Elmwood Neighborhood Association Newsletter – September 2017

ENA Newsletter – September 2017

Prepared by Karen Hlynsky, Chair, Elmwood Neighborhood Association


Changing the culture of Trinity Square

Trinity Square is the unwelcoming gateway to three neighborhoods. Vagrancy, drug use, and public drinking, and illegal activities have become key elements of the Trinity Square culture. Over the last 7 months the police department has engaged with three other groups who are taking various approaches to deal with these problems. SWAP has installed new fencing and plantings around Grace Cemetery. Amos House has sent outreach workers to the area. Local businesses have fenced off properties where vagrants gathered. The Providence Police are scheduling officers in the area on a regular basis.

District Commander Lt Remolina is one of four people from Providence who participated in Safe Growth training in Chicago. Their group will host its first event in Trinity Square on September 11 – a chess and domino event on the sidewalk for community residents and service providers. This is an opportunity for the community to take back the public space and replace illegitimate activities with healthy ones. The Safe Growth team will be sponsoring additional pop up activities in the area. (Read more about Safe Growth projects at http://safe-growth.blogspot.com)

At the end of June RI State Senators and Representatives voted unanimously to limit the opening hours of liquor stores within the city of Providence. The law goes into effect on September 1, when liquor stores are required to push back their opening times to 9 am. One of only two liquor stores in Providence that had been opening at 7 am is located on upper Broad St. It’s hoped that the change in hours will also help change the culture of the street.


Knight Memorial Library closes temporarily for repairs

On Saturday, July 22, Providence Community Library abruptly closed Knight Memorial Library for essential electrical and mechanical upgrades to assure safety in the building. It’s hoped that the library will open its doors again sometime in September.  In the meantime, patrons are encouraged to access materials, services and programs at other PCL locations.

Read details at http://www.provcomlib.org/news-events/news/2017/knight-memorial-library-closed-temporarily-mechanical-and-electrical-work. Check the PCL Web site for updates.


Wilbury Theatre gets a new home in Olneyville

It’s sad to see Wilbury Theatre leave the neighborhood and the Southside Cultural Center, but it’s great to know that they’ve achieved their dream of a new permanent home. According to their announcement, “Situated at the top of the bike path on the banks of the Woonasquatucket River in the Olneyville neighborhood, this 7,000 sq. ft. former garage space and showroom is the flexible, ‘one-room theatre’ home that we’ve been looking for, and we’ve committed to making it the home of The Wilbury Group for a long time.” See pictures at http://thewilburygroup.org/give.html

Wilbury’s 2017-18 season opens September 14 with the Caretaker at their new location at 40 Sonoma Ct in Olneyville. Keep up with their performances at www.thewilburygroup.org


Elmwood Ave map aims to increase business

The Elmwood Ave Business and Community Association (EBCA) will soon be distributing thousands of maps of Elmwood Ave. The colorful, illustrated, informative card stock map will introduce residents and tourists to nearly 50 sites on the street. Look for it at Elmwood Ave businesses.


Get free wood chips at Peace and Plenty Park

Use them for mulching trees and other yard projects. Brought to you by the Friends of the Park and the City Forester. Just come and take what you need.


Peace and Plenty Community Garden opens its gates to youth

This summer the opening of the Outdoor Classroom made the garden’s gates more permeable to neighborhood youth. Several youth programs were held in the park. Three first grades from the Sayles School made their end-of-year school trip to the garden where they planted okra, tasted rhubarb and mint, and released ladybugs. The Center for Southeast Asians and Southside Community Land Trust collaborated in a 5-week summer camp program focused on gardening and nature stewardship. The US Fish and Wildlife Service conducted Nature Appreciation Workshops for more than 30 children. The Y Youth Program brought neighborhood kids to their small plot in the garden. As a result of these varied programs, approximately 100 neighborhood kids had meaningful gardening experiences this summer.

The garden also provided hands on experiences for teens. New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGREF) had granted the garden the resources to buy gardening tools and build a shed to store them. Teens from Youth Build constructed the shed as a 5-week project; and 3 neighbors helped to paint it. It looks great and will serve the garden community well in future seasons. Stay tuned for the announcement of a ribbon cutting ceremony.


