Rhode Island Foundation | A Centennial Initiative of the Rhode Island Foundation

Campaign

A $10 million campaign to restore and preserve Roger Williams Park

In 2016, the Rhode Island Foundation celebrates its 100th anniversary as the sole community foundation dedicated to Rhode Island. In honor of their centennial, the Foundation is leading a $10 million campaign to preserve and enhance one of Rhode Island’s most treasured spaces, Roger Williams Park, in partnership with the Providence Parks Department.

Comprised of over 435 beautiful acres, offering a range of recreational and educational opportunities, representing Rhode Island's rich history and the diversity of our people, the People's Park has attracted generation after generation of Rhode Islanders for over 100 years. There is great opportunity at Roger Williams Park to expand programming, improve infrastructure, and steward the Park for generations to come.

We are offering members of the community a lasting way to recognize their support or honor a loved one in the Park. 

Engraved bricks are available for a donation of $500 and bench plaques for $5,000. Purchase a brick or bench plaque here. (Note: A brick display will be installed at the end of 2016 outside the Dalrymple Boathouse. Bench plaques are installed 8 weeks after purchase.) 

Every dollar counts in the park. A contribution of just $25 covers the cost of a perennial plant, $50 covers the cost of a shrub, $100 covers the cost of a tree, and $250 covers the cost of a Little Free Library.

For additional information about naming opportunities at Roger Williams Park, please contact Jim Sanzi, Vice President of Development, at or (401) 427-4025.


Short-term improvements to protect the Park's assets

Of the total raised, up to $5 million will be used for immediate capital improvements. Planned short-term capital improvements include:

Capital Improvement Approximate Cost
Buildings and structures, including the Museum of Natural History, Bandstand, Boathouse, Betsey Williams Cottage, Casino, Temple to Music, and Botanical Center $2,000,000
Stormwater management $785,000
Statuary and monuments $75,000
Park entrances, wayfinding and signage, lighting, benches, gazebos, recreational facilities, and maintenance buildings $1,100,000
Sidewalks and crosswalks $340,000
Pedestrian and bicycle paths $800,000
Total $5,1000,000 

Learn more about our $10 Million Campaign for Roger Williams Park

CASE STATEMENT DONATE NOW

Thank You to Our Donors!

