About 75 people turned out Sunday, June 12, at the North Burial Ground to explore the cemetery and celebrate the adjacent park’s recreational potential.
Sponsored by the newly formed Friends of the North Burial Ground and Randall Park, events included a tree planting, an overview of the historical relevance of the cemetery, nature walks amid the varied flora and fauna as well as a discussion of the impact of the Blackstone Canal. In addition, live music was provided by Otis Read, Al Tringali and Mike Dee, and attendees participated in a march led by Met High School student re-enactors of the 14th Rhode Island Regiment of Heavy Artillery (more than two dozen soldiers from the regiment are interred at the cemetery).
Expertise was provided by Dr. Fran Leazes and other members of the North Burial Ground Project at Rhode Island College (www.ric.edu/northburialground), local naturalist Greg Gerritt and Ranger Chuck Arning from the National Park Service. A new picnic table was built for the occasion by the Groden Center, the organization that runs the burial ground greenhouse as part of vocational training for autistic adults. The picnic table sits in Randall Park, just inside the pedestrian gate at Rochambeau Avenue and North Main Street. Future events are being planned for the cemetery and park.