WBNA Enews: We BUILT a playground!

WBNA Enews, Thursday, October 13, 2011


  • Grand Opening of Fertile Underground Grocery at 1577 Westminster St, Thursday, October 20
  • Goblins and Gremlins Party and Parade and Pumpkin Launch, Saturday, October 29, 1-4pm, DTG, Volunteers needed! PLUS SIGN UP TO BE ON THE TRICK OR TREATING MAP (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get on the map)
  • WBNA Crime Watch, Tuesday, October 25, 6:30pm at WBNA HQ
  • Armory Farmer’s Market, Thursdays, 4-7PM at DTG

General Meeting, Rhode Island Housing, who administers the foreclosure prevention fund, Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island, will conduct an informational meeting on Tuesday, November 1st general meeting for WBNA.  The presentation begins at 6:00pm.  Attend and find out what assistance might be available to you if you are struggling to make your mortgage payment.

  • Community Development Committee, Tuesday, November 8, 7-8:30pm at WBNA HQ

Please join WBNA today so we can continue to bring projects like the new playground to the West Side. Also, consider getting involved in one of our events or committees including the Friends of Dexter Training Ground


This past Tuesday, October 11, over 250 people (110 neighbors, 140 UnitedHealthcare employees and 20 New England Patriots) WORKED TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY to build a brand, new, beautiful, castle-like playground at the Dexter Training Ground.

Details in brief:

  • WBNA and the Providence Parks Department applied for a grant to KaBOOM! For a new playground at the Dexter Training Ground because the playground is one of the most heavily used in the city of Providence and it had reached the end of its useful life
  • A Design Day was held with KaBOOM! On August 11 where 30-50 children were taught about the history of the park and special features such as the trees, and then designed their dream playground. This gave the guidance for the adults to select equipment. Special thought was given to durability, sensitivity to our historic park, and of course, ensuring equipment was fun and promoted creative, imaginative PLAY for our kids!
  • WBNA contributed $5,000 and the Providence Parks Department contributed $5,000 towards the playground and the necessary supplies for build day PLUS the WBNA committed to working with neighbors on an 8 week planning process and to recruit at least 100 volunteers for prep and build days
  • A core committee of neighbors (Rachel Newman Greene, Manuel Cordero, Jennifer Spaziano, Jennifer Shimkus, Hope Finch, Kristen Thompson, Noah and Deb Rosenberg, Alex Smith Bourget, Parks Superintendent Bob McMahon, Beth Charlebois, Amber Day, Patrick McEvoy. Libby Kimzey) worked with the outstanding Kenny Altenburg of KaBOOM! for 8 weeks on all the details.
  • Quintin Rivera-Toro secured a grant from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts for a special project he calls “The Bridge” which is intended to connect people and be a place for gathering and interacting. The Bridge became a side project of the KaBOOM! Playground build. Other side projects WBNA developed with KaBOOM! were painting trash cans with positive “your park, keep it clean” type signs, refilling the toddler area with clean sand, planting perennials in front of the Ebenezer Knight Dexter statue and painting the iron fence, painting park benches, mulching trees, and building six raised garden beds for a new joint WBNA/Parkview Nursing Home community garden at the Parkview Nursing Home.
  • Another special feature makes this effort multi-generational with the inclusion of nine Life Trail stations for adult exercise that is also wheelchair accessible
  • What a day we had on Tuesday! Spectacular weather and a true showing of community! Plus the fun of having the help of the New England Patriots. To keep the momentum going, the WBNA is reinstating the Friends of Dexter Training Ground, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get involved!

KaBOOM!, UnitedHealthcare, New England Patriots, Providence Parks and Recreation FOR MAKING THIS AMAZING PLAYGROUND POSSIBLE



Barden Family Orchard


Casa Buena Builders

Edelmira Gudiel

Groundwork Providence

Hmong Church

Parkview Nursing Home

Rhode Island State Council for the Arts

Quintín Rivera-Toro

Seven Stars Bakery


South Side Community Land Trust


Wes’ Rib House

Whispering Elms Farm

White Electric Coffee

Whole Foods

Windmist Farm

Woonasquatucket River Greenway

Xiong Farms

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL PARTICIPATING NEIGHBORS INCLUDING BUILD CAPTAINS - Alex Smith Bourget, Manuel Cordero, Tom D’Ovidio, Libby Kimzy, Parks Superintendent Bob McMahon, Joseph Pfeiffer-Herbert, Quintín Rivera-Toro,

Ayako Takose, John West


Providence City News:

The Providence Journal:

New England Post:

The Boston Globe:

***WBNA will be recognized by the New England Patriots and UnitedHealthcare during the halftime show of this Sunday, October 16, New England Patriots vs. Dallas Cowboys!!!!!

