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
  • 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

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

  • Jessica David
  • Delta Dental of Rhode Island
  • Barbara Dreyer
  • Florence 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
  • 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
  • Letcher Family Fund
  • Edward Levine and Isabella Porter
  • Dan Levinson
  • Ida Ballou Littlefield Memorial Trust
  • 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 
  • Dorothy Carol Mitchell Charitable 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
  • Shayne Purdue
  • Helen Walker Raleigh Tree Care Trust Fund
  • Rallis Conover Family Fund
  • Derwent Jean Riding
  • Charles and Mary Beth Riotto
  • 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
  • Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.
  • Soutter Family Fund
  • 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.


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 Pops!

Thursday, August 18, 7 pm, Temple to Music

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Rhode Island Foundation presents RWP Pops, featuring the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Free and open to the public. Rain date August 19.


2016 Outdoor Movies in the Park

8 p.m. June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30

Bring a blanket and friends to watch free movies on the Boathouse lawn the last Friday of every month through September. Movies will start following Food Truck Fridays (5-8 p.m.)

For more information about Movies in the Park check out our FAQs

Daily Activities at the Park

Carousel Village

July 1 - Labor Day
Daily 11am - 6pm

$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

Roger Williams Bike Park 

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

Special activities & events


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    • Temple to Music

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium


Museum of Natural History


August 30, 2016


10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Going beyond our "Statuary Stroll" walk, we will take to our wheels and drive to statues and monuments scattered in the park's historic landscape. These will be farther afield and more easily accessed by car. Our guide will be museum docent Mike McGinity, creator of these popular sculptural art tours. Rain or shine.
Program fee per session:
$3 per person (includes museum admission)/free for museum members. Pets are not permitted. Pre-registration required. Call 401.680.7248 or email info@musnathist.com to register.



Boathouse lawn


September 23, 2016


8:00 PM - 10:00 PM


Join the RWP Conservancy for an outdoor movie following Food Truck Friday on the Boathouse lawn. The screening is free and open to the public.
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    • Roger Williams Park Zoo
    • Temple to Music

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August 2016

Aug, 2016

Family Program: Robots on the Run Workshop
Geology trips: Fern Fossil Forays
RWP Pops
Family Program: Raspberry Pi
Movies in the Park!
Life Long Learners Program: Motoring among Monuments