Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
Button Hole Golf Course
Success in EPA Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Grant Program
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
This 25-acre, formerly state-owned property located on the Providence and Johnston boarder was undeveloped until the 1960's, at which time sand and gravel excavation commenced for use in construction of interstate roads. The property was grated into a flat, low-lying area with steep sides and gravel banks. The property is located in a multi-cultural, urban environment. It is bordered by the Woonasquatucket River, a metals recycling business, Mancini Drive, and residential properties. The southern portion of the property, which is bordered by Mancini Drive, was used by the city for solid waste disposal.
Site assessments performed by the environmental consultant from 1998 to 1999 demonstrated lead and arsenic as the primary contaminants of concern. There was also some PAH contamination. The groundwater beneath the property is a GB aquifer, making it not potable of its own accord.
Developer Ed Mauro envisioned a manicured, 9-hole golf course as a teaching center that would bring golf to the area’s 25,000 youth. Button Hole would be a place for them to learn about the sport and life from adult mentors and volunteers. Local governments, Rhode Island Golf Association, Rhode Island Golf Foundation, and PGA Tour pros Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon backed the project and construction began in 1999. The grand opening was in June 2001. That season, 900 kids participated in the junior golf programs available at the teaching center.
The golf course is run by a non-profit organization which reduces golf’s barrier of cost, inaccessibility, and playing time to local youth. In addition to the short, Par-3 course, there is also a 25-bay lighted driving range, 2 practice putting greens, a practice pitching and sand bunker area, and a clubhouse that includes a golf shop, indoor instruction area, administrative offices, patio, and multi-purpose function room. The property border with the Woonasquatucket River contains wetlands that serve as a classroom where respect for the environment is fostered. There is also a bike path planned that will run along the river.
Please access the Button Hole Golf Course web page, www.buttonhole.org for additional information.