New town park to be named after Westcott

New town park to be named after Westcott

NORTH PROVIDENCE – A new riverfront park will be named in honor of the man who did so much to ensure that it was acquired and protected.

The town will name the new park off Adams Lane for former Town Planner David Westcott, who died last April.

New Planner Brent Wiegand said the Land Trust, which previously acquired the park space on the Woonasquatucket River off Waterman Avenue as its largest parcel of property, voted last month to name the park the Westcott Memorial Park.

“He was a major player in getting that land,” said Wiegand, adding that the property is the Land Trust’s largest and most valuable one. “We definitely feel he deserves some type of credit.”

However, some Planning Board members have since said they would prefer that it simply be Westcott Park or Camp Westcott, with the word camp a nod to other town park spaces, and that having the word memorial will take away from the positivity surrounding the property and be a reminder that Westcott is no longer here.

Representatives from Rhode Island Envirothon, an organization Westcott previously served as president of with a mission to develop citizens who are willing and prepared to work toward a balance between quality of life and the quality of the environment, set aside $1,800 to create a memorial bench or two or some other type of tribute to Westcott at the park, Wiegand said.

The Land Trust will ultimately decide, perhaps at its next meeting, whether to remove the word memorial from the park’s name, he said.

The Town Council will vote later this month to formally accept the donation from Envirothon for the memorial at the park. Council President Dino Autiello said last week that Westcott was a “tremendous person and an asset to this town.”

Mayor Charles Lombardi told the council that officials are open to any suggestions on how best to honor Westcott at the park. North Providence lost a truly great man when Westcott died, he said.

Wiegand told The Breeze that officials learned that a dog park at the new park is not a permitted use under the open space grant for the acquisition, but town representatives are still looking at other potential locations for one.

Plans for the passive recreation Adams Lane park include improvements to make it ADA compliant and accessible to everyone, a small gravel parking lot, and some type of kayak ramp. The town is also waiting to hear back from the state on a trails grant for possible creation of hiking trails on the property.

Last fall the Land Trust finalized the purchase of the approximately 2.5-acre property off Adams Lane. The $300,000 purchase from the Octeau family was half funded by the Land Trust with a matching $150,000 grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Comments

Love the idea of naming a park in Dave's honor. He was a good influence in my life and career. One of the smartest guys I ever worked with.

Dave was a kind, smart and great man...he surely deserves this!!