The Urban Pond Procession is a celebratory annual event hosted by a grassroots group of artists, educators, scientists and community members. This years 7th Annual Urban Pond Procession will travel through J.T. Owens Park, the Huntington Business Park and residences on the western side of Mashapaug Pond. Participants include: Big Nazo Puppets, Extraordinary Youth Band, Alvarez High School, Reservoir Elementary, West Side Montessori, West End Community Center and more. The Annual Urban Pond Procession draws over 200 youth, families and community members each year.
Founded by Holly Ewald, a local artist, UPP has brought arts and humanities programming to schools and public spaces throughout the Providence area since 2008. Its workshops, events, and annual procession engage youth, families, and community members in the health and environmental plight of the Lower Pawtuxet River Watershed, and more particularly Mashapaug Pond, the only remaining natural pond in Providence. The workshops culminate in the making of creative props that are showcased in the procession.
Every year, the procession focuses on a different theme to raise further awarenesss of Mashapaug Pond, cultivate sense of place and advocate for the cleanup of our urban spaces. This years focus is the Huntington Industrial Park. The area, formerly known as the neighborhood "across the tracks" or "over the bridge," used to house one of the first racially integrated neighborhoods in Providence before it was bulldozed in 1962 and replaced with the industrial park as part of urban renewal. Through our collaboration with the Center for Public Humanities at Brown University, we have collected oral histories of people who once lived in this neighborhood. This years event honors the residents of that lost neighborhood, a contingent of whom will be marching in the procession.
This year we are also focusing on the stormwater pollution that enters Mashapaug Pond, a large portion of which comes from, or runs over, the industrial park. The area harbors several contaminated sites, and according to DEM research and a recent heat map of Providence, is one of the hottest sites in the city. The procession route will take us by examples of green infrastructure, such as rain gardens, which demonstrate low-impact ways to manage stormwater in our urban settings.
Directions to procession: Going south on Reservoir Ave, at 361 Reservoir Ave (Four Season's and Job Lot), take right onto Niantic Ave. Sign for Route 10 North. 300 yards along stay right on Niantic to JT Owens Park. Gather in parking lot of S G Torrice Co. 300 Niantic Ave 6PM.
Celebratory parade around the pond
Tom Meade, Providence Journal
May 30, 2013
There are lessons in, on and around the water
Bob Kerr, Providence Journal
March 30, 2012