“Nothing we do, no matter how virtuous, can be accomplished alone…” Niebuhr

On Saturday April 18, 2009  from 8:30am -12 noon the City of Cranston’s Conservation Commission in conjunction with the Pawtuxet River Authority(PRA) will be holding an Earth Day Clean Up at Furnace Hill Brook off Natick Avenue in Cranston.  Last year’s wildly successful Earth Day Clean Up along the banks of the Pawtuxet in the Howard Complex featured a small army of volunteers, who over the course of the day removed an incredible amount of debris (bottles, cans, tires, box springs, and an odd sofa or two) and in some cases helped to decrease the city’s wood tick population– I picked 24 of them off my person. 

This year’s site, Furnace Hill Brook, is a long neglected and under appreciated brook that lies just west of the Rt.295/Rt.37 intersection.  There is a small city-owned (but apparently no longer city maintained) sitting area with a granite bench and several ornamental shrubs along the banks of the brook that is in need of some sprucing up in addition to the brook itself.  Over the years the brook’s flow has been altered and at times reduced to a trickle by an excessive amount of natural and man-made debris that has clogged the brook, which actually flows beneath Natick Avenue and Rt. 295.

In the summer of 2008 the brook, which is a part of the Pawtuxet River Watershed, was a topic of much discussion in relation to the proposed Phenix Terrace development.  Area residents sited the potential negative impact that the proposed 198 unit apartment complex could have on Furnace Hill Brook.  The Cranston Intelligent Development Committee, a group of citizens opposed to the Phenix Terrace project, enlisted the support of then mayoral candidate Fung along with 4 current City Council members –Lanni, Lupino, Aceto, and Pellitier in their attempt to fight the proposal being brought forward by Boston-based developer E.A. Fish.  It is my sincere hope that our elected city officials can put aside their differences for just one day, roll up their sleeves and join with the assembled volunteers at Furnace Hill Brook to make Earth Day 2009 a huge success.  Remember, as JFK said “success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan”.   Thanks, Richard Brown

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8 responses

  1. It’s supposed to be in the sixties on Saturday, it could be a really great day to be outdoors.

  2. File under things that come with the territory… Being fully aware that local elected officials traditionally limit their Earth Day activities to cleaning/sprucing up the Dialogue Garden on Oaklawn Avenue, I attempted to ‘coax” a few of them to the PRA/Cranston Conservation Comm. Clean Up at Furnace Hill Brook. In the above posting I basically called out several City Council members and our Mayor to come and join the lumpen prole/non-politically connected citizens at the PRA sponsored Clean Up. Only City Councilperson Tony Lupino came to Furnace Hill Brook and to his credit he got down and dirty with the rest of us; collecting debris, moving fallen trees, and lugging rusted automobile parts through the woods, before heading off to join his City Council collegues at the Dialogue Garden. I can all but guarantee that the Herald’s photographer and reporter were sent to the Dialogue Garden for the “official” /elected official photo-op, but I for one certainly appreciate the efforts of Councilperson Lupino today, efforts that took place ‘out of camera range”.

  3. I made it out to India Point Park and got a little exercise painting picnic tables. fun.

  4. Rachel McNally | Reply

    Rick,
    Sorry I didn’t make it. I’ve done the PRA ones in the past and they’re always rewarding when you see how much you’ve accomplished:)

  5. Kiersten Marek | Reply

    Excellent for Councilman Lupino that he made the effort to join the PRA event. We were out of town but will hopefully be around for earth day next year.

  6. Rachel McNally | Reply

    The West Bay Land Trust is having their event this Saturday.

  7. I was at a Cub Scout Pack 6 Meshanicut cleanup and Fish Derby. It’s amazing how much fishing wire and duncan’s styrophome cups end up around. Good luck this weekend, I can’t make this one. Some Cub scouts should be there.

  8. Rachel McNally | Reply

    Rick,
    According to yesterday’s Herald, the only elected Council person at the Pastore Clean-up was Lupino (Mayor Fung was there as well) and Paula McFarland was quoted as saying she invited all 9 to attend.

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