First annual event includes neighborhood cleanups, beautification projects and tree plantings in 37 locations across the City.
Mayor Taveras and the City of Providence hosted the first annual city-wide celebration of Earth Day today, drawing 1,800 volunteers who cleaned parks, planted trees and worked on neighborhood beautification efforts this morning.
"I am grateful to our residents and local organizations who joined me today to revitalize our parks and green spaces, promote volunteerism and appreciate Providence's natural resources and park system," said Mayor Angel Taveras. "Together, we are responsible for supporting environmental initiatives across our city, so that our residents and children can live, work and play in an environmentally responsible and sustainable city."
The event was hosted in partnership with Serve Rhode Island, the Partnership for Providence Parks, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, Roger Williams Park Conservancy and other sponsors.
The Partnership for Providence Parks is a new initiative of the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation to support volunteer groups (known as "Friends") who seek to improve their communities by investing in their neighborhood parks. The Partnership is comprised of these groups, along with local businesses, universities, community organizations and the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation.
"Today's event is a wonderful culmination that shows the success of the Partnership for Providence Parks," said Wendy Nilsson, director of Partnership for Providence Parks. "We are pleased to announce that one-third of Providence's parks now have 'Friends' organizations to help ensure that our city is cleaner and stronger all year round."
The morning's cleanup events were followed by a public appreciation celebration, held in the afternoon at the Temple to Music at Roger Williams Park. Volunteers enjoyed free food and musical performances from Biscuit City, Jay Feinstein and the Furnace of Love, the Mosby Blues Band and singer/songwriter Matt Fraza.
Volunteers enjoyed free RIPTA rides throughout the day and those who showed their "Earth Day Spring Cleaning 2013 Volunteer" buttons received a complimentary lunch, as well as free admission on Saturday, April 27 to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Natural History Museum and Planetarium, and the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. Those with a button were also entered into a contest for a chance to win tickets to WBRU's Earth Day Concert.
In addition to the clean ups and celebration, the City of Providencealso provided a free community shredding event at Hope High School. Providence residents brought up to two boxes per household of personal, sensitive documents, which were properly destroyed and recycled.
Earth Day Spring Cleaning 2013 sponsors include: The City of Providence; AFL-CIO; Building and Construction Trades; Dexter Donation Commission; Fertile Underground; Kidoinfo; Narragansett Bay Commission; Narragansett Bay Estuary Program; New England Grassroots Environment Fund; Panera; Partnership for Providence Parks; REI; RIPTA; Roger Williams Park Conservancy; Serve Rhode Island; Shred-It; WBRU; Whole Foods; Working Rhode Island; and Zipcar.