Neighborhood News

June 2024


The Jewelry District and others prep for Comprehensive Plan

The evolution of the Jewelry District continues as Brown University prepares to begin work on its major Life Sciences complex, but this past month, the Jewelry District Association (JDA) has been absorbed in planning the district’s next 10 years, exploring solutions to issues of housing, zoning, land use, development, lifestyle, and more. On or before December 31, 2024, the new Providence Comprehensive Plan will go into effect, which will set the course of neighborhoods across the city.

Years ago, to facilitate the process, the State mandated that halfway through every 10-year plan, including the 2014 plan, the Planning Department would evaluate what was working and what wasn’t to inform the 2024 plan; however, that review was never done. In the past, extensive open discussion sessions over several years involved the public and a team of consultants. Today, the Planning Department is attempting to streamline this process.

As the December deadline looms, each new section is presented on the eve of a review meeting. Little time is allowed to evaluate the section, and at review meetings, public comment time is limited to two minutes per speaker, presenting neighborhoods with a mad dash to understand and comment on complex issues that directly impact their future. The JDA is working with members of other neighborhood associations to make the 2024 Providence Comprehensive Plan an effective, collaborative, and aspirational road map for the coming 10 years, and invites concerned citizens to participate in the development of the plan.


West End Garden Stroll planned for June 22

The West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA) gears up for the return of their annual Garden Stroll, a self-guided tour showcasing neighborhood gardens. Last year’s event also included discounts at local businesses, informative tables by local organizations presenting on environmental topics, kids’ activities like garden bingo and art-making, and mini workshops on beekeeping, foraging, and more. Whether you’re interested in taking a peek into lush backyards and greenspaces or sharing your own creative landscaping with the public, no garden is too small. All are welcome to sign up; the stroll takes place June 22, with a map posted online closer to the date.


Fox Point street fair fosters community spirit

The semi-annual street fairs hosted by the Wickenden Area Merchants Association (WAMA) have drawn hundreds of visitors over the past several years, including residents and non-residents (and many of their dogs) who gather each spring and fall to mingle among artist vendors and food purveyors. This April’s Spring Makers Market seemed to draw bigger, more enthusiastic crowds than ever before, according to neighbors and organizers who participated. “It’s always great to see people from the neighborhood attending the event, as well as a large crowd of folks who are not from the neighborhood,” says WAMA president Vin Scorziello. “But this event was really a hit. The weather was great, the crowds were great. People had a lot of fun.”

Leaders of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) shared postcards at the fair to raise awareness of the group and increase participation in local initiatives. “A lot of people have heard of us, but aren’t really aware of what we do,” says FPNA vice president Mike Bell. “It was great to have a presence [at the fair], to talk with people, and to be visible.” FPNA president Lily Bogosian praised the community spirit that infused the event, saying, “the fair showcased many of the great things our neighborhood contributes to the City of Providence.” Wickenden-area merchants shared hopes to expand the event in fall 2024.


New trees and board members in Summit neighborhood

About 30 neighbors joined the Summit Neighborhood Association (SNA) at its annual meeting on Monday, April 29 at The Highlands, which included presentations and question time with local elected officials Representative Rebecca Kislak, Councilor Sue AnderBois, and Senator Tiara Mack. SNA also held its annual election of board officers and members, welcoming newcomers Katy Gilchrist and Michael Bradlee to the board. City Liquors provided refreshments, and The Sandwich Hut donated delicious bites.

There’s new greenery in the area thanks to Summit and Mount Hope neighbors coming together to plant 30 trees and pick up over a dozen bags of trash. SNA vice president Emily Kloeblen organized the community planting event, which came together with the help of planters from Garden Time Canopy Crew; the Providence Police Department, who diverted traffic to keep volunteers safe; a grant awarded by Councilor AnderBois to maintain tree care; and Stephan Rodriguez, who coordinated trash clean-up supplies with the city. The Providence Neighborhood Planting Program and City Forestry Division prepped the sites, selected appropriate trees, and taught the volunteers how to plant, and the Hope Street Merchant Association generously offered helpers a free coffee and pastry from Seven Stars Bakery or a discount from Kreatelier as a thank you.



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