Honoring Writer Mary Grady

Last week, the editors at Rhode Island Monthly magazine learned our contributing writer Mary Grady died after fighting an ongoing battle with cancer.

A photo from one of Mary Grady’s environmental features on bird-watching. Photo by James Jones.

Rhode Island lost a good one, and so did this magazine. Last week, the editors at Rhode Island Monthly magazine learned our contributing writer and friend Mary Grady died after fighting an ongoing battle with cancer. She was an incredible environmental reporter who contributed award-winning features to our magazine and she continuously submitted blogs on the same beat to promote events and groups around the state doing good work for the environment. She always went the extra mile to follow up with a new report after a story had already published, so our readers would get the latest up-to-date information on an important issue or story. She was also a huge advocate for the serial comma, despite this magazine’s style guidelines, and we had a few fun email exchanges regarding this topic. Mary Grady was a passionate writer, a kind-hearted soul, and a nature lover. We are heartbroken that we (and our readers) will no longer be able to read her terrific features in the pages of Rhode Island Monthly.

Mary Grady of Rhode Island Monthly.

From her obituary: “Mary Jane Grady of Warwick, RI, passed away on March 12, 2019. She was born in Providence (1955) to the late Gloria and Frank Grady. Mary worked as a self-employed freelance writer since 1999. She was a contributing editor at AvWeb.com, an aviation website, and also wrote for Robb Report, wired.com, Rhode Island Monthly, and various other local and national publications. She was an adjunct professor in Geography at Rhode Island College for many years. She worked with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey to involve writers and artists in their local science events and helped to promote an ongoing art program at the Museum of Natural History at Roger Williams Park. She helped to create Sidewalk Astronomy events in Pawtuxet Village and at Waterfire. She served on the board of the Warwick Land Trust for many years, and helped to secure conservation protection for Passeonkquis Cove.”

Here is a link to read the rest of her thoughtful obituary, where you can learn more about her life and legacy.

We will miss Mary Grady dearly, and we want to pay tribute to her by sharing some of our favorite pieces of her writing from Rhode Island Monthly magazine:



Can We Keep Our Underwater Monument?

President Trump is calling for a review of twenty-four national monuments, including the underwater one 130 miles off New England’s coast.


How Clean is Narragansett Bay?

Hundreds of millions have been spent on improvements.


Birdwatching Gets Big in Rhode Island

Our avian friends are attracting all kinds of new fans.


Green Acres

Rhode Island is fringed with lush forests, farms and open spaces, but how willing are we to protect them? And how much are we ready to spend?


Concrete Consequences

When will we stop paving paradise?


Not Your Daddy’s Voke-Ed

High school vocational training has undergone a reboot; now kids are learning work skills that make them job ready.


Trash Mountain

Garbage is in our future, whether we like it or not. What will we do once the Johnston landfill is full?


Secrets of the Bay

Do we really know what lives below the surface of Narragansett Bay? And can history teach us to protect our most valuable treasure?


Trouble in Paradise

Nature and neglect have taken their toll on Roger Williams Park, a once-spectacular oasis in the heart of Providence. Now it’s home to toxic ponds, tangled undergrowth and hundreds of geese. What can save this urban treasure?


Where the wild things are

As coyotes move into suburbia, they conjure mixed emotions. Some people con- sider them a threat. Others are willing to coexist. Numi Mitchell wants to find ways to manage them and improve their public relations.