The Downtown Providence Park Network: Reimagining the Heart of the City

Friday May 5, 10-11:30am

East side of Michael S Van Leesten Memorial Pedestrian Bridge (across from Plant City).

Waterplace Park


Providence’s downtown boasts 54 acres of waterfront access from Waterplace Park to Point Street. This rich network of waterfront parks and walkways offers natural beauty and greenspace, areas for play, exercise and relaxation, facilities for education, and space for community events. Together, these parks form the center of downtown Providence, anchoring our community and economy. We invite our neighbors to take a walk through the spaces that make up our Downtown Park Network. From the pedestrian bridge to Waterplace Park, we’ll be exploring the potential of this loop of urban greenspace to add to our lives as a place for connection, vibrancy, contemplation and recreation. What do your dream parks and public spaces look like? How could we better activate the heart of our downtown to enrich our lives and communities?

WALK LEADERS: Jessica David and Sarah Summers

Jessica David: Jessica David is president and co-founder of Local Return, an organization dedicated to building community wealth through investment and ownership in neighborhoods that have experienced historical disinvestment. She is also principal of Good Worth Working For, a community consultancy. She supports organizations and leaders working for community benefit on strategy and change processes, program design, large and small convenings, and culture-building. Previously, Jessica served as Executive Vice President of Strategy & Community Investments at the Rhode Island Foundation. She spent several years early in her career working on homelessness, affordable housing, and community development. Jessica serves on the boards of the Cranston Public Library Association, Common Cause of Rhode Island, the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, and Tides Family Services. Along with the What Cheer Writers Club, Jessica founded the Dear Rhode Island community letter exchange. She delights in human connections, local places, problem-solving, her puppy Odysseus, and Bruce Springsteen.

Sarah Summers: Sarah Summers is the Network Coordinator for the Downtown Providence Park Network. After over a decade of working in community-based organizations in Providence, Sarah found her way to the DPPN, where she is delighted to be able to spend her time focusing on parks and the communities that love them.