A Walk On the Urban Wild Side
November 14, 2022
PROVIDENCE — In a place where spirits of long-lost loved ones dance with falling leaves, life thrives.
For the past 14 years, Greg Gerritt has faithfully walked the many paved paths that weave through the North Burial Ground, a 110-acre cemetery that dates to 1700. A decade ago, these almost-daily excursions turned from leisurely walking and observing into documenting the diverse amount of wildlife that calls the city’s first public cemetery home.
In the 10 years since, the 69-year-old Providence resident has produced some 1,500 wildlife videos for his Moshassuckcritters YouTube Channel, which has nearly 1,300 subscribers. And there’s much more to his videos than pigeons and squirrels.
In fact, the amount of wildlife he records in an area surrounded by pavement, concrete, hustle and bustle, and the ever-present hum of traffic would make Marlin Perkins of “Wild Kingdom” fame envious.
Gerritt sends his must-see wildlife programming to his email subscribers with titles such as A Morning of Big Birds, Sunfish Sex, and Pollinators in Randall Park. He also produced a yearlong (2016) video series about wildlife activity in and around a rainwater pool in the North Burial Ground.
Most of his videos are shot in the cemetery, located north of downtown and bounded by North Main Street, Branch Avenue, Cemetery Street, and the Moshassuck River. Interstate 95 also buzzes past. The others are shot at various locations along the Seekonk River.
In this era of intensifying climate change and rampant habitat destruction, the longtime Providence resident, 26 years, believes the natural world found within urban landscapes is the only one that is thriving.
In the link at the top of this story, Gerritt takes us on an audio journey through the North Burial Ground on a recent fall morning.