BURRILLVILLE – The town of Burrillville took second place in a competition between local communities to beautify an area, an effort that led to the complete transformation of Louise Bleiweis Memorial Park this month.
The Sherman Farm Road park was renovated as part of the Blackstone in Bloom Contest through Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. Modeled after a similar annual competition in Belper, England, the beautification contest challenged the nine Rhode Island communities in the Blackstone Valley to compete for prize money while improving an existing space.
The Recreation Department worked with volunteers from the Burrillville Conservation Commission and the Burrillville Lion’s Club on the project, organizing the details, with each group chipping in to cover the cost of improvements.
Public Works installed an asphalt berm to divert water from the park, which had been previously prone to flooding. Public Works employees also dug out the old mulch, smoothed down the loom, regraded the parking lot, delivered the memorial rock, and assisted the summer crew with installing landscape timbers.
The summer crew prepped the gardens, weeded, spread filter fabric, planted grass seed, transplanted some flowers and plants, and spread mulch. Local business Roots and Shoots assisted with design and layout. The Recreation Department, Conservation Commission and Lion’s Club planted six trees, one shrub, two flats of annuals and 29 perennials.
The project came in second, winning a prize of $500.
Recreation Director Andrea Hall said she’s hopeful the improvements will lead more residents to utilize the park.
“Bleiweis is located near Shippee Bridge and is a great spot to have a picnic lunch before fishing/kayaking/canoeing at the state boat ramp adjacent to the park,” said Hall.