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Lone Ranger

Roger Williams Park

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Yesterday a friend of mine had me over in Warren, where she lived not too long ago. I don't drink coffee, but I love tea. Seems there's a tea place on Child St., which BTW I highly recommend if you're ever in the area.

It was such a beautiful day that afterwards I insisted we get outside and do some walking around. She suggested "the park," to which I said OK. Turns out she meant Colt State Park, where I'd never really spent any time before. I'd driven through it once, just to see what it was all about, but I'd never stopped.

It was beautiful. The views of course are incredible. People everywhere, the day being such a nice Sunday. And the park was fricking immaculate. The grass was well-kept and manicured. Everything raked. No litter anywhere.

Today, I had the day off, and it was pretty nice again. I live in Cranston on the Providence line, so I decided to go for a jog around Roger Williams Park.

I was revolted by what I saw.

The western half of the park is an absolute s***hole. Sorry to be crude, but it was disgusting. Trash everywhere, some of it being the most upsetting kind, diapers, condoms, the like. In many places, the grass seriously needs to be re-sodded. Trees were down, filth was everywhere. I was mortified.

The eastern half of the park was much better, FWIW. Actually looked like a place someone might want to spend time recreating. And I haven't been to the zoo in a long time, so I can't speak for the condition of that.

Why can't we keep the park in some kind of respectable condition? What happened to the fountains I remember being in the lakes in my younger days? What happened to the silly RISD-style art installations at random places throughout the park that gave the eye something to dwell upon? How long are they going to have that canvas covering the roof of the Betsey Williams house? How long does it take to fix one little roof? Why is one half of the park nauseatingly littered & polluted but the other half well-kept?

What gives? The two parks are similar in size, Colt and RWP. Is the only difference between them the fact that one is in a rich, white (and how!) section of the state, while the other is closer to South Providence? Or is the difference that one is a state park and the other a city park? And if that's the case, would RWP perhaps be administered better by a state agency?

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I can't really say for sure, since I hadn't seen what you saw, but first of all, I do think it does have something to do with the fact that it is a city park, and not a state one. But, second of all, about the trees being down and filth everywhere, it could be due to the thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds that is a factor. I know that the Cranston area has been bombarded by these powerful storms that have downed limbs and even trees, and generally threw trash everywhere. The city and state are quick to remove debris from roads since, of course, people need to drive around, but the park is sort of a lower priority, since its debris doesn't interfere with your everyday life, so to speak.

Still, I think much of it is due to negligence more than anything.

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Loneranger,

I certainly understand your frustration regarding the park's condition. However, if you send an e-mail to the city's Office of Neighborhood Services (link below), I'm sure they will have it cleaned up very shortly.

http://www.providenceri.com/ons/

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Dosen't colt State Park charge an admittence fee during the summer? My only problem with RWP is the condition of some of the roads.

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Dosen't colt State Park charge an admittence fee during the summer? My only problem with RWP is the condition of some of the roads.

I don't think so, I've been there in the summer and just gotten right in.

Colt State is an awesome park, especially since the bike path links right up to it. It has amazing views, and on a clear day, you can even see the Johnston landfill in the distance, now there's a sight!

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Dosen't colt State Park charge an admittence fee during the summer? My only problem with RWP is the condition of some of the roads.

I paid no fee. High summer on a Sunday? If there were a fee, I should think I would've had to pay. I saw a toll both kind of thingy, but it wasn't in use at the time I was there.

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Dosen't colt State Park charge an admittence fee during the summer? My only problem with RWP is the condition of some of the roads.

the state dropped fees for teh state parks. they only charge for the beaches now.

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not defending the park but it is a city park and colt STATE park is a state park. The fact that Bristol is a far more affluent town than providence maybe also be a factor as I'm sure the town does pitch in some funding for that park. And i will echo the sentiments of some: the storm we had a few weeks ago TORE UP RWP and the Washington park area. It will be a long time before that gets all cleaned up. While we have an ace forestry department, there is still only about 5 or 6 certified tree trimmers.

Colt state park is also a smaller park. HOwever that doesn't excuse the condition of RWP, i agree. There really needs to be an ACTIVE "Friends of" group that will organize clean-ups on a regular basis.

