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 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


Thank You to Our Donors!

  • AAA Northeast
  •  Christopher Ackley
  • April Alix
  • Allen Family Fund
  • Michael Allio
  • Amica Companies Foundation
  • Emily Andrew-Marotta
  • Bafflin Foundation
  • Bank of America Charitable 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
  • Ian Brown
  • Vincent Buonanno 
  • Fred and Joyce Butler
  • Brian and Virginia Byrnes
  • Julia and Nick Califano
  • Paul and Patricia Carlson
  • Carter Fund
  • Darby Castigliego
  • Elizabeth Z. Chace Fund
  • Arnold "Buff" & Johnnie Chace 
  • The Champlin Foundation
  • The Honorable Edward Clifton and Audrey Clifton
  • Jean Cohoon
  • The Collis Foundation 
  • Rallis Conover Family Fund
  • Arianne Corrente
  • Gonzalo Cuervo and Francis E. Parra
  • David Dadekian
  • Robert W. & Mary W.C. (Polly) Daly Fund 
  •  Joanne M. Daly and Guy M. Millick 
  • George and Donna David
  • Jessica David
  • Delta Dental of Rhode Island
  • Dimock Fund
  • Deborah DiNardo, Esq.
  • Lauren Drapala
  • Barbara Dreyer
  • Charles & Nancy Dunn Family Fund  
  • 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 
  • Lee Ann Freitas
  • Florence Family Fund 
  • Bob and Wini Galkin Fund
  • Ira S. and Anna Galkin Fund
  • Michael and Jen Gazdacko
  • 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
  • Allen and Katharine Howland-Gammell Family Fund
  • Benjamin Hsu
  • Ryan and Alison Jackson
  • Daniel Kertzner
  • Horace A. & S. Ella Kimball Foundation
  • Judith Alperin King and Timothy King Fund
  • Jonathan and Judith Knight
  • 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 
  • Jesse Metcalf
  • Terry A. Meyer Fund
  • Dorothy Carol Mitchell Charitable Fund
  • Heidi Keller Moon Fund
  • Francis Mullin
  • Murphy Family Fund
  • Murray Family Charitable Foundation
  • Kathleen Murray
  • Colin Myers Memorial Fund
  • Navigant Credit Union 
  • Jane Nelson 
  • Wendy Nilsson and Michael Paradiso
  • Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation
  • Pamela Boylan Ong and Warren Ong
  • Kevin Orth
  • Lauren Paola
  • Joseph Pari
  • Dante Pennacchia and Patricia Pennacchia Charitable Fund 
  • Jenny Pereira
  • Donald I. Perry Fund
  • 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
  • Maury and Mary Lou Ryan
  • Rykat Fund
  • George M. and Barbara H. Sage Fund
  • Salten Weingrod Family Fund
  • Julia Sampson
  • 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
  • State Preservation Grant from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission
  • 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

This video from our 2017 Annual Meeting honors the Champlin Foundation, recipient of our Centennial Champion Award.

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

To learn what's happening in the park, please see the Roger Williams Park Conservancy website.