Initiatives

žThe Partnership focuses on 5 major initiatives

  • Playful Providence + Arts
  • žEarthday + Stewardship
  • žHealth + Wellness
  • žTechnical Assistance and Support/Parks Academy
  • žEducation + Conservation

Playful Providence + Arts

Playful Providence.  Playful Providence is designed to get urban kids and fami­lies comfortable with—and excited about—play in natural areas and away from sedentary pursuits. By building healthy communities through active neighborhood involvement, unique opportu­nities are created to engage and inspire youth and families to play in and explore the parks. Activities in Playful Providence 2013 include:

Training Events

  • žPlayworker Training. Adults learn to engage students in physical activities without direct­ing them.
  • žPop up Adventure Play. Adults learn how to provide children of all ages and abilities with opportunities to recognize, explore, and express their natu­ral play instincts.

Play and Exercise Events

  • žStory hours to inspire play
  • žPop up playgrounds
  • žPerforming arts
  • žCitywide celebration
  • žPlayful Providence Weekend 2012 (1800 participants at over 32 venues throughout the city)
  • žPlayful Providence Kick-off 2013 (40 Trained volunteers and 150 participants-okay we got rained out)

žEarth Day + Stewardship

Our local version of this national event focuses on creating safe and sustainable healthy physi­cal environments for fitness, movement, play, vegetable gardening, learning about nutrition and healthy eating, and promoting conservation and stewardship. Earth Day 2013 involved more than 1,800 volunteers at 37 clean-ups and educational events at neighborhood parks. Residents were also encouraged to get outdoors and make their own clean-up events. They were challenged to walk to a park, document their experience, and make a commitment to attend a farmer’s market, or establish a volunteer group that can bring healthy living and eating programs to the parks.

Providence Earth Day Spring Cleaning 2012 Stats:

ž3 Tree plantings
4 Ball fields
ž1 Underpass
ž20 Parks
ž2 Neighborhood clean-ups
ž35 Park cleanups
ž1,800 Volunteers
žLargest clean-up at RWP with 213 volunteers,
žSmallest clean-up at Gladys Potter Park  with 3,+4 sand box recruits
ž15+ Community partners
ž10 Additional donors/sponsors
ž5 Recreation centers

Health + Wellness

Recently the Partnership established a Health and Well­ness Committee to work with our volunteer groups to bring relevant fitness and nutrition activities into our neighbor­hood parks. Some of these activities include YMCA Hybrid Fitness, Parkour, Street Fitness, Crossfit, Meditation, Girls on the Run, Zumba, and Yoga. At each quarterly meeting, groups are introduced to new resources in the community that they might want to bring into their parks. Hopefully, residents will be inspired to start a commu­nity garden, plant fruit trees, bring in a farmer’s market, or establish a volunteer group that can bring healthy living and eating programs to the parks.

Parks Academy

The Parks Academy Workshops Series.  This workshop series provides the basics for building and strengthening the capacity of volunteer groups. The series offers organization development classes such as: Creating a Vision for Your Park, Accessing and Retaining Volunteers, Using Social Media to Promote your Park and Events, Grant Writing and Fund Development, and Developing a Governing Board. We also offer, more content based classes based on need. Workshops offered in Spring 2013 included: Tree Identification; Identifying and remov­ing Invasives; Developing a Community Garden in a Public Park. With these fundamentals in place, the groups are better positioned to bring sustainable programming and resources to their parks. As part of this process, the groups grow and share information and resources. They start to see options that could be available to them. “Wow, you are doing Kids’ Yoga at your Park? I think we might like to try that. How do we do it?”
In 2013, we offered 11 different workshops with 11 different community Partners 137 attendees:

  • žCreating or updating a vision for your park
  • žAccessing and retaining volunteers
  • žUsing Social Media and the Web
  • žAccessing city resources
  • žGrant writing and intro to fund development
  • žBoard Development
  • žCity Greens I Invasives
  • žCity Greens II Tree Identification
  • žPlanning and promoting a performing arts and play event in your park
  • žPop Up Adventure Play
  • žCommunity Gardens 

Education and conservation

The Partnership’s newest initiative is a collaboration with the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex to develop a science-based conservation message that will reach urban youth and families and pro­mote Providence parks and activities as part of an urban refuge program.

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