  • AAA Northeast 
  • Allen Family Fund
  • Amica Companies Foundation
  • Bafflin Foundation
  • The Baxt Fund 
  • Kathleen Black
  • Blount Fine Foods Fund 
  • Chip and Brenda Bolster
  • George H. Bond and Mary K. Bond Fund
  • Adrian Bonéy and Martha Fish 
  • Boyajian Family Fund
  • Fred and Joyce Butler
  • Paul and Patricia Carlson
  • Carter Fund
  • Darby Castigliego
  • Elizabeth Z. Chace Fund
  • The Champlin Foundations
  • Joan Clarke
  • The Honorable Edward Clifton and Audrey Clifton
  • Jean Cohoon
  • The Collis Foundation 
  • Rallis Conover Family Fund
  • Arianne Corrente
  • Robert W. & Mary W.C. (Polly) Daly Fund 
  • George and Donna David
  • Jessica David
  • Delta Dental of Rhode Island
  • Dimock Fund
  • Deborah DiNardo, Esq.
  • Barbara Dreyer
  • Embolden Charitable Fund
  • Linda Fain Family Fund in memory of Beatrice and Archie Fain
  • Norman & Rosalie Fain Family Foundation
  • William Falk
  • H. Jack and Hannah Feibelman
  • Florence Family Fund 
  • Bob and Wini Galkin Fund
  • Richard and Vera Gierke Family Fund
  • Gilbane, Inc.
  • Gilbert Charitable Fund 
  • Suzanne Gilstein 
  • Carol Golden and Stuart Einhorn
  • Leon and Barbara Goldstein Fund
  • Susan F. Gonsalves Charitable Fund 
  • Gregson Foundation 
  • Karen Grenier 
  • Kelly Joy Grenier
  • Connie Grosch
  • Haffenreffer Family Fund
  • Dr. Daniel S. and Dorothy J. Harrop Fund
  • Mary Hartley
  • Hasbro Children’s Fund, Inc.
  • Karin Hebb
  • Thomas Hines
  • Barry and Kathleen Hittner Fund
  • The Honorable Steven Howitt and Pam Tesler Howitt
  • Benjamin Hsu
  • Daniel Kertzner
  • Horace A. & S. Ella Kimball Foundation
  • Judith Alperin King and Timothy King Fund
  • Christopher Lanen and Kelly Rogers
  • Marie Langlois and John Loerke 
  • Margaret and Bertram Lederer Family Fund/Jewish Federation Foundation of Greater Rhode Island 
  • Ginny Leslie
  • Letcher Family Fund
  • Edward Levine and Isabella Porter
  • Dan Levinson RI Fund
  • June Rockwell Levy Foundation 
  • Ida Ballou Littlefield Memorial Trust
  • Stanley and Martha Livingston Fund 
  • Mary Lovejoy and John Whistler
  • Kristy Luke
  • Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel 
  • Zeldy Lyman and Duncan White
  • James and Jean Schofield Madden Family Fund 
  • Ed and Kathleen Malin
  • Bhikhaji Maneckji Fund 
  • Cynthia M. Macarchuk Donor Advised Fund
  • Maranatha Fund 
  • Ruth and Samuel Markoff Fund 
  • Edward and Marie Massoud
  • McCleary Family Fund
  • Dorothy R. McCulloch Fund 
  • Liz and Jack McDonald Fund
  • Terry A. Meyer Fund 
  • Dorothy Carol Mitchell Charitable Fund
  • Heidi Keller Moon Fund
  • Murphy Family Fund
  • Murray Family Charitable Foundation
  • Colin Myers Memorial Fund
  • Jane Nelson 
  • Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation
  • Pamela Boylan Ong and Warren Ong
  • Jenny Pereira
  • Potter Family Fund 
  • Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund 
  • Shayne Purdue
  • Helen Walker Raleigh Tree Care Trust Fund
  • Cynthia Stewart Reed
  • Derwent Jean Riding
  • Charles and Mary Beth Riotto
  • Clayton Rockefeller
  • Rooks Family Fund 
  • Russell Morin Catering and Events
  • Rykat Fund
  • George M. and Barbara H. Sage Fund
  • Jim and Erika Sanzi
  • Savage and Luther Family Fund 
  • Mary and Michael Schwartz Fund
  • Dr. and Mrs. H. Denman Scott
  • Seventy-Five Corp. 
  • Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.
  • Soutter Family Fund 
  • Starkweather & Shepley Charitable Fund
  • Neil Steinberg and Eugenia Shao
  • Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation 
  • Kim and Howard Sutton Fund
  • Anne and Michael Szostak Fund
  • Trimix Foundation
  • Rupert C. Thompson Fund 
  • Washington Street Fund
  • Salten Weingrod Family Fund

The People's Park

Roger Williams Park was created in 1870 after Betsey Williams bequeathed 102 acres of farmland and woodland to the city of Providence to be used for public purpose. A portion of the gift included land that was originally purchased from the Narragansetts by her great, great, great, grandfather, Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams.

Horace Cleveland, a leader in the Urban Parks Movement, created the design for the Park. It was intended to serve as an escape for those working in highly industrialized Providence in the late nineteenth century. Twenty years after Betsey's bequest, the Park quadrupled in size and daily attendance had grown to 15,000 visitors.

Roger Williams Park still serves as "the people's pleasure ground" that Cleveland intended, hosting family picnics, community festival, weddings, and running groups.

Each year over 1.5 million visitors from around the state - and beyond!- enjoy the same scenery and activities as past generations.

Inside the Park

Community is alive and well inside Roger Williams Park! The Park today consists of expansive manicured grounds, recreational ponds, public gardens, extensive walkways, tennis courts, ball fields, playgrounds, public art, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. 

The Park has several historic buildings used by the public, including the Bandstand, Museum of Natural History, Botanical Center, Temple to Music, and the Casino. Learn more about the elements that make up the Park below.

FAQs   ​ROGER WILLIAMS PARK MAP

Visit our blog for more information on the latest news and updates on improvements to Roger Williams Park.

What's Happening


Daily Activities at the Park

Carousel Village

Post Labor Day - Oct. 31
Daily 12 - 4pm
During the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular (Oct. 6 - Nov. 6), the Carousel 
Village will be open on Friday and Saturday nights until 8pm.

