Editorial: Following the Dziedzics’ lead

Posted 10/4/23

The Dziedzic family understands the value of preserving open space in a community like Barrington, where houses and sheds feel like they are beginning to outnumber trees. We only wish our town …

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Editorial: Following the Dziedzics’ lead

Posted

The Dziedzic family understands the value of preserving open space in a community like Barrington, where houses and sheds feel like they are beginning to outnumber trees. We only wish our town leaders would share the same understanding. 

In this week’s front-page article, Dziedzic family members recount all the wonderful memories they made on a three-acre parcel located off Sowams Road: They used the land for farming; they enjoyed the woods for the natural beauty; they appreciated the wildlife that filled the open space. And in a wonderful gesture, the Dziedzic family recently decided to preserve that open space forever and open up it for all residents to enjoy.

“I get emotional when I think about it,” said Mary (Dziedzic) D’Arrigo, whose grandfather purchased the land more than 100 years ago. “This is where we grew up. We had the freedom to be outside, which has stuck with me. I love to go to the mountains and hike. I love to rock climb. Just being outdoors gives me the sense of freedom, and that’s because of where we grew up. These days, everything’s so built up. I wanted something saved. If we could save our playground and leave it for other people to enjoy as well, I thought we should do it. It’s important to have open space in the middle of all this development and houses …”

All of Barrington thanks the Dziedzic family for its generous donation.

And some of us would hope that Barrington’s leaders are paying attention and use this reminder to reconsider the possibility of turning the former Carmelite monastery property on Watson Avenue into a preserved open space. 

The town owns the land. The discussion made during the 2021 financial town meeting, when the purchase was approved (by a single vote) was as much about open space as it was about housing. There is nothing in the meeting minutes or video footage or the written motion from the meeting that would prohibit the town from preserving the monastery property as open space. 

This community holds the power to do something wonderful with that land, something that everyone could enjoy forever. 

Or we can cram in a couple dozen houses. 

The value of this land is not just about dollars and cents. It goes well beyond that. It is about striking a balance between open space and filled house lots. One local family had the foresight to lead by example. 

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.