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Coventry prepares for weekend opening of Sandy Acres Recreation Area

October 8, 2013

Coventry was able to transform the 20 acre lot off Sandy Bottom Road into a recreation center through grants from the state's Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Jessica Boisclair. Kent County Daily Times.

COVENTRY— Bird watchers, kayakers and nature lovers alike will be able to enjoy a new 20 acre recreation space, which will be opening this weekend off of Sandy Bottom Road.

Guy Lefebvre, Director of the Coventry Parks and Recreation Department, explained that the Sandy Acres Recreation Area will officially open on Columbus Day weekend after two years of planning and construction.

The design for the project began in 2011 after the department was able to secure $253,000 of matching grant funding through the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Office of Waste Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The town was able to use money that was awarded to the town through a settlement with the Picillo pig farm.

“It was decided through a series of public hearings that the funding that was secured through the parties at Picillo would be applied to restoration of the area in town that had been compromised or damaged,” Lefebvre said. “Sandy Acres was the perfect area to be restored.”

With the money, the town was able to remove solid waste material left on the premises following years of dumping.

Construction was also done to expand the floodplains of the nearby Pawtuxet River storm water detention basins and remove phragmites from the area.

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