Peace and Plenty Park finishing up a rich summer season

Programs for both kids and adults created a rich summer schedule: nature workshops, yoga, reading by library staff for little ones, Y on the Move, free lunches for anyone under 18, and park care events. The Little Library continues to supply free quality books to kids, teens and adults. On August 16, Sidy Maiga and Friends drummed at a convivial evening gathering that drew 50 neighbors and friends. (Sidy is a master percussionist from Mali, West Africa.) Ice cream cones and a free book table rounded out the evening.

Don’t miss the park’s next musical event on September 13 at 6:00 pm. Yudus Quddus will provide an evening of entertainment with magical poetry fusioned with hip hop.


Roger Williams Park Evolves

Changes in Roger Williams Park continue. New sidewalks are being laid in some sections, and striping is being painted for dedicated bike lanes. Check out the park’s new Web site with an informative calendar of events:https://rwpconservancy.org


Next Street Tree Planting in Elmwood

Mark your calendars for a street tree planting event Saturday, October 21. We’ll be planting approximately 50 new street trees along Hamilton, Melrose, Niagara, Stanwood, Potters, Laura, Mitchell, Congress, Ontario, Lexington, and Atlantic.

Street tree pruning is also on the schedule for Elmwood. In FY 17 trees were pruned between Public St and Princeton Ave. Portions of Laura, Mitchell, Congress, Ontario, Lexington, Hamilton, and Melrose are slated for FY18, that is, by June 2018.


Hope for reducing noise from ATVs

Off road vehicles have become a noisy urban nuisance as riders crisscross the neighborhood at break-neck speeds. A new ordinance makes it illegal to ride unregistered ATVs on Providence city streets. While some ATVs are legal, the law will not register ATVs that lack brake lights and turn signals. Voice a complaint at 272-3121. If your concerns are dismissed, ask to speak to the Desk Sergeant at 243 6191.


Crime news: Safety and Security

District Commander Lt. Remolina reports that violent crime has been down for several weeks in Elmwood and South Providence. A quiet season was interrupted by shots fired on August 26 at 05:49 am at 374 Potters Ave. Luckily a witness provided a vehicle description that led to the apprehension of three men. The report has been given to the nuisance task force.

As residents make improvements in their properties this fall, be wary of home break ins. Thieves can pose as construction workers who boldly access homes with ladders through open second floor windows. To prevent such happenings let neighbors know when repairs are actually being done and ask neighbors to contact police if suspicious workmen are at your house and in your neighborhood. Thieves are particularly interested in copper piping and unsecured tools left behind by authentic workmen.


Keep reading for meeting and event details and to see what else is happening.


Find general information about community groups, greening Elmwood, community policing, and city services in the ENA Reference Guide mailed in June.



S C H E D U L E   O F   E V E N T S




  • Wednesdays – Sankofa Market at Knight
Tuesdays & Thursdays – Friends of Knight Book Sale (pending reopening of Knight)
  • Food Truck Fridays at Roger Williams Park
  • Saturdays – Broad St Farmers Market
  • City of Providence Planning Meetings

o   City Plan Commission meets on 3rd Tuesday of the month

o   Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission meets on 3rd Wednesday




  • Wednesday, September 6 – A Community Conversation about the Future of Broad St
  • Thursday, September 7 – Friends of Knight Memorial Library meeting
  • Monday, September 11 – Chess and Dominoes in Trinity Square
  • Monday, September 11 – Public Hearing: City Council Urban Redevelopment, Renewal & Planning Committee
  • Wednesday, September 13 – Elmwood Ave Business & Community Association (EBCA) meeting
  • Wednesday, September 13– Poetry/hip hop event with Yudus Quddus
  • Thursday, September 14 – Urban Greens Groundbreaking Event
  • Sunday, September 24 – St Michael’s International Community Festival
  • Tuesday, September 26 – Walking Tour: Upper South Providence
  • Wednesday, September 27 – Crime Watch meeting for Elmwood & South Providence
  • Thursday, September 28 – South Providence Neighborhood Association Meeting
  • Friday, September 29 – Peace and Plenty Park Work Day
  • Saturday, September 30 – Friends Book Sale at Knight (pending reopening of Knight)







Wednesdays, through October 25, 2 pm to 6 pm – Sankofa Market

Location: Knight Memorial Library lawn, 275 Elmwood Ave

Find fresh food, crafts, recycled books, even a food truck.

