volunteers to ensure their realization” as winning elements in FoSG’s application.
Students from St. Peter School test the salinity of Salter Grove’s waters, May 23, 2016
On May 23, 2016 the fourth- and fifth-grade students from St. Peter School in Warwick visited Salter Grove with their teachers to learn about interactions of plants and animals with their environment and explore the many different natural ecosystems of the park. It was a great way to learn about nature and how to conduct scientific work “in the field.” Below are some photos from the day’s events taken by FoSG member Jason Major.
The Warwick Athletic Club in 1918, purchased by the Brehanys in 1936 as a summer cottage. (Credit: The Bridge)
Before it was called George B. Salter Memorial Grove it was known as Warwick Downs—a place where residents enjoyed swimming, boating, picnicking, and all sorts of outdoor activities amongst a community of small summer cottages along Narragansett Parkway. In 1993 one former Warwick resident, Margie Degnan, shared some of her summertime memories from Warwick Downs in an article printed in The Bridge, a local newspaper published by the Pawtuxet Village Association. Margie’s memories from the Grove recall a bygone time that seems all the more sweeter for its simplicity and focus on family and friends, and it’s wonderful to envision the area seeing so much use and enjoyment.
You can view a PDF of the article here or click the image below to see it full-screen.
Harbor seals can be found sharing the water with container ships near the busy docks of the Port of Providence. Photo by Jason Major, Nov. 2015.
Narragansett Bay and the inflowing waters of the Providence River weren’t always as clean as they might appear today. It wasn’t very long ago at all that discharge from RI’s many industrial companies flowed directly into the Bay, polluting the waters and inciting the growth of harmful algae and bacteria—not to mention creating some interesting smells around many of the Bay’s inlets and coves.
Thanks to the efforts of organizations like Save the Bay, forward-thinking city planners, and environmental regulations like the 1972 Clean Water Act, Narragansett Bay is in better shape than it has been in ages, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. FoSG charter member Mary Grady has covered this ongoing story in a recent article for R.I. Monthly—read the full article here.