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
  • Bafflin Foundation
  • The Baxt Fund
  • Kathleen Black
  • George H. Bond and Mary K. Bond Fund
  • Boyajian Family Fund
  • Fred and Joyce Butler
  • Patricia B. and Paul C. Carlson Fund
  • Carter Fund
  • Darby Castigliego
  • The Champlin Foundations
  • Joan Clarke
  • The Honorable Edward Clifton and Audrey Clifton
  • The Collis Foundation

  • Jean Cohoon

  • Arianne Corrente

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

  • Jessica David
  • Delta Dental of Rhode Island
  • Deborah DiNardo, Esq.
  • Barbara Dreyer
  • Linda Fain Family Fund in Memory of Beatrice and Archie Fain
  • William Falk
  • Florence Family Fund
  • Feibelman Family Fund
  • Friends of Roger Williams Park
  • 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
  • Karin Hebb
  • Thomas Hines
  • Barry and Kathleen Hittner Fund
  • The Honorable Steven Howitt and Pam Tesler Howitt
  • Benjamin Hsu
  • Daniel Kertzner
  • Judith Alperin King and Timothy King Fund
  • 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
  • Ida Ballou Littlefield Memorial Trust
  • Kristy Luke
  • Ed and Kathleen Malin
  • Bhikhaji Maneckji Fund
  • Cynthia M. Marachuk Donor Advised Fund
  • Maranatha Fund
  • Edward and Marie Massoud
  • McCleary Family 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 S. Nelson
  • June Rockwell Levy Foundation
  • Washington Street Fund
  • Zeldy Lyman and Duncan White
  • Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation
  • Al and Linda Potter
  • Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund
  • Shayne Purdue
  • Helen Walker Raleigh Tree Care Trust Fund
  • Rallis Conover Family Fund
  • Derwent Jean Riding
  • Charles and Mary Beth Riotto
  • Christopher Lanen and Kelly Rogers
  • Russell Morin Catering and Events
  • Rykat Fund
  • George M. and Barbara H. Sage Fund
  • Jim and Erika Sanzi
  • James and Jean Schofield Madden Family Fund
  • Mary and Michael Schwartz Fund
  • Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.
  • Soutter Family Fund
  • Salten Weingrod Family Fund
  • Rupert C. Thompson Fund
  • Coleman B. Zimmerman Memorial 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.

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

Featured Events at the Park

RWP Fall Tour Series

2016 September - October 

Save the dates for the Roger Williams Park Conservancy Fall Tours. Join Park experts and enthusiasts to learn more about the history, environment, and infrastructure that makes Roger Williams Park so unique!

  • 2 p.m. Sunday, September 25: Urban Legends Tour
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, October 2: Storm Water Management Tour
  • 11 a.m. Sunday, October 23: Tour RWP by Boat! 

For more information and/or to reserve a spot please email info@rwpconservancy.org 

 

2016 Outdoor Movies in the Park

 

Despicable Me has been postponed to October 7 due to rain. Move will start at approx. 7:15. Hope to see you there! For more information about Movies in the Park check out our FAQs


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

Botanical Center

When

October 1, 2016 Occurs the first Saturday of every 1 month(s)

Time

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Overview

Since its debut, the URI Master Gardeners have been offering their expertise to the public at the Botanical Center.

Botanical Center

Where

Botanical Center

When

October 1, 2016

Time

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Overview

Make one into two! Join Mitch Williams, an Extension Master Gardener, to multiply this favorite house plant in a hands­ on workshop!

Boathouse

Where

Boathouse

When

October 2, 2016

Time

2:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Overview

Learn more about storm water management while touring specific sites around the Park. For more info email info@rwpconservancy.org.

Botanical Center

Where

Botanical Center

When

October 2, 2016

Time

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Overview

Public exhibition of the Botanical Center summer photo contest.

Botanical Center

Where

Botanical Center

When

October 2, 2016

Time

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Overview

Boathouse

Where

Boathouse

When

October 2, 2016

Time

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Overview

Roger Williams Park, also known as “The People’s Park”, is a magical spot for many Rhode Islanders. Did you spend Sundays in the Park as a child? Get married at the Casino or take wedding pictures in the Rose Garden? Visit with the Easter Bunny or Christmas Tree? Collect RWP related postcards? This is your chance to share your stories, photographs and other items with others who treasure Roger Williams Park.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

October 3, 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

Mu

When

October 3, 2016

Time

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Overview

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

October 3, 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.

Roger Williams Park Zoo

Where

Zoo

When

October 6, 2016

Time

5:30 PM - 11:00 PM

Overview

Join your family and friends for this amazing fall tradition: A nighttime display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns all along our beautiful Wetlands Trail, with well over 100 of the pumpkins carved into veritable works of art.
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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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Oct, 2016

Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Urban Legends Tour
UR Master Gardner Kiosk
Saturdays at the Botanical Center: Succulent Popagation
Storm Water Tour
Photo Contest Exhibition
Fall Plant Sale
Show more...
Family Preschool Program: Discovery Tykes
Family Preschool Program: Discovery Tykes
Homeschool Adventures
Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular
right
Movies in the Park!
Fossil Frenzy Weekend: National Fossil Day Celebration
right
Rose Society
Show more...
Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular
leftright
Fossil Frenzy Weekend: National Fossil Day Celebration
left
Pop-up PVD Flea
Nature Walks: Fall Bird Walks
Lifelong Learners: Drawing Wild -- From the Collection
Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular
leftright
Pumpkin Painting
Lifelong Learners: Drawing Wild -- From the Collection
Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular
leftright
RWP by Boat: Kayak tour
Creepy Crawly Family Fun Weekend
right
Rhode Island Orchid Society
Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular
leftright
Creepy Crawly Family Fun Weekend
left
Scout Program: Cub Scout Space Exploration
UR Master Gardner Kiosk
Show more...