Tag Archives: summer

Pare Congratulates Walter Burke on Environmental Achievement Award

Pare Corporation is excited to recognize a long-time client, Bristol Parks and Recreation Director Walter Burke, as the recipient of Save the Bay’s annual Environmental Achievement Award. Walter was recently honored for his efforts to eliminate stormwater pollution entering Narragansett Bay in the Town of Bristol and, in particular, for his efforts to improve water quality at the Bristol Town Beach.

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Working with Pare’s civil engineering and environmental teams, Walter initiated the Bristol Town Beach project to eliminate the frequent beach closings caused in years past by stormwater pollution. Historically, Bristol was forced to close its beach an average of 15 to 20 times per summer due to a stormwater system that carried bacteria, salt, and pollutants directly into the bay. David Potter, Senior Project Engineer in Pare’s Civil Division explains, “Pare worked together with Walter, the CRMC (RI Coastal Resources Management Council) and the DEM (RI Department of Environmental Management) to obtain a joint permit for the first-ever permitted GWVTS (Gravel Wet Vegetated Treatment System) in Rhode Island.”

Bristol Beach Plan

This design uses a vegetated permanent pool split between two cells to temporarily capture stormwater runoff from the adjacent residential neighborhood and treat for pathogens, total suspended solids, and other constituents. The two cells within the GWVTS are planted with a variety of aesthetically pleasing flowers and shrubs that feed on bacteria and pollutants before releasing this “filtered” water into the bay. The GWVTS is one of the solutions incorporated by Walter Burke on the Bristol Town Beach to treat stormwater runoff and reduce the number of beach closings.

The new system worked so well in the summer of 2013 (its first full season) that beach closings went from 15+ to zero. Briscoe Lang, Pare’s Principal Environmental Scientist, stated, “This system has proven successful in removing pathogens, and it should be used in all possible settings. It also provides significant aesthetic benefits.”

Bristol Bioretention Pond

When discussing the dual-functionality and success of the project, Pare’s team unanimously noted Walter Burke’s “vision” and his “get it done” attitude. As Briscoe Lang said, “Talk is nothing without action.” David Potter added, “He not only has the vision, but the patience and energy to achieve it.”

Bristol Beach Wetland

Congratulations to Walter Burke, who was presented the Environmental Achievement Award on Wednesday, May 21, by Save the Bay. For press coverage of Walter Burke’s achievement and additional GWVTS details, click here.

A Sustainable Alternative to Cape Traffic

As a lifelong resident of the Boston area, trips to Cape Cod have always been a quintessential part of summertime and a relaxing escape from city life. The only major downside? Horrendous Cape traffic!

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is introducing an alternative mode of transportation with the “Cape Cod Flyer”, a new seasonal train service from Boston to Hyannis. The Flyer will run on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, using existing rail lines and MBTA equipment. This will be the first time in 25 years that train service is available from Boston to Cape Cod.

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Once arriving in Hyannis, riders will have easy access to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket ferries, the Barnstable Municipal Airport, and buses. Passengers will be allowed to bring bicycles on board, encouraging visitors to take advantage of the region’s extensive network of bike paths.

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Sandy Neck beach in Barnstable, Hyannis

At $35 for a round trip ticket, the train fare costs less than many would spend on gas – and provides a comfortable, environmentally friendly alternative to gridlock on Route 3.

Read this story on WickedLocal for more information!