The Site Committee, including board members and volunteers, spent a productive morning seeding the infiltration area damaged over the winter.
The infiltration area acts as a natural filter for storm water that flows into the bay. Catching bacteria and other organisms and larger items like trash before the water flows into Stillhouse Cove, this important feature protects the cove from bacterial or other blooms as well as from trash and plastics.
Thanks to the volunteers and board members that showed up to do this important work.
Coir logs perform an important function in the cove. Made to control erosion and protect the cove in the event of a significant storm, these “logs” help the cove stay stable and healthy.
And Ray and Wenley? Ray Mooney and Wenley Ferguson have been supporters of the EWPA for many years, adding expertise and helping out in many ways and lately heling in acquiring and installing coir logs in the cove.
This spring Ray saw logs posted on a social media site for a price substantially below what we have spent for similar items in the past. Given the Covid-19 situation and the difficulty of transporting them to Rhode Island, we passed on these items this spring. However, Ray noticed last week that they were still available. He drove to New Hampshire with his trailer and brought 15 logs back.
Wenley is lending her expertise in how these should be installed to gain the greatest benefit from them. She will advise the landscaping company that will be installing them.
The work of EWPA couldn’t happen without the assistance of such important friends of EWPA and we thank them for their generous and important efforts.
Maintaining the park includes keeping a close eye on the plants that are doing well and the ones that need some help. It also means always improving.
Last year Winterberry were planted in the northern curve of the park. The berries feed the birds throughout early winter and add a nice look to the edge of the park. Several of the plants did quite well while a few seemed to struggle.
In an effort to give them a better location to thrive, we, led by Nick Cokonis, moved the winterberry to a location a with more sun and less competition for water. Where the Winterberry were removed, they were replaced by a variety of smooth hydrangea called ‘Invincibelle Ruby.’
A Better Hydrangea for Pollinators (including Bees!)
“The pollinators love these Hydrangeas” said Nick Cokonis. He continued explaining that the variety of hydrangea chosen to replace the spots where the Winterberry were have reproductive organs and nectar available. Most commercial hydrangea are cultivated to lose the nectar and reproductive organs so they won’t produce nectar or pollen. In these commercial plants, the sterile flowers can be four times the size, making them thirstier.
Asphalt: The Nasty Gift that Keeps on Giving
The slow release of petroleum from asphalt dumped on the site years ago is the nasty gift that keeps on giving. While preparing beds, the crew took the time to remove as much of the tar that they could find.
On Saturday, October 2, 2021 Board Members from the EWPA worked in the early morning sun to remove invasive growth from the cove. This removal, done once per year, allows the naturally occurring growth room to thrive. The removal included a surprising number of young “pear” trees, that, according to understanding, are a variety that never actually produce pears!!
EWPA is supporting this local project. Donating on this page supports this art project. If you would like to donate to support the work of EWPA please visit http://stillhousecove.org/donate/
The sculpture and historic marker at the corner of Narragansett Boulevard and Sefton Drive stand at the precise terminus of the former ‘Eddy Street – Edgewood’ streetcar line. The site commemorates the 1890s trolley routes that transformed Edgewood from farmland and recreation area into the neighborhood we know today.
After Filmmaker David A. Goldenberg witnessed the removal of the rails from the Boulevard in 2017, he retrieved some pieces and asked sculptor David Karoff to weld them into a monument. Then, using a myriad of archival sources, Goldenberg produced a documentary film: End of the Line: The Tracks That Shaped Our RI Streetcar Suburb. In the documentary, local voice-over artists recreated period descriptions of the routes that traversed our neighborhood, as well as accident reports, realty advertisements, and transport procedures. A link to the film is provided below.
It was critical to connect the project with the waterfront and public park in a site sensitive manner and the Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association (EWPA) partnered with Goldenberg and Karoff on the promotion, siting, design, and landscaping of the “End of The Line” project and played a key role in completing it. As with all its preservation efforts, the EWPA also coordinated with the City of Cranston and local representatives. EWPA also provided the funding, with some help from donors, to complete the project. The site is located next to another EWPA project – the Stormwater Bioretention Area.