Since 1983, the WBNA has worked with neighbors and businesses on the West Side of Providence to preserve and promote our diverse, historic, urban community as a safe, vibrant, and sustainable place to live, work, and play. Great strides have been made and neighbor involvement has brought over $15 million into the neighborhood and a strengthened sense of community. JOIN US!

 Current and recent projects: Renovation of 1560, 1192 and 1390 Westminster Street, adoption of West Side Overlay zone, expansion of the Broadway Armory local historic district, repair funds for the Cranston Street Armory, a new Playground!, Decorative lighting on Westminster Street, West Side Solar, Luongo Square fountain and enhancement project, 1577 Westminster Street with a neighborhood grocery

 WBNA Headquarters (HQ)

1560 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02909

(401) 831-9344

Volunteers still needed from 8am-3pm tomorrow for Playground Build Day

MEDIA ADVISORY                           


Mark Drake, UnitedHealthcare, 202-277-7375, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jeff Cournoyer, New England Patriots, 508-549-0492, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kari Lang, West Broadway Neighborhood Association, 401-831-9344, 401-301-3821, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robert McMahon, Providence Parks + Recreation Department, 401-785-9450, ext. 200, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                                                                                                          




 WHAT:                New England Patriots players will join more than 200 volunteers from UnitedHealthcare, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA), the Providence Parks + Recreation Department, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community on Tuesday, Oct. 11, to build a new playground at Dexter Training Ground. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in August.  

 WHY:                  The playground will be the seventh built by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare as part of UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” initiative – a campaign to inspire service and encourage volunteerism in communities where UnitedHealthcare employees live and work. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is supporting the “Do Good. Live Well.” mission and partnering with UnitedHealthcare throughout the year to help Patriots fans live healthier lives.

                             This project is also one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2011 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. This park is one of the most used parks in Providence and is used by an extremely economically and ethnically diverse population. The location is unique in that the playground is located on a very historic site with the castle-like, nationally renowned Cranston Street Armory at one end of the park.

 WHEN:                Tuesday, October 11

                            8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.             Kick-off ceremony and volunteer deployment

                            11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.          Best viewing of playground construction

                            1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.            Patriots players participate in final construction phase

                            2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.             Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate new play area

                            (Note: all times approximate)

 WHERE:             Dexter Training Ground
65 Dexter Street
Providence, RI 02909

WHO:                  Approximately 20 New England Patriots players, including*:

                            Wes Welker

                            Rob Gronkowski

                            Deion Branch

                            Devin McCourty

                            BenJarvus Green-Ellis

                            Patrick Chung

                            Rob Ninkovich

                            Kevin Faulk

                            Stephen Gostkowski

                            Zoltan Mesko

                            Nate Solder

                            Kyle Love

                            Matt Slater

                            Gary Guyton

                            Dane Fletcher

                            Patriots mascot Pat Patriot & Patriots Cheerleaders;

                            Hundreds of volunteers from the local community

                            (*scheduled and subject to change)

 VISUALS:           Before and after shots of the site with a backdrop of the castle-like Cranston Street Armory

                            Volunteers assembling brightly colored playground equipment

                            Volunteers moving 64,800 square feet of safety surfacing by hand

Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground

 About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers.  The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide.  UnitedHealthcare serves more than 37 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. 


New England Patriots Charitable Foundation

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit entity created by the Kraft family to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants, and the donation of signed memorabilia to a variety of charitable causes, and from Patriots players who offer their direct support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. The Foundation’s primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of New England while underscoring the Kraft family’s deep commitment to philanthropic activities in the community. Over the past 17 years, the Foundation has made millions of dollars in donations to thousands of non-profit organizations throughout New England and has partnered with numerous community groups, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the United Way, the Greater Boston Food Bank and a host of other New England charities. The Foundation actively supports non-profit groups focusing on health, education, youth fitness and community enrichment while also implementing its own programs in those areas of focus. In 2011, The Foundation’s “Celebrate Volunteerism” initiative aims to recognize deserving volunteers and inspire others to follow Myra Kraft's example of becoming a life-long volunteer. For more information about “Celebrate Volunteerism” visit

 About the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA)

Established in 1983, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association organizes neighbors and businesses on the West Side of Providence to preserve and promote their diverse, historic, urban community as a safe, vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, and play. For more information about the WBNA, please visit or call 401.831.9344.

 About Providence Parks + Recreation Department

Under the direction of Mayor Angel Taveras and the Board of Park Commissioners, the Providence Parks and Recreation Department provide opportunities for recreation, physical fitness, cultural enjoyment, and community building for all Providence residents in clean and safe spaces. The Department has over 100 park and recreation spaces including playgrounds, ball fields, pools, water spray parks, recreation centers, tennis and basketball courts, walking tracks, and community gardens. Special facilities also include the Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Bank of America Skating Rink, and the Triggs Memorial Golf Course. The Department also is responsible for the well being of more than 25,000 city street trees in Providence neighborhoods.