$2 per person, $20 for 12 rides


Paddle Boats, Electric Boats, Canoes, Kayaks (Rental) 

*Public use of kayaks is permitted in the park. Kayaks can be launched from the boat ramp near the Temple to Music.


Museum of Natural History & Planetarium

Museum admission is $2, free for children under age 4. The Museum of Natural History is open daily 10:00am - 4:00pm, year round. Last admission is at 3:30pm. Some special programs have a separate admission.  The Museum of Natural History is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free for Providence residents the first Saturday of the month.

The museum is closed 10:00am to 1:00pm, the first Monday of every month, October through March, for the monthly Homeschool Adventures programming. Please note: No food or drink are permitted in the museum and planetarium, this includes the museum's lobby and entryway.

Located in the Museum of Natural History, the planetarium is a dome theatre, which is only open during showtimes. Public planetarium shows are offered at 2pm every weekend (Saturdays and Sundays), during RI February and April school vacation weeks and daily in July and August. Please visit the Museum’s calendar of events for other public planetarium show offerings. Early arrival is suggested as tickets are sold first-come, first-served. People are not permitted to enter the planetarium once the show has begun. Please note: There are no planetarium shows when the museum is closed.


Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

The Botanical Center is open 11 am – 4 pm, Tuesday through Sunday (last ticket is sold at 3:30 pm) and closed on Mondays, except holidays. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children between the ages of 6 -12 and free for children under 6. Admission is free for Providence residents the first Saturday of the month.


Roger Williams Park Zoo


Spot

at the Todd Morsilli Clay Court Tennis Center. Open late April - late November.


Roger Williams Bike Park 

Located across from the Temple to Music. The bike park consists of a dirt pump track and off-road bike trail open daily from 7 am - 9 pm and is closed from first freeze until thaw.

Special activities & events

Events

Sort By

Status

Category

  • -- All Categories --
    • Uncategorized
    • Boathouse
    • Botanical Center
    • Carousel Village
    • Casino
    • Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
    • Roger Williams Park Zoo
    • Temple to Music

Botanical Center

Where

Greenhouse 3

When

December 4, 2016

Time

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Overview

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

December 5, 2016 Occurs the first Monday of every 1 month(s)

Time

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Overview

Children, ages 2-4 with parent, will investigate the world around them as they sing, dance and discover in the Museum of Natural History's monthly series! Takes place the first Monday of each month, October through June, at 9:30 a.m.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

December 5, 2016 Occurs the first Monday of every 1 month(s)

Time

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Overview

Homeschool Adventures are programs held at the Museum of Natural History for local homeschool families. Programs run the first Monday of each month (October through March), from 10:00am to 1:00pm and are organized around a different theme or topic.

Botanical Center

Where

Greenhouse 3

When

December 10, 2016

Time

9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Overview

Open to the public.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

December 10, 2016

Time

10:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Overview

Begin the day by completing a nature-themed quest through the museum to discover the fantastic insect, bird and plant specimens on display. Then join museum educators for a special nature discovery workshop where you will explore plants and animals from the museum collections in a hands on and creative way!

Botanical Center

Where

When

December 10, 2016

Time

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Overview

Open to the public.

Botanical Center

Where

Greenhouse 3

When

December 10, 2016

Time

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Overview

Open to the public.

Boathouse

Where

Boathouse

When

December 13, 2016

Time

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Overview

Hear the latest on the campaign for Roger Williams Park and the Providence Parks Department.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

December 14, 2016

Time

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Overview


Birders, winter have you down? Spring migration is still months away and many of the best spots are covered in a thick mantle of snow. Join us as we peruse the museum’s collection of over 5500 bird specimens. From tropical toucans to extinct woodpeckers, you can view the wonders of the avian world up close and warm. Please note: Vaults accessible by stairs only.
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Category

  • -- All Categories --
    • Uncategorized
    • Boathouse
    • Botanical Center
    • Carousel Village
    • Casino
    • Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
    • Roger Williams Park Zoo
    • Temple to Music

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Dec, 2016

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Celebration of Cultures
UR Master Gardner Kiosk
Wreath Sale
Family Preschool Program: Discovery Tykes
Homeschool Adventures
Rose Society
Scout Programs: Junior Naturalists (Girl Scout Brownies & Juniors)
Orchid Society
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RWP Community Meeting
Lifelong Learners Program: Birding in the Collections