On Monday, September 25, community partners and elected officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Gotham Greens to celebrate the opening of a new off-road multi-use path along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. This new path, located behind the Gotham Greens building in Olneyville, offers new access to the Woonasquatucket River and will serve as a connector between the Greenway and the Washington Secondary Bike Path. As Providence Mayor Brett Smiley noted at the event, “We are finally starting to knit together this patchwork of pathways in Providence that will make it more accessible, carbon-free, and in a way to promote this incredible ecosystem that we are so proud to live adjacent to.” 

The creation of this new path was a collaborative effort among Gotham Greens, the WRWC, and the City of Providence. Community members also played a vital role in implementing the path: participants in the WRWC’s Nuevas Voces/Campeones cohort who live nearby were the ones who identified the end of the Gotham Greens path as a location prone to flooding and pollution due to uncontrolled stormwater runoff. Gloria Morales, a participant of the WRWC’s Community Programs, said, “It’s going to help drain water, it’s going to help the community, and it’s going to help prevent erosion.” In addition to these improvements, she noted that the larger goal of these efforts is to “leave a better legacy to future generations.” 

Thanks to funding and support from both the community and other environmental agency partners, this new path opens up new opportunities for access to safe, clean, green space. The path serves an additional purpose: providing critically needed flood and pollution control measures in one of Providence’s most underserved neighborhoods. The infrastructure, combined with continued community-led efforts through the Community Action Program, will help address the impacts of climate change and empower community members to be leaders in climate resilience. As for future projects, utilizing insights of community members, the WRWC plans to work with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to develop solutions to mitigate the impacts of future flooding. 

We are grateful to our project partners at Gotham Greens and the City of Providence! The ribbon cutting event speakers, also representing project partners, included:

  • Providence Mayor Brett Smiley
  • Governor Dan McKee
  • United States Senator Jack Reed
  • United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
  • EPA Region 1 Administrator David Cash
  • RIDOT Director Peter Alviti
  • RIDEM Director Terry Gray
  • Darcy Young, Watershed Outreach Manager and Interim Executive Director, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program
  • Alicia Lehrer WRWC Executive Director
  • Gloria Morales, WRWC Community Action Program participant

Check out the latest press coverage from Monday’s event below:

Providence Journal


ABC6 News