|Veteran's Square Conservation Area|
On November 19th, six members of the Humanists of Rhode Island, specifically Adam, Mark, Dan Julia, Zack and Steve, joined about eight other people at the brand new Veteran's Square Conservation Area at the intersection of Rte 117 (Centerville Rd.) and Main Street in West Warwick to actually help build the park. To the best of my knowledge, the park is owned by the citizens of West Warwick, but under the care of the Pawtuxet River Authority.
When complete the area will have a boat launch and it ill be stocked with trout for fishing. Even though it's right on a main road, the area is beautiful, and we saw Canadian Geese on the river the entire time we were there.
Our members started showing up around 8:30 AM, and met Rita, who was in charge of the planting project. She was such a gracious person, and provided us all with coffee, hot cocoa, donuts and pizza for lunch. Also present was a representative of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, who was a real great guy.
We started prepping the soil and digging holes for the line of plants that would provide a fence between the street and the park. Zach, the youngest person there (and a member of our group) was a powerhouse. He never stopped working, whether it was digging a hole, picking up the trash at the water's edge, or planting bulbs. He was an inspiration.
Cleaning up the trash at the rivers edge meant pulling a shopping cart, a car tire, various pieces of lumber and a computer monitor out of the river. I was told that the area is now much cleaner than it was a few years ago. When the DEM first took over the site, they pulled over three hundred ties out of the river. I'm sure the mallards and the Canadian geese are glad to be rid of them.
When we left at about 2 PM the park looked much improved, though there's still work to be done of course. Not used to digging holes, I was pretty exhausted, as I'm sure the rest of the volunteers were, but I also couldn't think of a better way to spend my day.