Liberty Of Conscience — It Started Here

Jennifer W. Gonsalves Meet Jennifer Gonsalves, site manager of the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street. She has posted a notice on the side blog that I feel merits greater attention. It reads in part,

. . . we have just completed the final draft of a Cultural Landscape Report for the site. The Cultural Landscape Report includes a comprehensive site history, from Native American presence through the urban renewal period of the 60’s that created the park right up to the park as we know it today. The report also includes an evaluation and analysis of the site and treatment recommendations.

I met with the awesome Ms. Gonsalves who sent me home with a hard copy of the report and I’m getting totally lost in the old maps and pictures. (You can download a pdf and get contact info by going to the RWNM website.) More importantly, she wants to use this comprehensive report as a jumping off point for increasing public awareness of this significant park, and getting some public input as to future stewardship of the site. To that end there is a public meeting scheduled where some topics might include,

Should we expand our visitor facilities? Should there be a memorial commissioned to recognize Roger Williams and his beliefs or is the memorial landscape representative of him and his ideas simply by its designation as a National Memorial? Should we consider redesigning the landscape to better reflect its original planned intent/design? How can we enhance the landscape to increase visibility? What kinds of partnerships/programs should we develop in an effort to create more awareness of the site and its significance? These are just a few of the questions that we are looking for your input on.

And in general you should stop by, walk around and check this place out. (If you are stuck for gift ideas, there is a cool little giftshop/bookstore on North Main Street just south of Smith Street. Tons of local history and there is a badass Roger Williams patch you could sew on your biker jacket. . . good stocking stuffer.)

Public meeting, Wednesday, December 9, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Old State House, 150 Benefit Street

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