Beautifying the Woony River Greenway

Volunteer to Transform the Woonasquatucket Greenway!

Overview

Each year, over 1,500 volunteers join the River Rangers to clean, beautify and restore the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. They work hard to make the Greenway a special place to play and experience nature. We begin each season with Clean Days Kickoff events around Earth Day in April, followed by ongoing opportunities throughout the year when friends and neighbors join us in service.

Here at WRWC, we like to get our hands dirty. Projects include planting, painting, building, invasive plant management, litter-sweeps, graffiti removal, spring weeding, mulch mobbing, in-water cleanups and more. Volunteers, working hand-in-hand with River Rangers, have been the driving force behind transforming the Greenway and its parks. In addition to doing good for the community, volunteers have fun and learn about the history and culture of the Greenway. We invite individuals to join our Community Clean Days. Corporate and other groups can book a Clean Day with us–read on for ways to make that happen.

Thanks to the dedication and work of so many, the Greenway continues to be a true catalyst for change and revitalization in Rhode Island. Please support WRWC so we can continue to mobilize thousands of volunteers as we continue the stunning transformation of our river.

For more information, please contact Events and Advocacy Coordinator Clare Brown at cbrown@wrwc.org or 401-861-9046.

Community Clean Days

All year long, WRWC River Rangers schedule service days that focus on major areas of the Greenway across multiple cities and towns. We invite friends, neighbors, and dedicated volunteers to help beautify our communities. Community Clean Days are family-friendly and are usually held on evenings and weekends.

Community Clean Days and other volunteer events are posted on our Events page. All participants are required to register and sign an online waiver in advance. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult, and all volunteers under 18 must have their waivers signed by an adult.

Sign Up for a Clean Day

Group Clean Days

Group Clean Days

Overview
Group projects on the Greenway offer opportunities for meaningful teambuilding and community service. Throughout the year, we partner with corporate groups, schools, and nonprofits to do projects that keep the Woonasquatucket River beautiful, safe, and functional. Half-day group project opportunities are available throughout the year. Typically, projects often happen between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, and timing can be customized depending on your group’s needs.

To get started, please review the information below and then share your group’s information on our Clean Days sign up form below.

Project Details
We offer opportunities to participate in horticulture projects that involve light gardening tasks such as raking, mulching, weeding, and planting. We also offer opportunities to join maintenance projects such as litter cleanups, in-water trash removal, sign painting, and fence- and bench-building. Depending on the size and needs of your group, horticulture and maintenance projects can be combined.
We provide:

  • An overview of the Woonasquatucket River and watershed, along with specific cultural and historical information about the project site
  • Water stations to fill reusable bottles and disposable cups
  • Hand sanitizer and/or handwashing stations
  • All necessary project equipment and supplies

We encourage participants to bring their own work gloves if they can; we also have plenty of “loaner” work gloves if needed. Participants should wear weather-appropriate clothing that can get dirty.

Please note that a person from your group must serve as the designated group project contact for communication and coordination purposes.

Corporate Engagement Fee
We ask volunteer groups from for-profit companies to provide a fee to help cover the planning and material costs our volunteer events and to support the work of the non-profit Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council. Engagement fees for 2022 are $1,000 for groups of up to 15 and $1,500 for groups of up to 30. If your group is larger than 30, please indicate that on the sign up form and we will follow up to determine an appropriate fee. We also appreciate contributions from non-profit and education-related groups.

Project Locations
Needs along the Greenway determine the locations of projects, with most opportunities located in Providence, North Providence, Johnston, and Smithfield. We will work with your group to determine a project location that works for all involved.

Weather Policy
Because our projects occur outdoors, we will schedule a rain date following the primary project date, and we ask groups to commit to this date if possible.

Group Clean Days Sign Up

A Brief History

Since the 1990s, WRWC has relied on volunteers to help shape the Greenway. Clean Days on the Greenway has roots in both small neighborhood cleanup projects, and big, all-out cleanup events. Since the 1990s, youth from the Olneyville, Manton and Hartford neighborhoods have worked as volunteers and then as Junior River Rangers, helping with cleanups and preparing the way for the Woonasquatucket Greenway Project. Additional volunteers from neighborhoods surrounding the River have joined in to pull refuse from the river and clean up dumping grounds in what would become the parks of today. Most of all, they brought the fun and spirit of youth to the area. After learning about the great work being done, even more groups joined the effort.

With the construction of the Greenway in the early 2000s, more businesses, schools and other non-profits joined the WRWC and Junior River Rangers on special projects and regular cleanups. In 2010, WRWC hosted the first official Clean Days on the Greenway as a singular event. Since then, WRWC has continued to rally annually, often right around Earth Day, to bring hundreds of volunteers together to prepare for spring. In 2015, Clean Days became a branded, year-long program. Today, we continue our efforts, large and small, throughout the year, and Clean Days on the Greenway has become one of the largest, on-going volunteer cleanup and restoration efforts in the region.