The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council is excited to announce that it will be working with the town of Smithfield to add a new expansion to the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Bike Path in Esmond. This section of the bike path will begin at the town’s wastewater treatment facility.
Town Council President Suzy Alba noted that Smithfield has the largest area of land in the Woonasquatucket Watershed.
WRWC Engineer Mark Pereira said the group received Green Economy Bond funding to expand the bike path, and after completing seven miles of bike path in Providence, the organization is looking forward to connecting Smithfield to the rest of the Greenway. “Water via rainfall in a Smithfield event makes its way into Providence via the Woonasquatucket River. The bike path is in Providence and Johnston. We’re starting to make our way up the watershed and into Smithfield,” he said.
Lisa Aurecchia, Director of Projects at the WRWC said the WRWC finds it fitting to begin at the water treatment plant and sees it as an educational opportunity to discuss where water comes from and water quality awareness. She said the WRWC hopes to eventually connect it to Burrillville and the existing Blackstone River Bikeway. “I think one of the things COVID has shown is that even a mile stretch can have such an impact on an area,” Aurecchia said.
From the water treatment center, the bike path would run behind the Esmond Mill, and connect with the East Bay Bikeway.
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