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RI Foundation Announces $10 Million Plan to Restore Roger Williams Park

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


The Rhode Island Foundation has announced that they will begin a $10 million campaign to restore Roger Williams Park. The restoration will include improvements to the park's entrances, new signage, expanded walkways and bicycle paths and repairs to the Museum of Natural History, the Bandstand, the Casino and the Temple of Music.

“Community is at the heart of what we do. Community lives where people gather and a sense of belonging begins. It seems only fitting that we honor and support one of the state’s best-loved places to commemorate our centennial,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The Foundation has already raised $4.5 million. That money includes $1.5 million from the Foundation as well as a $1.15 million gift from The Champlin Foundations.

The Plan

The Foundations plans call for $5 million to be spent on repairs and improvements to the park over the next five years.

The Foundation has commissioned a study that identified the scope of work needed to be done and found many of the buildings have not been renovated in decades.

In addition, the Foundation is planning to create a $5 million endowment that will provide a permanent source of funding for the Roger Williams Park Conservancy.

“This is a critical time in the life of the park. We thank our donors for having the vision to preserve it for future generations. We look forward to working with other far-sighted supporters to ensure the park remains an economic engine and community treasure," said Steinberg.

Work is expected to begin in early 2016.

Roger Williams Park

The park was created in the 1870's after Betsey Williams donated 12 acres of farmland and woodland including land originally obtained from the Narragansett tribe by her great, great, great grandfather Roger Williams.

Over 1.5 million people have visited the park since it expanded to 435 acres under the management of the City of Providence.

The Rhode Island Foundation

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island, awarding $34.8 million in 2014.

For more information, click here.


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