Roger Williams Park is giving us all so much in 2020. It is a place of refuge and restoration, and a place of connection and community.

Roger Williams Park’s natural beauty and natural amphitheaters have made it an “essential place” for Rhode Islanders for almost 150 years. This year, the Park has been more essential than ever, with tens of thousands of families coming together in the park to safely reconnect with each other and boost our health and wellness.

The Roger Williams Park Conservancy was thrilled to help make the Park a vibrant public place for all in 2020. As part of our “Art for the People’s Park” campaign over 1,000 people contributed art, attended a performance, sat for a portrait, attended an art class, came to the “Harvesting Rain Art Festival” or explored the “Wish You Were Here” postcard exhibit. Below are some of the highlights from the campaign.

Art from local artists:

Artwork courtesy Rosario Jimenez

Artwork courtesy Donna Deandrea

Artwork courtesy Katelyn Boss










Pop-up performances on the Boathouse Lawn:


Painting, illustration, and photography classes:


Family Photo Days:

Photos courtesy Sabrina Scolari


The “Wish You Were Here” postcard exhibit:

The “Rain Harvest Art Festival” with the City of Providence, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island:

Some of the art now available for sale from Roger Williams Park includes four art prints from Peter Cardoso and a coloring book by Brett Day Windham:

The 2021 Roger Williams Park calendar is filled with Park images from local artists:

In 2020 and 2021 we continue to make investments in the Park’s infrastructure. Thanks to your support, and the capital funding and leadership of the Providence Parks Department and Rhode Island Foundation;

  • The Victorian Rose Garden and the Botanical Center’s Rose Maze have new roses, irrigation, and landscaping,
  • The City hired a specialist to address repairs to the Boathouse and Temple to Music,
  • The Casino will soon have a new $500,000 heating and cooling system that will reduce costs and increase use,
  • The Museum will soon have a new $1,000,000 heating and cooling system, eliminating hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • We will have some fun surprises for you to enjoy in 2021!

This year the City of Providence staff at the Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Center worked hard to make their wonderful destinations a safe and welcoming place to visit. Thanks to their ingenuity hundreds of families were able to safely experience the wonder of moon exploration or tropical plants. City staff opened the Casino to safe, socially-distant events like small weddings. And the grounds crews worked long hours to keep the Park looking great, especially this spring when the Park was one of the few places open for us to restore our health and wellness.

Now, the Park and the Rhode Islanders that love it need your help. The adjacent Elmwood neighborhood has the third highest COVID19 infection rate in Rhode Island. According to the Centers for Disease Control, depression and stress has doubled among vulnerable populations during the pandemic. To combat this problem, the CDC recommends “promoting social connectedness.”

Imagine then in 2021, families reconnecting with their community in a safe, beautiful setting. Imagine Roger Williams Park filled with music and families as swans and swan boats glide behind performers. Imagine young people taking photographs and laughing under the shade of flowering trees.

That is why we count on your annual financial support. Your gift of $1,000, $500, $250, $100, or $25 enables programming and investments that make Roger Williams Park a vibrant public place for all.

  • $1,000 supports a free pop-up performance,
  • $500 supports an art class
  • $250 supports a free tour, and
  • $25 provides a free Roger Williams Park coloring book for a local child.

Please make your gift online today!

Kevin Essington
Executive Director

PS- For every dollar in our annual fund, over 90 cents go to Park programs and investment. Thanks to our partnership with the City of Providence we keep our overhead low so your dollars go further!

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