From Bob Vanderslice, Team Leader for the Healthy Environment program at the Rhode Island Department of Health:
“Holly’s activities united the diverse South Providence communities. Hispanic kids worked on signs at the Cambodian Buddist Temple. High school graphic arts students participated along-side young kids from Fortes Elementary School. Neighbors whose properties backed up on the pond joined in as well.
Instead of the few signs I requested, Holly created a vibrant movement that is committed to reclaiming the Pond as an asset instead of just warning people to stay away. Her work deserves to be recognized, repeated throughout the State, and funded to make sure it continues.”
June 12, 2010
“One of the pleasures of the walk was seeing things I drive by all the time. The side streets with their modest houses, no two alike, the railroad tracks, the bridges. Roger Williams Park itself, a grand reminder of an age of great public works.
We were a noisy spectacle. Little kids laughed and stared, and a woman in a caftan took pictures. She said, ‘You people are wonderful, South Elmwood thanks you.’ Many Canada geese were unimpressed, but we had a good turnout and did it with style.
I’m also optimistic that this somewhat silly demonstration might bring a touch of Mardi Gras to our somber little state. The Urban Pond Procession has grown in three years and looks like it’s catching on. I remember the beginnings of Waterfire, another public event that invites us to look at the beauty to be found right here in the city. Now you can hardly even get to the water, it’s gotten so crowded, but it’s great. I’ll be looking out for next year.”
From the Providence Business News Editorial
June 23-29, 2008
“We commend Warwick artist Holly Ewald for reminding us of the best kind of community activism, where one committed person can indeed make a real difference. When Ewald went to a community meeting earlier this year to learn about polluted Mashapaug Pond in South Providence, she found a lot of state officials but few from the affected neighborhood. Her response was to begin working with two nearby schools to raise awareness of the pollution through the young people whose families are most affected. She’s agreed to make new signs for residents who don’t speak English warning them of unsafe levels of dioxins and PCBs in the water.
She organized a neighborhood parade earlier this month with Big Nazo Puppets and students dressed in colorful fish costumes. The event was fun, informative and got the local neighborhoods involved in a way that public hearings too often fail to do.”