Mason Dennis Conte built the base and created the brick surround. Community members supported the project with materials and financial contributions.
The sculpture, made from rails from the former trolley line, is an interesting historical artifact that brings together art and history along a busy promenade within sight of historic Stillhouse Cove. This effort was consistent with EWPA’s mission to educate the community and to protect and preserve publicly-owned property within the waterfront area.
Please send your tax-deductible contributions to EWPA (Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association) 1438 Narragansett Blvd. Cranston RI 02905 and mark checks “trolley memorial” or select the link below
In July with the help of a large number of volunteers led by Nick Cokonis, we planted Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’) and Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’) grasses on the top of the banks.
Both grasses are prairie grasses that are recognized in the category of “warm season grasses” known for their long roots to control erosion and their drought tolerance. These were chosen to protect the embankment from erosion and for their color in the fall to add more interest to the park.
Save The Bay generously donated over 400 plugs of Switchgrass to our planting effort to help patch in spotty growth in existing Switchgrass stands and to control erosion. They are all native plants used where the soil is dry and nutrient deficient.
Over 80 neighbors joined together at this socially distanced outdoor clean up on April 24th, 9:30-11:30 am.
Teams worked on clean ups at Stillhouse Cove, Pawtuxet Park, and Sheldon Street.
With cooperation from the Pawtuxet Village Association, Save the Bay, RI Yacht Club, Cranston Rotary Club, Pawtuxet Cove Marina, Edgewood Garden Club, the City of Cranston and the City of Warwick the clean-ups were a huge success.
With everyones cooperation, we followed RI Department of Health guidelines. Thanks to everyone for the great event.
Stillhouse Cove, along Narragansett Blvd. Restored salt marsh is at right.
Pawtuxet’s Stillhouse Cove has undergone a remarkable transformation. Since 2004, almost $1 million has been invested in projects that have restored the 3-acre salt marsh, protected the embankment from erosion, enhanced the parkland, replaced a derelict boat ramp, and calmed traffic.
Stillhouse Cove Park is managed by the Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association (EWPA), a non-profit incorporated in 1996. EWPA has developed partnerships with agencies and organizations critical to the funding and installation of these great projects. Partners include: Save the Bay, the City of Cranston, DEM, CRMC, the US Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Narragansett Bay Commission and the Edgewood Garden Club.
Improvements in a coastal zone are very expensive, require environmental permits, and have to be carefully managed. Projects are complicated and time-consuming. However, EWPA and its partners have been tenacious. The result? Note the following projects and milestones completed in the past fourteen years:
Coastal erosion project. Stone rip-rap was installed on about 1000 linear feet of the southern embankment, and the embankment to the north was cleared and planted with special “warm season” grasses, with root systems capable of holding the steep slope in place.
Salt marsh restoration project. The invasive phragmites grasses were cut away. The
streambed channels were dug out, removing accumulated sediment, and restoring infiltration of salt water critical to allowing native marshland ecology to recover.
Vortechnics catch basin unit installed, 2005
Installed “Vortechnics” catch basin units in the lawn area, capable of filtering out sand, metals and other contaminates before reaching the marsh.
Installed new sidewalks and granite curbing on Narragansett Boulevard.
Installed six memorial benches, for park patrons to enjoy.
Garden improvements installed by the Edgewood Garden Club
Additional channels dug to control mosquitoes and increase salt water infiltration
Installed wooden fence at northern end of park
Recovery from Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy grant enabled stabilization of embankment
EWPA wins National Historic Register designation for Stillhouse Cove
EWPA wins Hurricane Sandy restoration grant for new erosion project
Water service installed at site, 2015
Water service and sprinklers installed on lawn area, which was regraded and reseeded as well.
Narragansett Boulevard traffic calming installed, including two speed tables and a new rotary at the intersection with Ocean Avenue.
New boat ramp installed.
Ten new gardens planted on site.
Annual Cove Clean Up, 2015
EWPA has ongoing initiatives and the annual Cove Clean Up every April. Pawtuxet neighbors who use or appreciate Stillhouse cove are encouraged to check out www.stillhousecove.org and sign up to become a member. Thanks for your support!