Businessman 'Proud' to adopt traffic island near the bridge

Businessman 'Proud' to adopt traffic island near the bridge

Volunteers from National Grid and the Pawtucket Foundation helped make Andrew Spingarn's dream of a beautied traffic island next to the Division Street Bridge a reality during Pawtucket Proud Day last Friday. (Valley Breeze photos by Ethan Shorey)

PAWTUCKET - Pawtucket Proud Day is always a chance for local businesses and organizations to show their pride in the city, but one local resident took that pride to another level this year.

Andrew Spingarn, who lives and works on Taft Street and has taken an active role in beautifying the neighborhood, has long wanted to see the traffic island next to the Division Street Bridge and the Pawtucket River Bridge spruced up, but he wanted it done right. The island is located right near his art gallery.

Working with the Pawtucket Foundation, which manages Pawtucket Proud Day, and donating $500 to the project, Spingarn was able to achieve his dream last Friday, working with volunteers from National Grid and the Pawtucket Foundation to beautify the island near his business.

In the spirit of the annual community service day, the final result of his project is something he can be proud of, said Spingarn.

Spingarn, his brother Arthur Spingarn and sister Margie Hugel donated trees to the project in memory of their parents, Burton and Lenore Spingarn.

Alex Knott of Central Nurseries donated and planted final plantings over the weekend. Central discounted the price on the total sale of the plantings.

The Pawtucket Department of Public Works picked up compost for the project, delivered it and helped spread it. Workers also took bags of used material and weed waste once the job was complete.

Find a picture of the completed project with this story at Thursday.

The design for the landscaping was done by Spingarn, with input from Knott on appropriate plans for the island and proper spacing. Spingarn put the overall value of the plants at more than $1,000.

One issue going forward will be making sure the plants are watered twice a week, said Spingarn. He plans to work with the city to figure out a schedule to keep the plants healthy.

Spingarn credited Joe Sandman from the Pawtucket Foundation for helping to coordinate the project, and Bill Walsh from William Walsh Co. in Attleboro, Mass., for helping to pull the old shrubs to make way for the new ones.

Gary Lataille, of National Grid, scoops mulch out of a wheelbarrow held by Gary Wunschel, a Pawtucket resident and volunteer for last Friday's special Pawtucket Proud Day project near the Division Street Bridge.