Brownfields Redevelopment of Old Factory into Thriving Flower Farm

By transforming this old factory into a thriving flower farm in the heart of the Olneyville neighborhood, just two miles from City Hall in Providence, Rhode Island, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. has supported What Cheer Flower Farm to grow and give away more than 30,000 free flowers per year to hospitals, recovery centers, hospices, shelters and other vulnerable populations throughout Rhode Island. To create the ideal site for farming, we removed impervious parking lot, capped polluted soil, imported clean soil to create flower fields, and provided space for unheated high tunnels to extend the growing season. 


What Cheer Flower Farm is in the process of fundraising for the next phases of work to include

1) a heated barn for flower propagation, processing and recycling, and

2) abatement of hazardous material including lead paint and asbestos,

3) selective demolition of obsolete buildings,

4) soil remediation and placement of a cap to limit contact with potential contaminants, and create more growing fields, and

5) renovation of viable buildings to establish a “green” jobs training center.


To date, our work includes the following:

 ASTM Phase I ESA – prior to purchase

 Limited Site Investigation – soil and groundwater

 RI DEM regulatory reporting

 RI DEM Site Investigation Report

 Hazardous Building Material Survey

 Soil Management and design of growing beds

 Civil engineering:  drainage design and erosion control plan

 Asbestos abatement specification

 Building demolition specification

 Brownfields grant application assistance: $50,000 (2018) and $195,000 (2019) awards from RI DEM