City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) was joined by Superintendent of Providence Parks Wendy Nilsson, and William D’Abate Elementary School Principal Brent Kerman for the ribbon-cutting in celebration of recent upgrades and improvements to the Joslin Street Playground on Monday, August 19, 2019 .
“Nature is as important to learning as are books,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “Outdoor classrooms give kids the opportunity to learn about the natural world in a way that makes sense and has proven to improve STEM learning amongst students. In addition, scientists have proven time and time again, that giving children time in nature helps them to focus, relax, and decompress. Something that I think we could all use. I am proud of the work that the Parks Department has done to make these improvements not just for the students at William D’Abate but for all the residents of mighty Ward 15.”
Council President Matos continued, “This is a project that began in 2011 with the creation of the Joslin Street Playground Master Plan, and I am so glad to watch these pieces come together. This is quickly becoming the crown jewel of the Olneyville and surrounding neighborhoods!”
Aligned with the City’s Green Schoolyards initiative, the new playground installations feature natural elements and a new outdoor classroom meant to encourage youth connection to nature, support afterschool activities and recess time, and provide a neighborhood resource. Resources and labor were provided by the Providence Parks Department, with engagement from community organizations and partners including ONE Neighborhood Builders, the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, and the William D’Abate School community. This project completes the second phase of improvements, funded by the City’s Capital Improvement Plan for $115,000.
These improvements are the latest in achieving the goals set by the Master Plan for the Joslin Street Playground in 2011. Since that time, the park saw the installation of an innovative waterpark, amongst many other additions and yet more to come.
Delia Rodriguez-Masjoan, MPA the Resident Engagement Project Manager at One Neighborhood Builders said, “At One Neighborhood Builders we believe that projects like this one at Joslin Playground not only benefit the students from William D’Abate Elementary but the whole community. Our goal as an organization is to help build strong, healthy communities which include affordable housing, and supporting programs that vitalize neighborhoods and provide quality of life enhancements to all we serve.”