Jones Pond to Get a Makeover
East Providence has received two $150,000 grants to create 'Tranquility Place at Jones Pond' by early 2014.
Jones Pond near Pierce Field in East Providence will soon become an even more tranquil place – and at no cost to city taxpayers.
Two grants of $150,000 each have been received by East Providence to design and construct a new recreation facility referred to as “Tranquility Place at Jones Pond,” City Planning Director Jeanne Boyle told the Budget Commission last week.
The Budget Commission had to accept the $300,000 in funding from the Champlin Foundation and the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Acquisition and Development grant program.
Jones Pond is described as a three-acre rectangular lined pond built in 1938 as a retention basin to capture stormwater runoff from Pierce Field. It’s usually 3 to 6 feet deep throughout the year. It has been a popular ice skating rink in the winter when temperatures turn the water into ice.
Landscape architect Gates, Leighton & Associates (GLA) has created a master plan as a vision for the site at no charge, said Boyle. The grant funds will be used to build Phase I after a firm is hired to formally develop a plan.
As envisioned right now, Phase I will involve a memorial overlook from the slope to the north of the pond, a hilltop trail in the same area, a trail and nature walk through the wooded area to the east, an amphitheater, access on the pond for canoes and paddle boats, and shade trees. Those amenities will be added to Jones Pond whether additional funding for phases II and III can be secured, Boyle said in her memo to the Budget Commission.
The second and third phases include a main entrance, flag pole, formal parking area, a music shell and lighting, Boyle said. The facility will be handicap accessible and created for people of all ages.
Two workshops will be scheduled to allow public feedback on any design. The project must be completed by April 1, 2014, as a condition of the RIDEM grant, Boyle said.
No East Providence money will be used on the improvements, Boyle said, which got a positive response from Budget Commission chair Diane Brennan.
And the recreation department is expected to maintain the facility within its existing budget for park maintenance, according to the memo to the Budget Commission.