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


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.

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


Thank You to Our Donors!

  • AAA Northeast
  • Allen Family Fund
  • Bafflin Foundation
  • The Baxt Fund
  • Boyajian Family Fund
  • Fred and Joyce Butler
  • Patricia B. and Paul C. Carlson Fund
  • Carter Fund
  • The Champlin Foundations
  • The Honorable Edward Clifton and Audrey Clifton
  • The Collis Foundation

  • Jean Cohoon

  • Robert W. & Mary W.C. (Polly) Daly Fund
  • George and Donna David

  • Jessica David
  • Delta Dental of Rhode Island
  • Florence Family Fund
  • Bob and Wini Galkin Fund
  • Gilbane, Inc.
  • Gilbert Charitable Fund
  • Leon and Barbara Goldstein Fund
  • Susan F. Gonsalves Charitable Fund
  • Gregson Foundation
  • Karen Grenier
  • Kelly Joy Grenier 
  • Haffenreffer Family Fund
  • Dr. Daniel S. and Dorothy J. Harrop Fund
  • Mary Hartley
  • Karin Hebb
  • Thomas Hines
  • Barry and Kathleen Hittner Fund
  • The Honorable Steven Howitt and Pam Tesler Howitt
  • Benjamin Hsu
  • Marie Langlois and John Loerke
  • Edward Levine and Isabella Porter
  • Dan Levinson
  • Ed and Kathleen Malin
  • Bhikhaji Maneckji Fund
  • Cynthia M. Marachuk Donor Advised Fund
  • Maranatha Fund
  • Edward and Marie Massoud
  • Liz and Jack McDonald Fund
  •  Terry A. Meyer Fund 
  • Heidi Keller Moon Fund
  • Murphy Family Fund
  • Colin Myers Memorial Fund
  • June Rockwell Levy Foundation
  • Zeldy Lyman and Duncan White
  • Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation
  • Al and Linda Potter
  • Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund
  • Helen Walker Raleigh Tree Care Trust Fund
  • Rallis Conover Family Fund
  • Derwent Jean Riding
  • Charles and Mary Beth Riotto
  • Russell Morin Catering and Events
  • George M. and Barbara H. Sage Fund
  • Jim and Erika Sanzi
  • James and Jean Schofield Madden Family Fund
  • Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.
  • Salten Weingrod Family Fund
  • Anonymous (4)

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.

Frequently Asked Questions 




What's Happening

Featured Events at the Park

Roger Williams Park Community MeetingL

Tuesday, May 24, 6:00 p.m.

Hear the latest on the Rhode Island Foundation's $10 million campaign for the Park, an update from the Providence Parks Department, and special guest speaker April Alix from the Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership.  

We welcome all users and neighbors of the Park to join us!

May 24, 2016
Dalrymple Boathouse (pictured above)
Roger Williams Park
6:00-7:30 p.m.

RSVP here or on the Facebook event page

Tree Walk with city forester Doug Still

Thursday, June 2, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Join the Roger Williams Park Conservancy and Providence City Forester, Doug Still, for a walking tour highlighting signficant trees in Roger Williams Park.This event is also the official debut of our Notable Trees brochure!

Thursday, June 2
Meet at Dalrymple Boathouse
Tour begins at 5:15 pm (sharp!)

RSVP on the Facebook event page or email


Daily Activities at the Park

Carousel Village

February 1 - March 31, weekends 12 - 4pm

$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


at the Todd Morsilli Clay Court Tennis Center

Special activities & events


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





May 24, 2016


6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Join us to hear the latest on the campaign for Roger Williams Park from the Rhode Island Foundation and Providence Parks Department. This meeting is open to the public.

Temple to Music


Temple to Music


May 27, 2016


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


In honor of those Fallen Heroes killed post 9/11 Operation Stand Down RI is announcing its upcoming “Boots on The Ground For Heroes Memorial” where a boot with a name placard for each individual killed in action will be placed on the ground of Roger Williams Park (near the Temple to Music) in Providence on Memorial Day Weekend of 2016. On Saturday, May 28th at 11 a.m. a formal memorial service will be held with keynote speaker retired Sergeant Major Todd Parisi.



Roger Williams Park


June 2, 2016


5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Join the Roger Williams Park conservancy and Providence city forester, Doug Stills, for a walk and tour of RWP Trees. More details to come. For more information email info@rwpconservancy.org.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium



June 6, 2016 Occurs the first Monday of every 1 month(s)


9:30 PM - 10:00 PM


Children ages 2-4, with parent, investigate the world around them as they sing, dance and discover in this monthly program. Expose your preschool child to science and culture in a unique and stimulating museum setting. First Monday of the month, October through June, from 9:30am to 10:00am.

Temple to Music


Temple to Music


June 18, 2016


2:00 PM - 2:30 PM


Providence on Tap on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.
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  • -- 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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May 2016

May, 2016

Fairy Garden Days
Family Preschool Program: Discovery Tykes
Master Gardener Kiosk booth
Nature walks: Spring Bird Walks
Lifelong Learners Program: Statuary Stroll-A Springtime Walk in the Park
Urban Garden Series
Second annual spring plant sale!
RWP Conservancy Community Meeting
Boots on The Ground For Heroes Memorial
Boots on The Ground For Heroes Memorial
Tree tour with our city forester!