Melissa St. Park Project Advances (RI)

Providence, Rhode Island, 3/21/2006: The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a non-profit conservation organization, is working with the city of Providence and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council to build a new park and playground at 67 Melissa Street. TPL is inviting area residents to a meeting to review what can be expected at the site in the coming months. The meeting will take place Saturday, March 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Button Hole Short Course and Teaching Center. Lunch will be provided.

The Melissa Street property-currently vacant and unused-is adjacent to the former Lincoln Lace and Braid (LL&B) site owned by the City of Providence, and both sites will eventually be added to the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. The Greenway is a proposed 5.7-mile series of paths and parks that will link the neighborhoods of Manton, Hartford, and Olneyville to Water Place Park in downtown Providence.

Nancy Kafka, senior project manger for TPL’s Parks for People Program, said, “Creating new parks and playgrounds in urban settings can be a complicated process. But we’re very excited as we draw nearer to the day when 67 Melissa Street will become a park. Our goal is to make sure that members of the community are completely informed. We hope to lay out the process and answer questions before the next phase begins.”

Much of the land along the Woonasquatucket River is impacted from years of industrial and mill use, and the LL&B and Melissa Street properties are no exceptions. TPL has been working cooperatively with the City of Providence, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reclaim the 67 Melissa Street site.

At the meeting, TPL representatives will discuss the preliminary construction schedule, what construction will entail, what is being done to reclaim the Melissa Street property from historic environmental impact, and what the “Master Design,” or future vision for the completed park, will look like.

City Councilor John J. Igliozzi, who represents Ward 7, said, “I hope that members of the community will join me at this lunch meeting on Saturday. I’m very supportive of the efforts to build these new parks along the Woonasquatucket, and I applaud the efforts to keep area citizens involved in the process.”

Jane Taylor, President of the Hartford Park Resident’s Association, encouraged local residents to attend the meeting, “The creation of the Greenway is overall a positive change in our neighborhood. For the park to be what people want, they have to participate. It would be great if all my neighbors joined in the effort.”

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.1 million acres of land in 46 states, Through its Parks for People Program, TPL has supported the development of 56 park, open space, and community development projects in New England cities. For more information, please contact us at (617) 367-6200 or visit