WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The fruits of labor bankrolled by the Rhode Island Foundation were officially shown off Monday afternoon when the repainted arch at Rocky Point Park in Warwick was unveiled.
The 60-foot-high arch served as an entrance and exit to the amusement park that was housed at Rocky Point from the mid-1800’s until the late 1990s. Back in May, the Rhode Island Foundation announced a $5,620 grant to restore the arch, removing rust and lead paint and give it a fresh coat of paint — among several other endowments announced for the Foundation’s one-hundredth anniversary.
Now that the site has been turned into a state park, people are visiting in droves — from hiking the grounds to watching outdoor movies and more activities, and everyone will now benefit from the restoration, said Mayor Scott Avedisian.
As early as 2001, Sen. Jack Reed used his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee to help set aside more than $2.25 million in federal funding to preserve 41 acres of waterfront property for public recreation, his office said. Rep. Jim Langevin also assisted in securing funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“It’s been roughly 20 years since the park closed, but I know I’m not alone when I say how proud I am of the progress that’s been made to bring it back to life,” Sen. Reed said Monday. “The amusement park may be gone, but the view is still thrilling, and I am pleased we were able to preserve both the natural beauty of this place — and a piece of the park’s history — for future generations.”
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Warwick Department of Public Works and the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce also assisted in the restoration.
An earlier edition of this story misattributed a quote from Senator Reed.