PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Dozens of local residents and business owners teamed up on Wednesday to help fix the Providence Riverwalk.
The Downtown Neighborhood Association partnered with the Providence Parks and Recreation Department to fix up where they live and work.
“Those that live and work here, see this every day, and there’s something to be said when you actually get your hands dirty and do the work yourself, you take pride in it and you own it,” said Rich Pezzillo, organizer of Downtown Neighborhood Association. “I think this is a great way of not just putting a Band-Aid on it, now you have 30 eyes and ears to look at this piece of property in Providence and make sure that it’s being maintained.”
Superintendent of Parks Wendy Nilsson is working with Pezzillo and the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
“We really need those groups to help us make those public spaces special,” she added. “It’s our public spaces that really bring our neighborhoods to life and create community and really engage and inspire one another and the parks department can’t do that alone.”
On Wednesday, members of the department, residents, and business owners put in new cables, sanded, and painted railings, saving the city about $40,000 in labor costs.
This group is making the investment where they are proud to live and work.
Christine Francis owns Carmen and Ginger on Weybosset Street. She says, “I think all of us business owners feel the same way. We don’t just focus on our own business, we do a lot of things collaboratively, we try to send people different places, we all give advice to tourists about different things and so we all always work together to make it enjoyable for everybody.”
The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is partnering with the parks department to fix up another portion of the Riverwalk.
The Downtown Neighborhood Association said this is the first of many projects it hopes to take on to fix the area.