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Protecting the Cove’s Trees

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The trees in Stillhouse Cove Park that provide us with shade and beauty require constant care and EWPA and its partners have recently performed several critical tasks.

Three Ash trees were treated on 8.12.23 for Emerald Ash Borer.  One tree was already infected, but treatment should help prevent further damage. Damaged parts will need to be pruned to make the damage less noticeable.  Steve and Scott of Northeast Tree made the injections which were paid for by City of Cranston through the funds available to the City Tree Warden John Skorupski.

Schwartz Tree and Landscaping donated services trying to repair several bad pruning cuts performed at some point on these same Ash trees in an effort to limb up low lying branches.

For the first time EWPA invested in mulching around almost all of the trees in the park.  This was done at the recommendation of the RI Tree Council to create a larger ring around the trees to protect their surface roots.  The effort is more than aesthetic mulching:  mulching encourages insect activity and protects the roots from damage from mowing, and it does look nice. Mulch also keeps the soil moist which hydrates the trees and enables the trees to absorb stormwater better than dry compacted soil.

It was observed that several juniper trees that self seeded on the banks under the cottonwood trees were subjected to unauthorized pruning.  The person who did this cut the tops off of the trees and threw the branches into the creeks behind the trees in an effort to hide the branches.  The Cranston Tree Warden has been notified of the unauthorized cutting of native juniper virginiana trees growing on the edges of the salt marsh that are vital to erosion control.  EWPA has a healthy working relationship with City personnel and seeks authorization every time we need to address tree issues that include, but are not limited to, removing invasive trees and seedlings, spraying trees for infestations, and limbing up trees that cause issues for vehicles and pedestrians, etc.

We will also be working on removing invasive white pear trees and Tree of Heaven seedlings at our October cleanup.  Approval from the Tree Warden will be sought in advance.

August Battle Against Invasives at Stillhouse Cove

Erstwhile EWPA volunteers showed up on August 5, 2023 to fight back loosestrife and other invasives that have run rampant in the Park and Marsh at Stillhouse Cove. Participants included: Deborah Tellers Palladino, Michelle Maynard, Jerry Long, Andrew Goodale, Steve Johnson, Colin Murphy, Barbara Rubine, and Donna Fieldman.  Charlie, Donna, and Barbara carefully trimmed the limbs on Strathmore Place that were hitting cars and trucks.

STEM Kids at Stillhouse Cove 2023

Every Friday morning for the last six weeks, 40 Cranston school kids from all over the city (grades K -6) came to Stillhouse Cove as part of a summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) camp program. Their teachers used the Cove as a laboratory regarding local ecology. EWPA’s Barbara Rubine and Donna Fieldman explained the challenges that erosion poses to the marsh and park and highlighted the different ways the problem is addressed at this location. On the last day of camp, in an effort to support the work of the EWPA, the students sold shells and rocks they had found along the shore and painted.

Exposition was grouped by grade level: K – 1 Group with teacher Berkis Rodriguez and TA Sheryl Peacock; Grades 2 – 3 with teacher Lena Cabral and TA Donna Pagano; and Grades 4 – 6 with teacher Keith Lavin and TA Hedy Tessier. This is the third consecutive year that Stillhouse Cove has hosted a STEM program.

Commute from Stillhouse Cove

Thanks to Scott Molloy for sending on this 1952 bus schedule for the Edgewood – Eddy Street line. It was a “trackless trolley” that required a turnaround in what is now Stillhouse Cove Park. Note that the first inbound departure was at 5:23 AM and that last outbound bus from downtown arrived at 12:35 AM.

Providence, RI, Chiswick Rd Loop, Edgewood Eddy St. Line. �IRM

Power Washing in the Rain

Colin Murphy cleaning bench

On June 17, 2023, several volunteers spent a drippy Saturday morning cleaning up Stillhouse Cove Park. Colin Murphy, Tom Ladue, and Donna Fieldman concentrated on cleaning mold off the Park’s benches. Linda Sardone and Melissa Carden (with son Charlie) focused on the beach area and marsh edges. The benches look great!

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:

https://www.ipaintwhatisee.com

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.

RIDING ROUGHSHOD OVER OUR POOR ROTARY

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? 

VIEW A SHORT FILM ABOUT OUR ROTARY.

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.

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