Friends of Ballard Park will offer home school classes, hikes and other programs during the spring months at Ballard Park.

Ballard Park is located at the corners of Wickham and Hazard Roads in Newport RI.  For more information visit or call 401.619.3377.

March 25                    Spring Equinox Hike

2 to 3 pm                     Celebrate the first Saturday of spring with a hike at Ballard Park. Learn about the thirteen acre site’s history while exploring the mile+ of trails. Meet at the Hazard Road entrance. $5 suggested donation; $15 per group. Call 401.619.3377 or e-mail to register. Drop-ins welcome. Rain date: 3/26

Apr 22                         Earth Day

9 am Clean Up; 11 am Free Tour

Volunteer to give Newport’s Only Nature Preserve a Spring cleaning! We’ll pick up trash, prune trails and remove invasives. Clean up starts at 9 am. All are invited to partake in a free tour of the park at 11 am. Hazard Road entrance.   Come for one or both. Rain date: April 23.

May 6                          Sky Gazing with Robert Horton and Scott MacNeill

8:30 to 10 pm              Robert Horton and Scott MacNeill from Brown University will bring their high powered telescopes to Ballard Park’s quarry meadow to give a tour of the spring skies.  Bright gibbous moon will make for a nice viewing subject and Jupiter will be near the moon.  $5 suggested donation; $15 suggested per group/family.  Hazard Road entrance.  Rain date:  May 7th
May 7                          Bird Walk with Patty O’Neill

8 am                            The walk will begin at the Wickham Road entrance (across from Rogers High School) at 8:00 am.  Birder Patty O’Neill will guide the walk and share her knowledge of local, breeding and migratory birds.  The event is open to birders of all levels. Participants should wear sturdy shoes as the trails are steep and uneven in areas.  Bring binoculars, if you have them.

There is a suggested donation of $5 per person.

Jun 3                            10th Annual Fundraiser at Edgehill

6 to 8 pm                     Hosted by Les Ballard under a tent on his Newport estate, Edgehill, the fundraiser will feature music by Chelley, Bill & Dyl, hors d’ouevres by McGrath Clambakes, Inc. and a silent auction. For the ninth year, Mr. Ballard will hand select wines for the fundraiser.  Tickets are $125 per person and may be purchased at the door. Proceeds from the event will help to fund field trip programs to Ballard Park for local school children and free events set in Ballard Park.

Jun 18                          Father’s Day Hike

11 am                          A great activity for the kids to do with dad!  Start Father’s Day with a hike through the trails of Ballard Park. Friends of Ballard Park staff will host a guided tour of the thirteen nature preserve providing information on its history, unique features and habitats like a vernal pond, woodland forest and quarry meadow. Trails are rugged and steep in areas.  Please wear proper footwear.  Meet at the Hazard Road entrance. $10 suggested donation per family.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.