City Officials Highlight $20 Million in 2020 Park Improvement Projects
Over 80 Projects to be Completed this Year in Providence Public Parks
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined City Council President Sabina Matos and Providence Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson to highlight and celebrate over 80 park improvement projects to be completed across the city this year.
“Ensuring our residents have access to high-quality greenspaces is more important now than ever,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Whether going outside to take a breath of fresh air, reuniting with loved ones at a safe, social distance or picking up food from one of our world-class restaurants, during these difficult times our parks have become the community centers we have always envisioned them to be. With these sustained improvements, residents and visitors alike can find a vibrant greenspace that they can enjoy just a short distance away.”
The Providence Parks Department is on schedule to complete $20 million in improvements, repairs and renovations to parks this year, with another $15 million in projects currently in design development. These improvements build on $16 million of investments completed since 2015 and include improvements to landscaping, the installation of new outdoor gym equipment, repairs to existing sport facilities and the creation of engaging play features, some of which can already be seen and are ready for residents to enjoy.
City Council President Sabina Matos stated, “The City Council has been a driving force and engaged partner with the City’s Parks Department to improve our City’s parks and recreation areas. The Council has allocated millions of dollars in funding through Community Development Block Grant Funding and the Council’s Neighborhood Infrastructure Funds over the past several years to make improvements and enhancements in our parks. Our goal as a Council has been to improve the quality of life for our residents and to ensure that every resident has access to green space, play spaces, and other outlets to pursue time in nature. As families have coped with working from home, schooling from home, and navigating our new normal – now more than ever – we need to find time outdoors to destress, relax, and let our kids play. I want to commend the hard-working men and women of the Parks Department for their dedication to our City’s parks and for the transformative measures they have made around the City of Providence. Working together we have been able to accomplish our goals, and there are still more exciting projects to come!”
Bucklin Park on Dexter Street is one of several spaces to see dramatic improvements completed this summer, including the recent installation of new artificial turf in its football and softball fields. Similarly, Columbia Park basketball courts on Cranston Street have been revitalized and are accompanied by the addition of an outdoor fitness area and a new playground. After nearly two years of ongoing work, the Dexter Training Grounds on Parade and Willow Street is completing the installation of a new adult fitness gym and volleyball court; the beautification of its picnic area; and will welcome Dex the Dragon as the latest play feature to a newly renovated tot lot. Additionally, Conley Stadium on Mt. Pleasant Avenue has seen new tennis courts, improved softball fields and overall improvements to the space with $3 million invested through the City’s Capital Improvement Plan and in close partnership with Providence Public Schools.
Later this fall, the Cranston Street Park will be the site of the third annual My HomeCourt basketball court art installation made in partnership with Providence College, and Fargnoli Park on Jastram Street will also unveil a new playground and waterpark in addition to a beautified picnic area.
Residents are encouraged to explore their local park and learn more about ongoing park projects using the Providence Parks Finder. Visitors must follow the latest social distancing and health safety guidelines. To support compliance, park playgrounds will host Play Ambassadors from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday to greet visitors, remind them of social distancing guidelines, provide hand-sanitizer and masks, clean each play area twice a day, and connect families to Eat, Play, Learn PVD programs in the parks. Residents interested using outdoor athletic fields, courts and other sport facilities for organized sport activities are required to submit for permit through the Department of Recreation.