Golden Heart StickerDear Park Friends,
A new year means changes at the Partnership and at our neighborhood parks, which means you’ll have tons of new ways to #loveyourpark in 2017! How do you love your park? We want to know!

Another way to #loveyourpark is to be sure to give us a shout on social media each and every day — especially now as we gear up for Mayor Elorza’s 5th Annual Earth Day Spring Cleaning on Saturday, April 22. If you have any questions about how to become an Earth Day Earth Saver this year, please check out the resources highlighted in our newsletter and on our website. Or just reach out to us! We are always at play in and around our city’s 100+ neighborhood parks and green spaces. Join us in play!

Play on,

Helene Miller
Director, Partnership for Providence Parks

You can read the full Newsletter HERE!

Earth Day English

BECOME an Earth Saver in Six Simple Steps!

  1. You or someone else representing your local park or community site can sign up for an Earth Day Mini-Grant by using our online Application (fully explained below) by March 24th.
  2. Shortly after the 3/24 deadline, the Mini-Grant awardees will be announced.
  3. Once the Mini-Grant awardees have been announced, sign up to volunteer for a project through a forthcoming link on our website.
  4. Tell your friends! Get them to sign up to volunteer too! This is a team effort!
  5. Lace up your work boots, put on your gardening gloves, and show up on Earth Day (Saturday, April 22nd) so you can be an Earth Saver!
  6. Even if you don’t sign up ahead of time to volunteer or don’t see an official project in your neighborhood, contact us! There will be clean-ups and projects in every neighborhood throughout the city– Anyone who wants to be an Earth Saver will be welcome to join in!


5th Annual Providence Earth Day Spring Cleaning – 2017 Mini-Grant and Event Application

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, The Providence Department of Parks & Recreation, and The Partnership for Providence Parks are once again pleased to offer a small grants program to provide funds to help with your event for Providence Earth Day Spring Cleaning 2017 on April 22nd. Additionally, we will supply: posters, trash bags, lawn and leaf bags, mulch, gloves, and buttons. Also, per popular request, we will be providing hearty snacks and beverages for your volunteers in lieu of a party on that day. Please let us know quantities you will need for snacks, supplies and buttons (good for some freebies and great deals throughout the city!)

Click here to complete your application now.

Please complete the online application by March 24, 2017!

  • Groups may apply for awards up to $150. We will base our decision for award amounts on scope of project/events. Awardees will be notified on or before April 1, 2017.
  • All events will be listed on a map on Serve RI and will include a description of the event, location, contact information and numbers of volunteers needed.
  • We ask that you encourage volunteers to bring their own lawn tools. The DPW tool bank will also be available for a limited number of lawn tools. Tools are distributed on a first come first serve basis starting April 19th. Please use the attached request form and work directly with the DPW for tool loans.
  • We are asking all awardees to post pictures and a short summary of their Earth Day event on the Partnership for Providence Parks Facebook or email them to us that weekend. We will have a brief survey for you to fill out so we know how to do things even better next year.
  • The event is rain or shine. There will be no Rain Date. In the event of heavy and sustained rain, you may choose to reschedule your event for the next day or following weekend. If your event includes projects involving the Parks Department, please consult with Wendy Nilsson ( before making any decisions.
  • All supplies, food, beverages can be picked up at Recreation and Partnership Headquarters at 11 West Drive, Providence RI. You will be notified of dates and times when you can pick up your supplies when you are notified of the award.

What we will fund:

  • Clean-up supplies
  • Garden tools
  • Plants and Trees
  • Activities for children related to the environment
  • Education and Conservation Activities

What we won’t fund

  • Music and Entertainment
  • Food

Please ask if you are not sure

If you have any questions about the online registration, please contact Catarina Merolli at

By Mail: Partnership for Providence Parks, 11 West Drive, Providence, Rhode Island 02904



By Jeffrey Barbieri, Partnership Staff

On a frigid and blustery February day, right before Valentine’s Day—I stood basking inside the balmy Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park. The tropical paradise I had entered was replete with palm trees and flowering plants and spotted with painted wooden hearts to signifying the holiday. I was able to join a tour given by Education Coordinator Lesley Lambert. The tour was about how plants flirt, perfect for this season. The Flirty Plant Tour focuses on the evolution of how plants spread their pollen in order to reproduce, or how they “flirt.” With more than 400,000 plant species identified today, certainly several adaptations have evolved. According to science, this evolution has taken on three distinct methods of “flirting,” although she clarifies, there are always exceptions to the rule! Pollen is plant DNA; to reproduce DNA from two different organisms, DNA must combine then create a seed. The seed then sprouts and grows into a new plant.

Pollination is the movement of these pollen grains from the male reproductive part of a plant to the female reproductive part. It is a prerequisite to fertilization.

Evolutionarily speaking, it all started with algae, mosses, and ferns, which mostly live in or near the water. Thus, their pollination relies on water, what Lesley refers to as “sending messages in a bottle.” As plants began to develop vascular systems, grow taller and move away from the water, they began to require other ways of “spreading their seed.”

For trees, this means “tossing a love letter to the wind.” This is effective, especially for taller trees (such as pines, spruces, firs, and aspens) at the top of the forest canopy. Tossing their pollen and subsequently their seeds to the wind is a romantic and great way for seed dispersal relying heavily on chance.

