Neighborhood News: A space made available to Providence’s neighborhood associations free of charge

An overview of what’s happening around the City right now

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Waterfront access and trees around Washington Park

Washington Park Association secured, via the CRMC (Coastal Resources Management Council), what will be the first waterfront access point in South Providence at Public Street this summer after the Attorney General’s office intervened to force an abutter to remove a fence blocking access to the water. A long overdue and needed waterfront access point will allow all residents to enjoy the view of the river.

Throughout last year, WPA has planted almost 100 trees in Washington Park along Allens Avenue, Eddy Street, and Thurbers Avenue, with many more to come in the spring. Groundwork RI and Providence Neighborhood Planting Program helped in the effort to improve the quality of life in Washington Park with many shade-offering trees. However, over 100 mature trees were destroyed when an entire 60-foot highway tree buffer was removed along Aldrich Street, which flows directly to the new Roger Williams Park Visitors Center. A blighted hill remains, posing a setback to WPA’s ongoing tree-planting campaign, though their volunteers continue to plan, plant, and be proactive in protecting the environment.

Snow brigade and volunteering with Summit Neighborhood Association

The Summit Neighborhood Association continues the Snow Brigade this winter. Volunteers help elderly and disabled neighbors who have difficulty clearing their walks and driveways, and who cannot easily pay for this service. Shovelers work in teams, trading off two-week shifts so that nobody has to commit for the entire winter. Neighbors in need of assistance and volunteers interested in joining the effort can email SNASnow@gmail.com.

Volunteers continue assisting the Mount Hope Community Center with its work distributing groceries from the food pantry every Wednesday and Friday to residents in need, and more volunteers are always needed to help with deliveries and unloading food pallets from the RI Food Bank on Fridays. Contact SNAProv@gmail.com to join the volunteer email list.

FPNA invites neighbors to join its board

For Fox Point residents interested in sharing their ideas, concerns, and affection for the neighborhood, the Fox Point Neighborhood Association seeks enthusiastic residents of all ages to serve on its board of directors. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, a neighborhood fixture or newcomer, all participation is valued.

Board membership involves attending local meetings, thinking about current neighborhood issues, and sharing your views. In recent years, FPNA board members have fought for a thoughtful redesign of lower Gano Street, weighed in on proposals for developments on 195 land, and spoken out on issues of historic preservation. They’ve worked with local business owners seeking licenses and expansions, and they have helped sister organizations in ongoing efforts to fight the proposed Fane Tower, preserve the Seekonk River, and bury the power lines in India Point Park – in only a few hours each month.

FPNA board members also improve the neighborhood with shovels, rakes, and trowels. In recent years, board members have planted trees, installed “conversation benches,” and cleaned up tree wells on Wickenden Street. They’ve pruned shrubs outside the Vartan Gregorian bathhouse for the annual FPNA Earth Day Cleanup and spruced up the shoreline near the Fox Point hurricane barrier.

Board members also learn about the latest neighborhood news, engage on issues large and small, and in so doing, help make a difference. FPNA is a non-profit organization that has served the neighborhood for over 30 years. To learn more about membership, contact FPNA executive secretary Amy Mendillo at FoxPointNeighborhood@gmail.com.

The Jewelry District welcomes a new hotel

New to the Jewelry District this month is the neighborhood’s first hotel, Aloft Providence Downtown, in the Innovation and Design District on the Providence River, walking distance from Brown University and Johnson & Wales University. It features 175 loft-inspired guest rooms, including five suites overlooking the Michael S. Van Leesten Memorial Bridge. The WXYZ Bar boasts craft cocktails, and visitors can host events with the hotel’s backyard terrace outdoor space and two meeting rooms. To (literally) top it off, Blu Violet is their new rooftop bar and restaurant offering sweeping views of the city.

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