Author Archives: Jeff Barbieri

Welcome to Playful Summer!

June 12th, 2017 | Posted by Jeff Barbieri in Organization News - (0 Comments)



Read our newsletter to find out what’s going on this summer in Providence’s parks, rec centers, and green spaces!


Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s Fifth Annual Earth Day Spring Cleaning 2017 was a huge success! Of course, we could not have held events at 54 sites throughout the city, planting 86 trees and spreading 96 cubic yards of wood chips, without the help of an estimated 2500 volunteers who came out despite the poor weather. Thank you to all the volunteers, friends groups, businesses, park crews, councilpeople, students, faculty, and the Mayor’s Office for showing up and becoming Earth Savers this year. The Partnership believes that this type of collaboration is at the heart of what makes our city, and our parks, great!

We want to show off all the hard work that was accomplished on Earth Day, so we are posting all the pictures you’ve sent to us as part of our 2017 Earth Day Spring Cleaning photo album on Facebook! Click on the link to view the album right now! Don’t see your photos? Oops! Keeping track of so much Earth Saving is hard work! Email any photos we missed to: and we’ll be happy to add them to the album!


Golden Heart Sticker

Thank You for all You Do!

The City of Providence, Providence Parks Department, and the Partnership for Providence Parks thanks all of our volunteers who participated in Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s 5th Annual Providence Earth Day Spring Cleaning event! Be sure to show your Earth Day button after volunteering Saturday, April 22, 2017, and receive the following as an expression of our gratitude:

  • Free rides  to the Roger Williams Park registration site at the Boathouse from 8am – 4pm on April 22nd courtesy of UBER – use the code: PVDCLEAN for your free ride! (
  • Free RIPTA rides on April 22nd
  • Free admission to the Roger Williams Zoo on April 22nd and 23rd (please note that the zoo is collecting the buttons upon admission)
  • Free Admission to Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History on April 22nd and 23rd
  • Free Admission to Roger Williams Park Botanical Center on April 22nd and 23rd during Fairy Garden Days
  • 10% off Flatbread Pizza Company on April 22nd
  • Free Small Coffee Seven Stars Bakery on April 22nd
  • Free Iced Tea/Lemonade The Duck and Bunny on April 22nd
  • 50% off Knead Donuts on April 22nd
  • Pizzeria Uno Dough Raiser! Up to 20% of checks value will be donated to the Partnership for Providence Parks April 22nd and 23rd for all food and drinks dine in and eat out. Free delivery for food orders $100 or more
  • Admission to Earth Day concert at Lupos Heartbreak Hotel for first 95 volunteers Saturday, April 29th with  Badfish – Sublime Tribute -Doors open at 7pm, show begins at 8pm

We hope to see you again next year! Save the Date: April 28th 2018!


Love Your Parks! 2017 End-of-Winter Partnership News!

March 20th, 2017 | Posted by Jeff Barbieri in Organization News - (0 Comments)
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!



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!