Celebrate Roger Williams Park!


Join the Roger Williams Park Conservancy for a full day of activities in Roger Williams Park, including:

  • FREE ADMISSION ALL DAY at the RWP Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and Museum of Natural History and Cormack Planetarium
  • 11 am – 3 pm: Pop Up Providence Flea and PVD Food Truck Events at the Dalrymple Boathouse lawn. Joe’s Backyard Band will provide a free concert on the lawn at 1 pm.
  • 9 am: Christopher Ackley, Member of the Roger Williams Park Conservancy Board of Directors, will lead a Jane’s Walk. The walk will describe some of the history, venues, sculpture, and landscape of the Park and engage participants in a lively discussion: Many parks, like Roger Williams Park, were created over a century ago. How do we care for these spaces today? How do we preserve the best of the past while meeting the needs of the future?
  • 2 pm: Guided Trail Walk

Details still to come about Yoga at the Temple to Music and other activities!

Tell us you’re coming via email info@rwpconservancy.org or on Facebook. If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please email lpaola@rifoundation.org.

Earth Day Clean Up at RWP


Join the Roger Williams Park Conservancy, the City of Providence and ServeRI for an Earth Day Clean Up!  We are looking for volunteers to help clean up trash and yard debris that have accumulated during the winter. Email us at info@rwpconservancy.org to sign up or visit our event page on Facebook.

Roger Williams Park Conservancy Earth Day Clean Up

Saturday, April 22nd, 8:30 am – Noon

Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence

What to Wear: Comfortable work clothes and sneakers/boots (they will get dirty!)

What to Bring: Rakes, Garden Gloves,

Trash and leaf bags will be provided. Snacks and water will be available throughout the day.

* This event is rain or shine.*

Things that used to be in RWP

Roger Williams Park is nearly 250 years old. Many things that were once part of the Park have ceased to exist or have been transformed or relocated. Below are a few of the lost entities of Roger Williams Park!

Summer Cottages


At least three of these rustic structures provided shaded picnic areas and shelter from the rain.  You can still see the foundation of one of the cottages across from the Museum of Natural History.

American Flag


The floral American Flag, located at the Farragut Avenue entrance, used hills and valleys to achieve a “waving effect.”


Original Boathouse (1880)

Original Boathouse c1890.jpg

This structure was later replaced by the Dalrymple Boathouse in 1896.

The First Carousel (1897)

RWP Murphy Brothers Carousel c1905.jpg

The original merry-go-round featured carved wooden horse with real horse hair tails and a calliope that used flat cards instead of piano rolls.  The current carousel is the Park’s third.

What Cheer Cafe (1877)


Owned by the Union Railroad Company, the Cafe was replaced by the Casino in 1896..

The Original Greenhouses


The Horse Track


Located on what is now part of Roger Williams Park Zoo, the race track was used year-round, with horses pulling sleighs and kicking snowballs up and down the track in wintertime.

Monkey Island & Sea Lions

Monkey Island Postcard 1920s.jpg

Zoo exhibits were part of the Park proper. Monkeys were housed on an island in the Park and the Seal House was home to sea lions.

Original Pony Riding Arena

Pony Barn c1920.jpg

The Giant Talking Easter Bunny and Snowman


Generations of RI children visited these two characters during the holidays.


Celebrating Dominican Republic Independence Day in RWP

Every February 27th Dominicans all over the world celebrate their nation’s independence and many Dominicans in Rhode Island make it a point to stop by the Duarte monument located in Roger Williams Park near the Broad Street entrance. Now, you may be asking who was Duarte and why is there a monument to him in the park?


(Undated picture of wreath laying ceremony at the Duarte monument by Octavio Gomez.)

A the start of the nineteenth century the city of Santo Domingo was a Spanish outpost on an island shared with the free republic of Haiti. In the 1820s some prominent citizens in Santo Domingo felt that Haitian rule would bring prosperity and literally handed over the keys to the city. However, two decades of Haitian rule left many in Santo Domingo yearning for independence. Juan Pablo Duarte, a young visionary who had studied in the US and in Europe, created a movement called the trinitarios to consolidate the growing opposition. On February 27, 1844, the group seized a fort in Santo Domingo and declared independence, establishing the Dominican Republic. Curiously, Duarte himself made a stop in Providence on July 2, 1829, before heading to France to continue his studies. He was sixteen years old at the time.

Today, the more than forty thousand Dominican-American who live in Rhode Island continue to make significant contributions to our state. This growing community is very active in commerce, the arts and culture, and local politics. The Duarte Plaza memorial in Roger Williams Park was erected to honor the many achievements of this community as much as it memorializes the country’s founding father, Juan Pablo Duarte.

– Written by Roger Williams Park Conservancy board member Gonzalo Cuervo.

Welcome (a)board!

The Roger Williams Park Conservancy is proud to announce its board of directors! The board supports the work of the Roger Williams Park Conservancy and provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance. Thank you to the following individuals who share a commitment to Roger Williams Park:

  • Christopher Ackley
  • John Campanini
  • Audrey Clifton
  • Gonzalo Cuervo
  • Meredith Curren
  • Jessica David, chair
  • Lauren Drapala
  • Briant Hiengphothichack
  • Marie Langlois
  • Zeldy Lyman
  • Jon Ӧzbek
  • Joseph Pari
  • Jenny Pereira
  • Elizabeth Roberts
  • Kelly J. Rogers
  • Neil D. Steinberg
  • Dr. Taylor Stoermer
  • Wendy Nilsson, Superintendent, Providence Parks, advisory member
  • Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Executive Director, RI Zoological Society, advisory member

The Roger Williams Park Conservancy was created in 2016 as part of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Campaign for Roger Williams Park. As an independent nonprofit organization, the Conservancy works with the Providence Parks Department to steward Roger Williams Park, offer community programs, raise resources, coordinate marketing efforts, and plan for the long-term sustainability of the Park and its enjoyment by the community.

Urban Wildlife: Nature at your doorstep

Roger Williams Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife.  These photos, taken by Michael Kieron and John Allaire, are just a small sample of the animals and birds that can be found at the Park.


Wood Ducks




Grove Snail

Photos By Trail Camera

Red Fox captured on night cam


Red Tailed Hawk


Hooded Merganser (male)


Great Blue Heron


American Bullfrog


Eastern Cottontail

Our furry and feathered friends are the focus of Urban Wildlife: Nature at Your Doorstop, an exhibit currently on display at the Museum of Natural History.

Thank you to the Museum of Natural History for sharing these photographs.

Winter wonderland

The first snow of 2017 transformed Roger Williams Park into a winter wonderland. Thanks to all who braved the cold to snap some great photos in the Park!

#winter #rogerwilliamspark #snow #niceweather

A post shared by Murat Yonarlar (@ynrlrmurat) on

Take a city nature walk today! The winter is a great time to get outside

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