More About the Fred Lippitt Woonasquatucket River Greenway:
- An Overview of the Greenway
- Woony River Ride
- Bike Routes
- Greenway Map
- Greenway Milestones
- Fred Lippitt and the Greenway Project
- Accomplishments & Plans
- Brownfields Showcase
- Show your support!
- Clean Days on the Greenway
- Merino Park Playground Build
- Red Shed Bike Shop
- River Rangers
Brownfields Showcase Community
Background - The Showcase Community Designation: The state of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations received the Brownfields Showcase Community designation for the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Project in 1998. Since 1998 the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence have designated two sites as Brownfields along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. They plan to return the Riverside Mills and Lincoln Lace and Braid sites to beneficial use, revitalize distressed areas along the river, and restore pride and well-being to disadvantaged neighborhoods. Both brownfields sites were acquired by the City of Providence. Riverside Mills has been cleaned up and converted into a new park! Plans are still being formulated to turn the Lincoln Lace and Braid site into a park. For now the Lincoln Lace and Braid site is not a safe place to walk! However, the goal of the Brownfields Showcase Community program is to make is a safe and attractive places that people will care for once more.
What is a Brownfield?
A Brownfield is an abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. (US EPA)
For More Information
Both sites lie in the Woonasquatucket River's floodplain and both had mostly intact but degraded wetlands. Wetlands restoration work has been undertaken at Riverside Park and a fish ladder is being installed as well to allow for fish passage around the dam.
Status of the Sites: The uses of the sites was determined through a community planning process as part of the master plan for the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. Uses include a bicycle path, recreational opportunities and greenspace. The main stem of the bike path, which passes through the Riverside site, has been completed, as has the park at Riverside Mills, now called Riverside Park. The future park space at Lincoln Lace and Braid is being developed by the City of Providence and the Urban Design Group. Since this site will be reused for outdoor recreation the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island have decided to clean the sites to the highest standard (residential), as has already been done at Riverside.
At Lincoln Lace and Braid partial remediation has been completed, where underground storage tanks and above ground debris had been removed. A small landfill was discovered on part of the site and has been capped.
For more information about Brownfields in general or the Brownfields in Providence please see the list of contacts below.
The Riverside Mills site before the remediation work was started.
Remediation work underway at Riverside Mills in September of 2005. A key part of the remediation was removing buried oil tanks.
The new playground at Riverside Park! Plans are still being developed for the brick building in the background of this image.
Project Funding and Needs: Senator Jack Reed helped secure a $1 million award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for clean up at the Riverside Mills site. The award was announced by Senator Reed and Mayor Cianci in the spring of 2000. $450,000 was granted by the Greenways Council of Rhode Island and $100,000 was granted by the RI Trails Advisory Committee for improvements at the Riverside Mills site. The City has also received $25,000 to do wetlands planning at both Brownfields sites.
"Brownfields Showcase Communities have three main goals: to promote environmental protection, economic redevelopment and community revitalization through the assessment, cleanup and sustainable reuse of brownfields; to link Federal, State, local and non-governmental action supporting community efforts to restore and reuse brownfields; and to develop national models demonstrating the positive results of public and private collaboration addressing brownfields challenges. A partnership of more than 15 Federal agencies with interests in brownfields redevelopment has designated 16 Brownfields Showcase Communities."
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
45 Eagle Street, Suite 202, Providence, RI 02909
City of Providence, Department of Planning and Development
400 Westminster St. Providence, RI 02903
Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management (RI DEM)
Office of Waste Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
Rhode Island Department of Health
Office of Environmental Health Risk Assessment
Three Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
US EPA-NE, One Congress St., Boston, MA 02114-2023