The City of Newport has received a $14,800 Centennial Grant to create mobile, solar-powered recreational spaces where people can recharge devices such as laptops and cell phones.

Supported by partnership of public, private and nonprofit entities, including the Newport Tree Society, the “Plug Park” will be built in such a way that it can easily be moved from site to site within the city. Locations for the “Plug Parks” have not yet been determined.

“The digital era has redefined the meaning of community. This will build on Newport’s strength of place by bridging physical and virtual communities,” said William R. Riccio Jr., director of Newport’s Public Services. “Communities often engage in difficult conversations. Change can be “The Plug Park will provide Newport with an opportunity to try out the future in an active, participatory and dynamic way.”

“The Plug Park will serve residents and visitors alike, especially when during the peak tourism months. It will provide shelter from the sun, a place to relax and a place to plug in a laptop or phone. At the same time it will activate a sidewalk or parking space and transform the physical environment into an animated, populated, temporary public work of art,” he said.

This story may be updated as more information is received.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).