opinion Newport Rhode Island

To the editor:

I have introduced a resolution for consideration at tonight’s City Council meeting, asking the City administration to explore the feasibility of expanded recreational offerings in the north part of the City.  

The intention of this resolution is to lay the groundwork for improved recreational opportunities and activities, to be ready for the summer of 2018 and beyond.  We urge the City to explore a summer camp program in Miantonomi Park, which is being revitalized as a place to gather, play, rest and reflect.  The Newport Open Space Plan recognizes Miantonomi Park as a gathering space for passive enjoyment, a wildlife habitat, and a tree canopy in a dense urban neighborhood, while offering key recreation opportunities.  

The resolution also seeks to explore venues for active sports such as basketball and tennis.  I’ve been made aware that language in the resolution is being interpreted as a suggestion that a basketball court should be located in Miantonomi Park.  The language actually states “in the neighborhood of Miantonomi Park.”  I do not believe hardscape in Miantonomi Park is consistent with the governing documents, nor do I think it’s a worthy goal.  

The intention of the resolution is to explore the feasibility of all kinds of recreational activities in the north part of the City, and I hope community discussions will lead us to other options not yet considered.  My intention is to keep the conversation alive as options are explored and developed.  To that end, I am hosting an informal conversation discussing recreation in the Pell School neighborhood tomorrow, Thursday, the 26th.

We will gather in the Pell School Cafetorium at 6 on Thursday.  We’ll hear from Scott Wheeler, Building and Grounds Supervisor, and Ed Harrigan, Recreation Administrator, speaking about the plan for revitalizing the lawn in Miantonomi, and about the research they’ve done and the ideas they have for expanding recreational opportunities.  

I look forward to an evening discussing ideas and inspiration.  Please come and help to move this effort toward a positive experience next summer.

Susan Taylor

Newport City Council, First Ward

401-207-1028 (cell)


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