August 21, 2008

Land Donation Adds to River Greenway

By Chloe Thompson

EAST PROVIDENCE -- A couple has donated more than 20 acres to East Providence in the hopes of creating a walkway along the Runnins River.

The land is on Amaral Street, near the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, and its value is estimated at about $25,000, according to Planning Director Jeanne Boyle. The parcels -- 16.8 acres and 4.2 acres -- will create nature trails and walkways along the Runnins, which borders both East Providence and Seekonk and leads into Barrington.

"Its value is significant," Boyle said, adding that the Planning Board was "very, very pleased" with the donation from John and Joananne Marshall, which was announced at Wednesday's City Council meeting.

A neighbor is allowing access for pedestrians through their property as well as an entrance for emergency vehicles.

Boyle said the parcel is primarily wooded, and the board plans to keep it intact. Because the parcels are landlocked, she said they were not suitable for commercial use.

"This is really just a part of a whole plan to create a continuous greenway on the river," she said. The conservation of the land bordering the river has been part of the Planning Board's efforts for the past 15 years, Boyle said. Compared with other land donations, this is "very large," she said.

In a memorandum from the Conservation Commission, it was noted that great blue herons were observed in the trees of the donation area, and called it an "important, unique wildlife habitat."


Providence [email protected] / (401) 277-7462

Originally published by Chloe Thompson, Journal Staff Writer.

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