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 celebrated 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
  • Michael Allio
  • 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
  • Mark and Christina Braun
  • Fred and Joyce Butler
  • Paul and Patricia Carlson
  • Carter Fund
  • Darby Castigliego
  • Elizabeth Z. Chace Fund
  • Arnold "Buff" & Johnnie Chace 
  • 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
  • Malcolm Farmer III, Esq.
  • H. Jack and Hannah Feibelman
  • Carrie Bridges Feliz 
  • Florence Family Fund 
  • Bob and Wini Galkin Fund
  • Ira S. and Anna 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 
  • George & Lois Graboys
  • Gregson Foundation 
  • Karen Grenier 
  • Kelly Joy Grenier
  • Connie Grosch
  • Haffenreffer Family Fund
  • Polly and Ned Handy 
  • 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 
  • 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
  • Ronald and Kati Machtley
  • James and Jean Schofield Madden Family Fund 
  • Julie Mahaney
  • 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
  • Maryanne McElroy 
  • 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
  • Lauren Paola
  • Dante Pennacchia and Patricia Pennacchia Charitable Fund 
  • Jenny Pereira
  • Potter Family Fund 
  • Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund 
  • Shayne Purdue
  • Helen Walker Raleigh Tree Care Trust Fund
  • Cynthia Stewart Reed
  • Ricci Family Fund
  • Derwent Jean Riding
  • Charles and Mary Beth Riotto
  • Clayton Rockefeller
  • Rooks Family Fund 
  • Herman Rose
  • Russell Morin Catering and Events
  • Rykat Fund
  • George M. and Barbara H. Sage Fund
  • Jim and Erika Sanzi
  • Savage and Luther Family Fund 
  • Deborah Schimberg
  • Mary and Michael Schwartz Fund
  • Dr. H. Denman and Jill Scott 
  • Seventy-Five Corp. 
  • Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.
  • Soutter Family Fund 
  • Starkweather & Shepley Charitable Fund
  • Linda Steere and Edward DiLuglio
  • Neil Steinberg and Eugenia Shao
  • Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation 
  • Dexter Strong and Maureen Taylor 
  • Kim and Howard Sutton Fund
  • Anne and Michael Szostak Fund
  • The Honorable Ernest Torres and Jan Torres
  • Trimix Foundation
  • Rupert C. Thompson Fund 
  • Verrecchia Family Foundation 
  • 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

Featured Events at the Park

2017 RWP Community Meetings 

 

Join us for our 2017 RWP Community Meetings to hear the latest on improvements and activities in Roger Williams Park. 

Our March meeting will feature guest speaker Dr. Numi Mitchell to discuss "Coyotes in your Backyard." RSVP here.

2017 Winter Concert Series at the Botanical Center 

 

The annual Botanical Center Winter Concert Series takes place from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. every Sunday from February 26 until March 26. This year's line-up features performances by the Atwater-Donnelly Trio with Cathy Clasper-Torch, Jesse Liam Band, Aurea Ensemble, Slippery Sneakers Zydeco Band, and The Driftwoods. More details on admission and performers here


Daily Activities at the Park

Carousel Village

February 1 - March 31
Weekends 12 - 4pm

April 1 - June 30
Weekdays 12 - 6pm
Weekends 11am - 6pm

July 1 - Labor Day
Daily 11am - 6pm

Post Labor Day - Oct. 31
Daily 12 - 4pm

Nov. 1 - Dec. 31
Weekends 12 - 4pm

School Holidays & Vacation Weeks
11am - 6pm

The Carousel Village is open on weekends in December, and closed to the public in January.  

$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, free for children under 6, and $2 for military and seniors. Admission is free for Providence residents the first Saturday of the month. Groups of 10 or more are strongly encouraged to call ahead. Please contact Lesley at (401) 680-7250 for more information. 


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

February 26, 2017

Time

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Overview

2017 Winter Concert Series at the Botanical Center: Atwater-Donnelly Trio with Cathy Clasper-Torch

The trio excels with a unique blend of American and Celtic music on a wide selection of instruments, including a mountain dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, and harmonica.

Admission: $15, $10 members of the Botanical Center Conservancy.

Boathouse

Where

Boathouse

When

March 2, 2017

Time

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Overview

Hear the latest Roger Wiliams Park updates and activities. These quarterly meetings, hosted by the Roger Williams Park Conservancy and Providence Parks Department, are free and open to the public.

Botanical Center

Where

Botanical Center

When

March 5, 2017

Time

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Overview

2017 Winter Concert Series at the Botanical Center: Jesse Liam Band
The band’s music spans the Everly Brothers and the Beatles to the current charts.
Admission: $15, $10 members of the Botanical Center Conservancy

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

March 6, 2017 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

March 6, 2017 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.

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

March 11, 2017

Time

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Overview

Begin the day by completing a science-themed quest through the museum as you discover science in surprising places all around us! Then join museum educators for a special workshop where you will create fizzy, frothy experiments from everyday household items! Be a scientist for the day and discover how you might want to be a scientist in the future!

Botanical Center

Where

Botanical Center

When

March 12, 2017

Time

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Overview

2017 Winter Concert Series at the botanical Center: Aurea Ensemble
This renowned ensemble weaves chamber music, readings, and harmonica improvisations in a performance of “Where Everything is Music”.

Admission: $15, $10 members of the Botanical Center Conservancy

Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

Where

Museum of Natural History

When

March 15, 2017

Time

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Overview

Join the museum’s curator on a tour of our archives. Rarely open to the public, the museum’s archives contain early records, scrapbooks, plans and over 30,000 photographs. These include the museum and Providence Parks Department properties such as the North Burial Ground, the Esek Hopkins House, Roger Williams Park Zoo and many of the city’s small neighborhood parks. Please note: Attic accessible by stairs only.

Uncategorized

Where

Meet at the Roger Williams monument

When

March 18, 2017 Occurs the third Saturday of every 1 month(s)

Time

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Overview

Yoo-hoo, urban explorers, Leslie Knope lovers, and community enthusiasts! This group is for anyone interested in exploring the grounds and treasures of Roger Williams Park, Rhode Island's largest urban park. 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, Roger Williams Park is the People's Park. All are welcome -- whether your prom photos were taken in the Rose Garden or you never set foot in RWP. We'll meet monthly to explore different aspects of the architecture, sculptures, trails, and grounds. Join us!

Botanical Center

Where

Botanical Center

When

March 19, 2017

Time

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Overview

2017 Winter Concert Series at the Botanical Center: Slippery Sneakers Zydeco Band
Slippery Sneakers Zydeco Band. It’s hard to stay seated when the band plays its foot-stomping music.
Admission: $15, $10 members of the Botanical Center Conservancy
Page 1 of 4 Next

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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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Feb, 2017

Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Family Preschool Program: Discovery Tykes
Homeschool Adventures
Be Our Valentine
Scout Program: Cub Scout Geology Rocks
RWP Meet Up Group
Adventures in STEM during February School Vacation
Botanical Center Concert: Atwater-Donnelly Trio with Cathy Clasper-Torch
Roger Williams Park Community Meeting