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colt state park is considered the creme de la creme of the state park systems as well, which is probably why it's kept up so nicely. even the most popular state beaches aren't kept as nicely as colt.

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colt state park is considered the creme de la creme of the state park systems as well, which is probably why it's kept up so nicely. even the most popular state beaches aren't kept as nicely as colt.

Jim got it right. Colt is the jewel in RI's string of state parks and as such it is maintained beautifully. It is also heavily patrolled by DEM officers and they are quite visible. Contrast Colt to Goddard and you'll see Colt is better maintained.

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not defending the park but it is a city park and colt STATE park is a state park. The fact that Bristol is a far more affluent town than providence maybe also be a factor as I'm sure the town does pitch in some funding for that park. And i will echo the sentiments of some: the storm we had a few weeks ago TORE UP RWP and the Washington park area. It will be a long time before that gets all cleaned up. While we have an ace forestry department, there is still only about 5 or 6 certified tree trimmers.

Colt state park is also a smaller park. HOwever that doesn't excuse the condition of RWP, i agree. There really needs to be an ACTIVE "Friends of" group that will organize clean-ups on a regular basis.

Maybe so -- but nonetheless, let's take this opportunity to bash the idiots who treat the world as their dumpster.

Here in Fl*gstaff, a major issue every winter is that you get thousands of yahoos coming up from Phoenix every weekend, if we have any kind of snow on the ground. They come up the highway, and as soon as they get up to an elevation where there's snow (typically around 6,500 feet), they just pull over by the side of the road and start throwing snowballs at each other. I'm not making this up -- they do it right by the side of an Interstate highway, looking like compleat idiots.

What's worse, though, is that there are all kinds of turnoffs by the side of the highway, which normally lead into US Forest Service roads -- but the USFS roads are all closed for the winter. So the yahoos pull off the road, set up shop by the closed gates, and go sledding, make snowmen, etc. Fine -- nothing wrong with that. But there is no real provision for doing this, or any kind of, er, "facilities" or dumpsters etc. So they throw their trash, diapers, and stuff all over the ground, wherever they are. Pack out what you take in? They've never heard of that -- they don't care, because they just get in the car and go back to Phoenix when they're done trashing the north country.

What a disgrace -- but the problem is, who pays for a solution? Coconino County? Who wants to spend public funds to establish "snowplay" areas, solely for the use of people who don't live here? There are periodic proposals to do something, but nothing ends up happening. So the diaper-dumpers keep dumping.

See why we say this place doesn't take itself seriously, and we want to go back to a place that does?

Urb

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the state dropped fees for teh state parks. they only charge for the beaches now.

Yeah, I guess it's been a while since I've beeen there, so I thought they still charged a fee during the summer, which I always thought was pretty low.

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I think it's been at McCoy stadium for a the last 2 years. Is this the same one?

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I think it's been at McCoy stadium for a the last 2 years. Is this the same one?

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My wife and I are members at the zoo, as we have an 18 month boy who loves to run around and see the animals on a weekly basis. We went to the Jack-o-lantern Spectacular for the first time this past Saturday and it was great. Sure there was a bit of a line to get in, but it wasn't that cold out, and we were with family. Once we got to the start of the pumpkin exhibition, the crowds dissipated and you could pretty much stroll at your own pace. It was pretty amazing to see the sheer number of pumpkins, not to mention the intricate and creative carvings.

The night capped off a Roger Williams day, as we went to Spooky Zoo earlier. They had trick-or-treating, costume contests, and an elephant pumpkin-smashing contest! I believe they'll have it again this coming weekend....

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I am glad to see this is still going. Many, many years ago it was up in Massachusetts, quite popular but not anywhere near as it is in Providence. I remember the first year it moved down there - we were lined up well OUTSIDE the gate to get in.

These are the great little things that can make a city spectacular. I kind of see a theme starting to develop as well - lights. I would want to keep it away from the more traditional strings of Christmas lights, but I would love to see these creative kinds of night events develop further.

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An out of country business-related visitor went and loved it - a great impression was made, good job RWZ!

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Roger Williams Park Zoo officials recently reported record attendance for the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular exhibit. After 15 nights attendance had reached 48,700 visitors, a 16% increase from 2004 which was the last time the exhibit was offered at the zoo.

From Projo.com

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