More information: http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farmersmarkets_details.php?market=622


On hold until Knight reopens: 

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30 to 12:30 – Friends of Knight Book Sale

Location:  Knight Memorial Library Community Room, 275 Elmwood Ave.

Browse through 1000s of books, videos, LPs, CDs, DVDs and original art works and prints.  Proceeds support library programs and improvements.

To help sort books on Tues and Thurs mornings, contact Doug, doug.crimewatch@gmail.com


Food Truck Fridays, Fridays through September, 5 to 8 pm

Location: Roger Williams Park by the Carousel Parking Lot

Take the family to the carousel and playground, visit the Japanese Garden, bicycle on newly paved streets. And sample a variety of delicious food and drinks sold by Providence area food trucks.

More information: https://www.rwpzoo.org/carousel-village/plan-carousel-village-visit/food-truck-friday


Broad St Farmers Market, Saturdays through October 288 to 11:30 am

Location: Algonquin House lawn, 807 Broad St

The Broad St Market opened in 2002 and offers a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables. The market also offers the Healthy Foods, Healthy Families program.

What’s at the market: http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farmersmarkets_details.php?market=3


City of Providence Commission Meetings

Location: 444 Westminster St, Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room

Agendas are published at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting and are available at http://sos.ri.gov/openmeetings/.

  • ·       City Plan Commission meets monthly on 3rd Tuesday at 4:45
  • ·       Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission meets monthly on 3rd Wednesday at 4:45





Wednesday, September 6, 6:30 – 8:30 am – A Community Conversation about the Future of Broad St

Location: Iglesia Visión Evangelica, 1014 Broad Street

Join Mayor Elorza, Councillors Harris, Castillo, and Aponte, and Planning Director Nickerson for a community conversation about the future of Broad St. This meeting will offer an additional opportunity for stakeholders to share aspirations for the future of Broad Street, the City will provide updates on several projects for improving the Broad Street corridor, and together we’ll workshop strategies for translating community aspirations into actionable projects. If you were not able to join us at previous community conversations about Broad Street or if you wish to offer additional feedback, please join us! Refreshments will be served.

Contact: Allen Penniman, Department of Planning + Development, apenniman@providencere.gov(401) 680-8523


Thursday, September 7, 6 to 7:30 pm – Friends of Knight Memorial Library meeting

Location: 305 Dudley St, South Providence

Questions for discussion: How do we increase circulation, improve attendance and develop high interest adult programming?

Contact: Debbie Schimberg, Deborah@gleegum.com


Monday, September 11 (time TBA) – Chess and Dominoes in Trinity Square

Location: On the sidewalks in Trinity Square

Safe Growth presents an open air chess and domino competition. Come to play, learn, or just watch and help change the culture of the street.


Monday, September 11, 5:30 pm – Public Hearing: City Council URRP Committee

Location: Providence City Hall
     Calling All Neighbors!  The City Council’s Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal & Planning will hold a Public Meeting to receive comments on a proposed ordinance: To grant the Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA) the ability to acquire privately-owned properties identified as abandoned, vacant, or otherwise blighted and designate them as a Redevelopment Project Area.

For a copy of the proposed ordinance, please contact Dwayne Keys, (401) 369-1334, southprovneighbors@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 13, 9:00 – 10:30 am – Elmwood Ave Business & Community Association (EBCA) meeting

Location: Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 225 Elmwood Ave

Agenda: Next steps in Elmwood Ave beautification, working with AARP and Hand Up Program at Amos House.

RSVP to Karen, Karen_ena@earthlink.net, (401) 941-8249

Note: EBCA meetings are generally held on the second Wednesday of each month.


