Hope resident Michael Maddalena has enjoyed fishing on the rivers and in the ocean all his life and views his community service on the Pawtuxet River Authority and Watershed Council as an opportunity to give back. A 28-year veteran of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, Officer Maddalena is one of three appointed members of the Council from Cranston. Scituate, Coventry, Warwick and West Warwick each appoint three members to the board as well. Initially appointed by Cranston Mayor Napolitano after being recruited by the then chair of the board to join the council, C.O. Maddalena was reappointed by Mayor Fung.
The Council recently held a public dedication and ribbon cutting for the Howard Conversation Area Pontiac Canoe Launch, the first official canoe launch on the lower Pawtuxet River, as well as the “Great Pawtuxet Paddle,” the inaugural trip from the new launch. Officer Maddalena is proud of the Council’s improvement and enhancements to the river and encourages others to become involved.
Ten years ago, the Pawtuxet was deemed one of the 10 worst rivers, and today it is so much cleaner that Office Maddalena hopes people will swim in it again one day.
Officer Maddalena was involved in the cleanup and maintenance of the Potter’s Field Cemetery on Pontiac Avenue near the Pontiac Mills. When bodies were found and exhumed a few years ago they were put in the cemetery by the Office of Mental Health and Retardation Hospitals (MHRH) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) who recruited the Department of Corrections to help clean up the property. The cemetery is part of a 50 acre land tract known as the Howard Conservation Area, donated to the Council, which has extensive plans for its future. Those plans include a river walk trail and bird watching events. Officer Maddalena works the 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. shift at Minimum Security. He encourages anyone who is interested in helping out to visit www.pawtuxet.org for further information.