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Assessing the Erosion Threat to Stillhouse Cove Park

Dave Lager, Barbara Rubine, and Wenley Ferguson

On May 17, 2023, Barbara Rubine and Donna Fieldman of the EWPA met with Wenley Ferguson of Save the Bay and Dave Lager, Team Leader at SUMco. The agenda was to assess the damage caused by the historic December 23, 2022 storm tide to the Park’s infrastructure.

Flooding during the 12-23-2022 storm.
12-23-2023 storm damage to the coir envelopes & logs at the base of the Park.

The conclusion was that there was extensive damage to the the coir envelopes that were installed in 2013 to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy. EWPA hopes to be able to repair the bottom coir envelopes, which must be built in place, and re-secure them with added premade coir logs and new 4×4 stakes. The repair will be challenging since it needs to be done from the top of the bank as no machinery is allowed at the marsh level. EWPA will be researching possible funding sources.

Wenley Ferguson of Save the Bay pointing to the damage.

For more information on recent repairs to the Park banks:

Pilgrims land at Stillhouse Cove!

Seniors and their parents from Warwick’s Pilgrim High School descended on Stillhouse Cove on June 1, 2023 to take advantage of the Park’s beauty for prom photos. Traffic nearly came to a standstill on Narragansett Blvd.

Painting the Cove

Marc Clamage of Mansfield, MA chose a perfect May day to capture the colors of Stillhouse Cove. His work can be seen at:

Arbor Day Tree Planting in Stillhouse Cove Park

May 4, 2023. Braving chilly temperatures, approximately 50 second grade students from the Rhodes School trooped down to Stillhouse Cove to participate in the first planting of a new tree in the Park in nearly 20 years – an “October Glory” Red Maple. Barbara Rubine of the EWPA explained that the tree was replacing three diseased Black Pine trees that had formerly stood on the site. The new tree is appropriate in dry soil and resistant to insect damage and salt spray. Mary Jo Hines of the Edgewood Garden Club explained the origin of Arbor Day. Then, in a spirited exchange, she then tested the students on their knowledge of the value of trees and the different parts of a tree. Craig Hotchkiss of the of the Rhode Island Tree Council demonstrated how to properly plant a tree while explaining proper tree maintenance practices. Cranston’s tree warden, John Skropuski, and Sarah Lee, President, and several other members of the Edgewood Garden Club participated. Also in attendance were teachers Mindy Duquette-DiOrio, Susan Neary, Brittany Gagnon, and Mellissa Medbery.

The diseased Black Pines that were replaced.

Lumbering in the Cove

April 29, 2023: After the EWPA Annual Cleanup, Colin Murphy, Richard Finlay, Ray Mooney, and Garrett Quinn pulled a large piece of wood from Stillhouse Cove.

2023 EWPA ANNUAL MEETING William Hall Library, Cranston, April 18, 2023

BARBARA RUBINE, PRESIDENT, PRESENTED THIS YEAR’S AGENDA AND GOALS. Approximately sixty community members were in attendance.

PRESENTATIONS ON THIS YEAR’S MEETING THEME: The Future of Trees in Edgewood: Hear from Tree Experts on Where We Are and Where Are We Going. First, a 7-minute film was screened of David Schwartz, an arborist with over fifty years of experience, speaking of the special challenges to trees in urban Rhode Island.

Finally, our keynote speaker, Robert (Lou) Allard spoke about the RI Department of Environmental Management’s programs to encourage the conservation and promotion of urban trees in the State. After the presentation, he answered questions from the audience.

FIND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S TREE EQUITY SCORE HERE: You can even search your own house lot.


In 2015, the City of Cranston erected a rotary at the junction of Narragansett Blvd. and Ocean Avenue as a traffic calming measure.  This followed years of incidents involving inebriated late-night speeders slamming into the area’s yards and houses.  Since then, the Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association (EWPA) has invested a considerable amount of energy and money in maintaining the shrubs and flowers in the rotary garden.

Unfortunately, the site continues to be abused by the same population of out-of-control drivers, resulting in frequent damage to the plantings (and their own vehicles).  Neighbors come out to find a Kia or Nissan perched on the junipers.  In 2020, a particularly creative driver bounced off the rotary and then proceeded to fly down Ocean Avenue through the barrier and into the Bay!  It is not uncommon for large trucks to drive over the garden when they have difficulty negotiating the rotary.

In at least one case, the EWPA is seeking to recover the cost of the damage through a driver’s insurance company.   Should the Rhode Island Liquor Stores Association adopt the spot? 


Re-establishing Beach Grass

Super volunteers Donna Fieldman and Wenley Ferguson planted beach grass off Strathmore Place on a cold, blustery March 30, 2023 to replace the grasses that were washed away during the December 23, 2022 storm.

Donna Fieldman planting beach grass.

Cranston Removes Debris From December 23 Storm

Cranston’s Departments of Public Works and Parks & Recreation brought in heavy equipment last week to clear large objects that were lodged in Stillhouse Cove following the near-record high tide of December 23, 2022. Participating were Ray Tessaglia, Parks and Recreation Director and John Corso, Highway Department Manager. Dennis Conte, City Mason, can be seen cutting up a dock.

Poet on a Bench

Donald Macdonald returns to his childhood neighborhood several times a week to walk along the shore, write poems, and share his verse with new friends.

Tom Wojick traverses the same path with a camera capturing wonderful images at all seasons.

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