Wednesday, September 13, 6:00 pm – Poetry/hip hop event with Yudus Quddus

Location: Peace and Plenty Park

Don’t miss an evening of entertainment with magical poetry fusioned with hip hop by Yudus Quddus. Yudus is a writer, performer, poet, actor and storyteller. He has taught at Johnson & Wales, RISD, and CCRI and conducted workshops for children at various schools in New England. He’s performed at Brown, Providence College, Yale, and RISD and recently finished 1st place at Boston’s First Night’s poetry slam and 2nd place in poetry competitions in Cambridge and Providence.


Thursday, September 14, 4:30 pm – Urban Greens Groundbreaking Event

Location: 93 Cranston St, West End

Celebrate the groundbreaking of Urban Greens new cooperative market. Festivities include music of the Sankofa drummers, small snacks for everyone, and a visit from the Mayor. Bring your own shovel (BYOS) to help make this a community-involved groundbreaking.

Not yet a member? Now’s the time to join! And if you are already a member, tell a friend or neighbor to join! Becoming a founding member-owner is a huge way to help support Urban Greens and ensure our success in opening and thriving!

Contact: Urban Greens Food Co-op, info@urbangreens.com>


Sunday, September 24, 11:00 am to 5 pm – St Michael’s 42nd Annual International Community Festival:  a Carnival of Cultures

Location: St Michael’s Church, 239 Oxford St, South Providence

Everyone is invited to St. Michael’s annual event. Enjoy ethnic food. Play games. Win raffle prizes. Dance to live music.

Contact: Janet Rivard, jananddani@cox.net


Tuesday, September 26, 5:00 pm – Walking Tour: Upper South Providence

In partnership with the Providence Preservation Society (PPS), South Providence Neighborhood Association (SPNA) will host a Walking Tour of Upper South Providence! Please join us as Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11 – Providence) and architect Peter Borgemeister explore the history, architecture and shifting demographics of Upper South Providence. You’ll explore how the forces of institutional expansion, segregation, gentrification and community pride have shaped the upper section of our vibrant & diverse South Providence neighborhood.

For details & instructions to register, contact Dwayne Keys, (401) 369-1334southprovneighbors@gmail.com


Wednesday, September 27, 6:00 – 7:30 – Crime Watch meeting for Elmwood & South Providence 

Location:  640 Broad St, YMCA for Youth Development Community Room (across from St Joseph’s)

Meet with Lt Remolina who reports on incidents in the previous month. Talk face to face with him to resolve quality of life issues. Learn about programs to reduce crime from invited guests. Get to know your neighbors and their concerns. Crime Watch window placards are available at each meeting.

For agenda updates, contact Doug, doug.crimewatch@gmail.com

Note: Crime Watch meetings are generally held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Crime watch window placards are available at each meeting. 


Thursday, September 286 to 8 pm – South Providence Neighborhood Association Meeting

Location: Community Prep School, 135 Somerset St.

Members of the Providence Center will provide information about their Recovery Navigation Program based at Emmanuel House on Public Street in South Providence. This is an excellent opportunity for neighbors to learn more about an existing service & discuss ways that this program can address the challenges of our neighborhood.  We’ll also receive information & updates from Neighbors for Revitalization (N4R)–a collaboration of neighbors & organizations addressing blighted properties in Providence–on actions & participation opportunities for neighbors. SPNA is a member organization of N4R.

SPNA has quickly become active in Ward 11 by addressing a variety of issues on upper Broad St, including blighted properties, large numbers of homeless people, the people who prey upon them, and their impact on South Side neighborhoods.

To confirm your attendance, and/or to get on the SPNA mailing list, contact Dwayne Keys,southprovneighbors@gmail.com or (401) 369-1334.
Note: SPNA holds regular meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month.


Friday, September 29, 9:00 – 12:00 noon – Peace and Plenty Park Work Day

Location: Peace and Plenty Park

Join Lincoln School for a morning of community service at Peace and Plenty Park. On the “to do” agenda: park, garden, and urban tree care.  Refreshments provided.

Contact: Doug at doug.crimewatch@gmail.com


Tentatively planned, pending the reopening of Knight Memorial Library:

Saturday, September 30, 12 to 4 pm – Friends Book Sale

Location: Knight Memorial Library Community Room, 275 Elmwood Ave

Pending Knight’s reopening, a series of fall book sales starts up again after a summer break. Find fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults.
To confirm, visit http://www.provcomlib.org.

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