Outreach at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

Since 2007, our unique partnership with the City of Providence Parks Department has brought the University’s expertise in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture to the staff, volunteers and visitors to the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.

Through the involvement of our consumer horticulture staff and 60+ trained URI Master Gardener volunteers, science-based information and research about a wide range of tropical and temperate plants is shared in classroom and garden settings to educate our audience about the best practices for maintaining the Botanical Center’s collection. In cooperation with Parks Department staff, URI Master Gardener volunteers and Outreach Center staff are working collaboratively to create a vibrant community center in the middle of historic Roger Williams Park!

Guided Tours + Educational Programs

Throughout the year, guided tours led by trained URI Master Gardener docents are offered to garden clubs and tour groups. Click here to schedule a tour.

The first Saturday of each month features a URI Master Gardener Kiosk, free soil testing and short guided tours of the Botanical Center. All services are FREE and provided by URI Master Gardener volunteers!

A complete listing of education programs offered by the URI Outreach Center at the Botanical Center can be found here.

Demonstration Gardens

A variety of demonstration gardens have been installed on the Botanical Center grounds to showcase gardening type and techniques. These demonstration gardens include a large community garden, an edible forest garden, a 400+ square foot rain garden and a Rhody Nativeā„¢Ā pollinator garden.

The Roger Williams Park Community Garden, established in 2011, allows individuals living near the park to lease plots on an annual-basis to grow their own food. The garden also houses the Produce Donation Program, a URI Master Gardener-led project that showcases organic growing practices and produced over 1,600 pounds of fresh produce in 2013, all of which was donated to a South Providence soup kitchen.

The edible forest garden was established in 2012 to showcase a wide variety of permaculture concepts and food-producing plants that can be grown in Rhode Island to provide food, fiber, fuel or fodder to families. Additional exhibits for beekeeping, backyard mushroom cultivation and an herb spiral have recently been added to the forest garden as well.

Through a partnership with the URI Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program, Outreach Center staff and attendees of the first RI Residential Rain Garden Training Program installed a 400+ square foot rain garden in April of 2011. The rain garden accepts roof runoff from the Botanical Center blockhouse and prevents it from reaching nearby Edgewood Lake. The garden features woody and herbaceous plant material native to New England.

For more information about URI Outreach Center-sponsored education programs at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, or to schedule a tour or visit the gardens, please contact us at 401-874-2900 or outreach@uri.edu.