Providential Gardener Homepage


What's Happening? Who's Doing What? How Do We Find Out?

The Providential Gardener is for everybody living in Rhode Island. But everyone else is also welcome to explore this dive into how we have a living in Rhode Island.

ProvGardener sees Rhode Island as one whole garden that's... well, the size of Rhode Island. In fact, it's exactly the size of Rhode Island. Little Rhody is often used to measure the size of their oil spills and forest fires, but enough of that. Only Rhode Island itself actually fits the bill, and we are glad to be our size.

For the Providential Gardener,
   All that "grows on" here...
     Every village and neighborhood here...
       Everyone who lives here...
         ...all of these and more are important to the Providential Gardener.

~ Explore RI as a Garden ~
Discover Your Place in the World



Why ProvGardener?

It's true I love gardening, but ProvGardener is about much more than vegetable and flower gardens. The main focus is

 How do we get all the work done so that every Rhode Islander has a living?

 Our lives depend on the natural world. We are all responsible for our part of the earth as citizens of this state. We can't keep living here if we don't take care of it. So I begin with Rhode Island's environmental and energy issues and explore how these issues relate to each other.

If You're Living in Rhode Island...

  • Air and water quality affect our health
  • Clean drinking water is essential to life
  • Hazardous substances and human waste can make us sick
  • Access to nutritious food is also essential
  • We also need affordable, reliable energy resources
  • We need a safe, healthy place to live and keep our stuff
  • We need to get stuff that isn't near where we live.

For all of us to keep living here, somebody has to do the work involved to meet these needs for everyone in RI. WHO DOES WHAT?

If You're Not Living in Rhode Island...

You also have the same needs we have. It's just harder or unnecessary to describe how all the work gets done because either

  • Your state or country is much bigger than RI, and there are a lot more of you per place, making the interrelationships overwhelmingly complicated. OR
  • You live in a sparsely populated, large place and the work of having a living is simpler, more straightforward.

Rhode Island: A Scale Model of a State

Rhode Island is an ideal size for exploring how a state actually tries to do the work that would provide decent livings for every resident.

  • MEETINGS & EVENTS: Most of us can get anywhere else in the state in about an hour. You can't do that in California! It therefore makes sense here to have a centralized calendar of all kinds of environmental activities.
  • PEOPLE & GROUPS: And if you know where to look, it's easy to meet the people and join groups working on projects and issues that impact our lives in Little Rhody -- they're all actually our neighbors.
  • NEWS: There are multiple sources of news besides the local newspapers, the Providence Journal, and other media. Web-based news sources such as ecoRI make major contributions. Many of the environmental groups are also important news sources, through workshops, lectures, websites, and publications. State boards, commissions and departments also produce informational reports and studies. Google searches don't necessarily turn up what you're looking for. Information is scattered. It's not all online, believe it or not! (Think library and archival collections.)

It's hard to keep up with everything!

So ProvGardener is bringing this information together to show how we actually get the work done. It's not as simple as people often think: there are all sorts of collaborations and coalitions. But because all this stuff is categorized, it's easier for anyone to follow the complexities and find what interests them quickly and reliably.

Take a tour of this amazing resource!

ProvGardener Blog Posts

2007 RI Arbor Day Tree - from the last Liberty Tree
Tulip Poplar Liberty Tree at Roger Williams National Memorial, August 23, 2017
2007 Liberty Tree Plaque (now stolen) at Roger Williams National Memorial
A New Liberty Tree ~ 2007 with a 2017 Update

A new Liberty Tree, grown from a seed of the last surviving original tree, a grand tulip poplar that lived more than 400 years in Maryland, was planted on April 27, 2007 at the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street in Providence, RI. It's just down the road from the site of Rhode Island's original Liberty Tree, an elm chosen by the Sons of Liberty in 1768 that stood on the north side of Olney Street and North Main.

How ProvGardener Describes "The Environment" ~ Categories

Most of us never give categories much thought -- the librarians* among us are most likely to think about this, but even many librarians find cataloging boring and tedious. The fact is that everyone automatically categorizes everything every waking moment. Let yourself think about this: you got up this morning and you did different things in the bathroom than in the kitchen. You put clothes on, not the drapes. You looked for forks or spoons in the silverware drawer, not the sock drawer. And so on.

Wilcox Park Tree, Westerly RI - August 2008
Wilcox Park Champion Trees

Westerly's Wilcox Park was designed by a former associate of Frederick Law Olmstead in the early 20th century, and it is truly a beautiful space with many activities during the summer. One of those activities is a walkaround to view the Wilcox Park Champion Trees on second Saturdays, May through October.

The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century
Indoor Farming

Indoor Farming is also known as Vertical Farming.

Definition of Indoor Farming (Vertical Farming)

North Burial Ground Beech Tree 2006
Join the Crowd - Plant a Tree!

Elm trees are growing again in Providence’s North Burial Ground thanks to Forest Hills Nurseries of Cranston. The tree donation was an unexpected add-on to one of my bucket-list items: I wanted to plant a tree to Providence -- but not just any tree -- a good-sized copper beach that would outlive me.