 About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

 # # #

Help Build a New Playground at Dexter Training Ground!


The WBNA, KaBOOM, United Healthcare and a SURPRISE contributor have teamed up to build a brand-new playground in Dexter Training Ground. Work has already begun and the final build day is Tuesday, Oct 11. If you want to help, meet at the playground at 8am.

On-Street Overnight Parking Meeting TONIGHT at City Hall

End the Ban on Overnight Parking

The City Council Finance Committee is meeting at City Hall tonight at 5:30PM to consider the Taveras administration’s plan for overnight resident permit parking. Please come to the meeting tonight and let your voice be heard on this issue. Ending the city’s 82-year ban on overnight parking will make Providence a more livable city for everyone. It’s time to bring more rationality to resident parking in Providence.

 Please see below:



Lifting the ban on overnight parking and ushering in a modern, efficient program for City residents


As one of America’s densest metropolitan areas, Providence is a growing, thriving place. Overnight resident permit parking will make Providence a more livable city.


A program establishing overnight resident permit parking that is modern, efficient, and enforceable will benefit our City’s residents.


Estimated Timeline

Oct/Nov 2011


Nov/Dec 2011


Dec 2011/Jan 2012


Jan-Mar   2012


Administration and Council work together to pass framework



Administration led community education and input period: neighborhood meetings, online engagement



Program finalized, implementation begins



Official launch of the program



  • Providence’s ban on overnight parking was established in 1929, when the automobile was in its adolescence. 80+ years later, it is time to repeal the outdated ban and bring more rationality to resident parking in our City.


  • The new overnight parking policy will ease the hunt for affordable housing. For many resident car-owners, housing costs often exclude a legal place to park. In the same way, landlords sometimes have difficulty finding tenants when parking is not provided.


  • In many of the City’s neighborhoods yards are paved for parking and residents have lost their ability to have backyard interactions with their neighbors. The overnight resident parking program will allow homeowners to keep their green space, making our neighborhoods more livable. 


  • In our City’s neighborhoods where overnight resident permit parking has been a reality for several years, the presence of parked cars has had a traffic-calming effect.


  • The City of Providence is in a unique situation – we have an opportunity to start a permit program from the ground up. This has given us the ability to identify modern technologies and business practices that will benefit our City for years to come.



-See reverse for program specifics -






  • New fee amounts to $8/month ($100/year), a reasonable amount compared to fees charged at private lots or the cost of more than 4 parking tickets.


  • City residents will have the ability to enroll online, by phone or in-person.


  • Permits will be license plate-based and digital. There will be no need to mail stickers or paper permits to residents.


  • Permits are non-transferable and will expire one year from date of purchase. Persons with handicap plates are exempt from annual permit fee.


  • Residency can be established with utility bill, deed, tax bill, or rent receipt.  Applicants must also prove that their vehicle is registered in Rhode Island.  If a fraudulent address or registration is determined, the permit will be voided.



  • There will be a two-permit limit per household and residents of dorms and apartment buildings with six or more units are not eligible. In addition, commercial vehicles are not eligible.


  • Signs will be posted at the City’s borders, on major streets, and on the borders of permit districts to define zones. Permit districts will mirror the City’s police districts.  


  • There is a street opt-out provision included in the City ordinance that establishes the program. If 75% of the residents on a given street with vehicles registered in Rhode Island sign a petition, the street will not be included in the program.


  • The parking ban will remain on all arterial streets like Smith, Broad and Eddy.


  • The City will use digital permit technology for enforcement; the same technology is currently in use for scofflaw enforcement.


  • The program will improve parking compliance as active, consistent enforcement will be a priority.


Fertile Underground Grocery will be at the WBNA General Meeting on Tuesday!

WBNA General Meeting, Tuesday, October 4 at 7pm, WBNA Headquarters

Featuring Fertile Underground Grocery’s Stock and Stash

Fertile Underground Grocery is opening at 1577 Westminster Street on October 20!

  • Come hear the case for a community supported grocery.
  • Members of the workers cooperative will be giving a status update and presenting a plan for how you can help bring fresh food to the West Side!

Plus sign up to help build the new playground at Dexter Training Ground on October 11.

Hear a status update on West Side Solar.

Join the WBNA!

The WBNA organizes neighbors and businesses on the West Side of Providence to preserve and promote our diverse, historic, urban community as a safe, vibrant, and sustainable place to live, work, and play.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with neighborhood news and events.

WBNA Business Hours
Mon – Thurs: 8:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday
(P): 401.831.9344
(F): 401.831.0388