In Providence, there are over 93 parks in 26 neighborhoods and each has a unique spirit and role to play in the life of the community. With the aim of keeping parks active and strengthening community spirit, the Providence Parks Department has worked with many neighborhood groups in the development or redevelopment of their parks. Indeed, the Parks Department feels it is essential that each neighborhood park has an active Volunteer (Friends) Group that is willing to team up with the city to support, create and maintain vibrant open spaces that serve everyone and conserve resources.
Across the city, there are success stories in which the Parks Department has partnered with Friends groups to make remarkable improvements in neighborhood parks. However, each Friends group must learn anew how to effectively team up with the Parks Department, set priorities, and identify and locate resources needed to achieve their goals. Conversely, the Parks Department must identify neighbors interested in working together to improve their park.
The Partnership for Providence Parks was established in the Spring of 2012 to bring together the Parks Department and Friends Groups throughout the city of Providence with the businesses, non-profits and schools who have a strong commitment to our neighborhoods and understand the value of flourishing green spaces in the community. By working together, city resources can be leveraged with the addition of neighborhood volunteers and donated materials and services. Making the best use of all parties interested in improving our parks will always be important and the need is especially acute in the current challenging economic environment..
Statement of Purpose
The Partnership for Providence Parks provides support and resources for volunteer groups (Friends) seeking to transform their neighborhood parks into thriving green spaces that reflect the needs and character of the community. Through the Partnership, friends groups are encouraged and supported in working collaboratively with city government and the Parks Department is brought together with people excited and motivated to make the most of their neighborhood park.
We believe in:
- Collaborating with volunteer groups and partners to develop unique parks that reflect the strengths and identity of the community
- Conserving resources (repurposing, recycling and revitalizing) when possible
- Creating free and open play for children
- Offering innovative programs and events to get children and adults healthy, moving and inspired
How it works
This Partnership works with the Department of Parks and recreation to:
- Cultivate, nurture and support Friends groups, and:
- Develop city-wide partnerships for resources, programming and events that will be available to Friends groups, and:
- Establish a network of Friends groups and community partners to share best practices and resources, celebrate our volunteers and parks and increase awareness of our parks and the people who care for them.
The Providence Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes that we need active friends groups to be the stewards for neighborhood parks because the “friends” know how they want to use the park and what is needed. Working together, we can create spectacular outdoor spaces that reflect the identity and needs of the community. The Friends Groups know what their neighborhoods need and the Partnership has the expertise that can help achieve neighborhood goals. The ultimate goal of the Partnership is to have at least one major park in each neighborhood become a community hub for outdoor programming, structured and unstructured play activities and neighborhood gatherings. This is a large undertaking, but it can be achieved if modest neighborhood involvement is combined with central resources.
To learn more about other Parks and Recreation initiatives, please visit, www.providenceri.com