Woonasquatucket River Adventure Park

Woonasquatucket River Adventure Park, Providence, RIPhoto credit: Hali Beckman, LTD; Ironwood Design Group; Cherenzia LTD

The Trust for public Land and a coalition of partners in Providence are teaming up to transform a vacant brownfield along the Woonasquatucket River into a vibrant, climate-smart adventure park. Located in the heart of Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood—a community where roughly 40 percent of families live below the poverty line—the park will provide outdoor activities for at-risk youth and help the city address the impacts of climate change.

Designed in partnership with local youth, the adventure park will feature two bicycle pump tracks and a parkour course, ultimately diversifying the city’s athletic offerings and serving as a retreat for teens who do not participate in traditional sports. A multi-use hiking and biking trail will meander the property and connect to gathering spaces, a pavilion, and the existing five-mile Woonasquatucket River Greenway, making it easily accessible to the 6,000 residents living within a 10-minute walk of the property.

Beyond its many recreational amenities, the Woonasquatucket River Adventure Park will serve as a model climate-smart park as it helps “connect, cool, absorb, and protect”—the four pillars of The Trust for Public Land’s national climate-resiliency strategy. Among other green infrastructure elements:

  • New walking and biking paths will connect residents to the Woonasquatucket River Greenway and encourage non-motorized transportation
  • Shade trees will cool the neighborhood during heat waves
  • Permeable surfaces will absorb stormwater to prevent runoff from entering the river
  • A restored shoreline will protect the park and neighborhood from flooding

The Trust for Public Land and its partners worked together to complete master planning for the design and helped the City of Providence receive a $398,800 award from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Recreation Acquisition and Development. The park is slated to open in 2018.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.