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About Jane Sherman

Rhode Island

Jane Sherman has worked for decades to change the face of one of the most economically challenged areas in Rhode Island and address long-standing environmental inequities.

In 1994, as director of the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Project, Jane led the transformation of an industrially polluted waterway into the center of an urban revitalization project. The revitalization of parks and brownfields along a 4.4-mile stretch of the Woonasquatucket River was the catalyst for new affordable housing and other projects. In 1998, the Greenway project was designated a Brownfield Showcase community, and Jane’s work secured designation of the Woonasquatucket as an American Heritage River. Jane formed the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Project in 1998 to expand revitalization to the entire river system, and incorporated the Council as a non-profit in 2001 after which she officially retired from the organization and became a volunteer. Her tireless efforts on behalf of WRWC over the last 20 years continues to carry this legacy forward.

Jane brought people and sectors together in one of the largest community collaborations that Providence has seen. Because of her, 62 acres of green space and parkland along the Woonasquatucket are now available for public use. Thousands more migratory fish return to the Woonasquatucket because of that work. Her volunteer work shows that restoring natural resources can also restore quality of life, economic success and a sense of hope.