NARRAGANSETT - Although astute locals have already found their way onto the new trail section at Black Point, its construction was officially celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Wednesday morning by officials from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), and other individuals involved in the project.
The 1,430-foot loop trail at the Black Point fishing access area is the result of a partnership between RIDEM and De La Salle Christian Brothers, located across the street at 635 Ocean Road. The trail runs through the thick vegetation which typifies the southern coastlines of Rhode Island, and offers visitors panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and up towards Narragansett Bay.
“We have heard about the lore of Black Point over the years, and this is one of the most beautiful places on the coast of Rhode Island,” said Janet Coit, RIDEM Director. “[The trail] is the perfect place to take a walk or just enjoy nature in a peaceful, relaxing setting.”
“Kudos to De La Salle Christian Brothers for proposing this fantastic project that improves access to the Rhode Island shoreline,” she added. “Their initiative is a wonderful example of service to the public.”
The trail, which had a price-tag of $40,400, was majorly funded through a $37,000 grant awarded by RIDOT and the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program.Brother Edmund Precourt of De La Salle Christian Brothers was present Wednesday at the ribbon cutting, speaking to the benefit that the trail will have for the local older-aged community.
“Our focus is on the elderly, and this trail is the perfect opportunity for them to come and walk, get exercise, and see the beauty around them,” said Precourt. “It is much safer here than on Ocean Road for the aging population, which I think is so important.”
“It didn’t come without its challenges, but to get grant money for this type of project is wonderful,” he added.
Architectural firm John C. Carter and Company, Inc. of Narragansett, DiPrete Engineering Associates of Cranston, and Shalvey Bros. Landscape, Inc. of Warwick were all responsible for the trail’s design and construction. Coit gave special thanks to their efforts in bringing the new trail, which extends from the current Malcolm Grant Trail northward, to fruition.
“We worked closely with RIDEM in laying the trail out and figuring out where the best views were,” said Kristin Kaczmarek of John C. Carter and Company, Inc.
“This trail provides more access to a public resource that was inaccessible,” said John C. Carter, Principal of John C. Carter and Company, Inc. “It is a partnership between the Christian Brothers and the state, and public and private partnerships are always a good idea.”
After Coit’s remarks, those who gathered for the ceremony witnessed the ribbon cutting and took a brief tour of the trail. Malcolm Grant, namesake of the current trail, also spoke Wednesday, thanking all the parties involved for coming together to address the challenges of implementing the trail project and bringing it to completion.
“I’d like to thank most of all the field people, the guys out there with the axes,” said Grant. “They are the ones that I’d like to recognize today.”