Today, most plants (in fact more than 350,000 of the 400,000 cataloged species) are not willing to rely on chance alone to find “love,” so they employ the “FedEx delivery service” of the plant world—pollinators. Any plant that relies on pollinators has some kind of flower, which advertises that something inside the flower needs to be pollinated. Flowers are a very pointed adaptation of plants to attract pollinators. Flowers of different color, size, smell, and shape attract different pollinators. Lesley notes that the magnolia is believed to be one of the first flowering plants. It has thick, rubbery petals, presumably because its pollinator is a beetle—a bigger, clumsier insect that requires a sturdy landing pad. The magnolia flower has been observed to close its petals, surrounding the beetle in order to assure the beetle gets covered with pollen before the magnolia releases its amorous friend to move on to another flower.

The evolution to flowers and the production of seeds also produced another important relationship between plants and animals. Humans noticed flowers and became attracted to their beauty. As a result, flowers have served to connect the plant world with the human world. Conscientious plant-lovers work to preserve and protect wild pollinators like the bee and pollination by human hand has become common. Plants rely on pollinators and have adapted to offer a reward to the insects that visit. Bees, birds, beetles, bats and flies all feed on the nectar produced inside flowers. Humans have also enjoyed the many flavors of plants in our own diet as do the animals we eat and keep as pets. In fact, humans are so dependent on plants that we have actually employed hand-pollination techniques, genetic modification of plant species, and even robot bees to help get the pollination job done fast enough to meet our needs.

Today, nearly ¾ of all plants produce flowers. Perhaps the idea of Valentine’s Day is one that humans have adapted from the romantic suggestions made by plants. It’s clear that plants use flowers to “send love messages” to each other and we ,too, love using flowers to send our own messages of affection. Fall River Florist sold more than 700,000 roses just in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day in 2015!

If you’re interested in taking a tour of the Botanical Center contact Lesley at (401) 680-7250 or

Check out the official Facebook event page HERE!



Attention Park-Goers, Friend Groups, and All City Residents: The Partnership is getting Social!

Follow along in the new year as we roll out all-new social media initiatives on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Join our Playful Parks People as we play in as many city parks as we can during our 100 Parks in 100 Days campaign! Where will we turn up next? Don’t miss out on any happenings in your local park—following us means following the fun!



Dear Park Friends,

The Partnership for Providence Parks (PPP) is filled with playful staff, playful parks and playful friends. We invite you to watch our Playful Parks People video for 2016 to see us all playing in our city’s vibrant parks. Playful Parks People will be playing once again in our city’s 113 parks in 2017. Will you be one of them?

Play On,

Helene Miller
Director, Partnership for Providence Parks

You can read the full Newsletter HERE!

The 2016 Smaller Sights and Sounds seeks to engage the smaller or newer Park Friends Groups in transforming their neighborhood parks into community hubs for the arts, healthy living, and play. Additionally, families from across the city will be encouraged to sample a selection of activities at a different park each week.

Smaller Sights & Sounds Performance

2015 Smaller Sights & Sounds Performance at Peace & Plenty Park

This initiative will provide park groups and community partners with an opportunity to “test the waters”, without exceeding their group’s capacity.

All participants will receive technical assistance and support from the Partnership in areas of recruiting and managing volunteers, organizing and promoting events, and facilitating play.

To apply for a Smaller Sights and Sounds grant, please fill out this application and return it to Helene Miller at

The Partnership for Providence Parks is collaborating with the City of Providence’s Department of Parks + Recreation and Healthy Communities Office and Providence Children’s Museum for a third exciting summer of Providence PlayCorps in neighborhood parks across the city. PlayCorps is seeking energetic summer Play Leaders and Interns to facilitate and support creative and rewarding play experiences for Providence youth in conjunction with the free federal summer meals program.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

PlayCorps InternPosition Description and Application (Applications are closed)

PlayCorps LeaderPosition Description and Application (Applications will close on Friday, May 20, 2016)

Visit to learn more about Providence PlayCorps.

Providence PlayCorps 2016 is supported by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the City of Providence’s Department of Parks + Recreation and Healthy Communities Office, a Health Equity Zone grant through the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Partnership for Providence Parks, Providence Children’s Museum, and the Rhode Island Foundation.

Earth_Day_2016 (2)Its time to pick your neighborhood park to clean up for Earth Day!

This year we have more than 45 different parks, schools, recreation centers and neighborhoods looking to you for help in cleaning up the trash, painting tables, benches and fences, removing graffiti, planting and weeding gardens, and spreading mulch.

You can choose which Park you want to volunteer at by visiting the Serve Rhode Island website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

All volunteers will be rewarded with snacks and beverages and an “I volunteered” button that gets you free rides on RIPTA, admission to the Zoo, Botanical Center and Natural History Museum all weekend, and free admission to the WBRU Earth Day concert Bad Fish on Friday 4/29 at Lupos.

We extended the deadline to March 15th for all mini-grant applications and to register your Earth Day event for inclusion in the greater Providence Earth Day Spring Cleaning event happening on Saturday, April 23 from 9 AM to 12 PM.

Please take a moment to fill out our short application by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please contact Lesley at

Lets all try to make this Earth Day the biggest Spring Cleaning yet!!