In 2007 I did a community project with the Woonascquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC), a non-proﬁt that is working to restore the Woonaskuatucket river. The river is badly damaged from pollution and damming from Providenceʼs industrial past. Many of the neighborhoods along the river are poor and neglected. Riverside Park is a riverfront park in such a neighborhood. The WRWC engaged the community around the park to help with river clean-ups and to educate them about the coming ﬁsh ladder, which would help restore the herring ﬁshery in Narragansett bay. I was brought in to add an art component to the project. I worked with groups of young kids from the neighboring housing projects to make ceramic ﬁsh, which we used to decorate the ﬁsh ladder. I also welded together an aluminum frame in the shape of a giant stripped bass. The older students employed by the WRWC as River Rangers would collect aluminum cans that littered the river bank and cut them into scales to be riveted to the aluminum frame, creating a large striking ﬁsh sculpture.
A short video about the River Rangers that helped with the project.