The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC) is on the positive footing it is today in large part because of the generosity of The Champlin Foundation. The funds awarded allowed for immediate and visible projects that positively changed the face of Burnside Park and Kennedy Plaza.
The DPPC used these funds for a variety of projects such as installing pathways in the park compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which immediately made the park accessible for all of our city’s visitors and residents. These funds also aided in installing electricity throughout Burnside Park, which improved the quality of the summer arts and cultural programming, as well as safety and security in the park. The historic statue of General Burnside, the park’s namesake, was beautifully restored and landscaping was improved around the monument.
With the completion of these highly visible improvements, Burnside Park quickly became more welcoming, more inclusive and more beautiful. As a result, it attracted the attention and generosity of other local businesses and foundations, which saw real change happening and were inspired to become a part of it. Most recently, Hasbro made significant financial contributions to the DPPC’s work, leading to the construction of downtown’s only playground, Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park.
Each year, hundreds of people visit Burnside Park to enjoy a free arts and cultural program, enjoy lunch from a food truck or just to get some exercise and be outdoors. Providence children step into the world of books through an outdoor Storytime, local musicians reach new audiences at a weekly music series, and artists create public art, such as the new mural on the Imagination Center. A park that had once been avoided is now a destination.
When an institution such as The Champlin Foundation believes in an organization, it has a ripple effect throughout the community. Other organizations and foundations see a nonprofit such as the DPPC as worthy of investment. As a result the work continues to grow and positively impact the neighborhood, and ultimately the entire city.