The City of Newport is getting ready to “park” it’s first parklet!

The City of San Francisco has been credited with introducing the parklet concept in 2005, but other cities around the world and in this country, have quickly adopted the idea and have launched their own.   These mobile parks are typically designed to fit in a parking space and to provide additional relaxing space for a passerby to sit, rest and just enjoy the environment of the city around them.  They help extend the public space and create more passive recreation opportunities in busy city areas.   

At the corner of William Street and Bellevue Avenue on Wednesday, April 26 at 1:00 pm the ribbon will be cut and Newport’s parklet will open and be available to all.  It will stay at this location throughout the summer.

“We are excited to unveil Newport’s first parklet,” said William Riccio, PE, Director of Public Services in a prepared statement.  “Parklets have been enthusiastically embraced in communities as an additional way to relax and regroup for residents and visitors.  In the tradition of all the great Newport builders that came before them, the staff of the Public Services department did a masterful job building this parklet using the Haven Designers plans.  We are looking forward to seeing both residents and visitors enjoy using it.”   Newport’s parklet will be introduced with a twist as it is solar powered and will provide re-charging stations for laptops and cell phones, with its solar powered panels providing the energy.

Newport’s parklet was created by a partnership of public, private and non-profit entities working together.  Local businesswoman Kim Salerno, from Haven Designers, spearheaded the effort which was funded by the Rhode Island Foundation’s Centennial Grant Program, supported by the Newport Tree Society and built by the City of Newport’s talented Public Services staff.  Newport in Bloom will also assist with installing plant materials into the parklet in the coming weeks.  

On their business page on Houzz, Havanas says the projected cost of the parklet was between $10,000 – $25,000 and describes the parklet as “This solar-powered parklet for Newport, RI provides a place to park a bike and take a rest in the shade. Visitors may recharge all the parts, plug in a phone or a laptop, in this recreational structure that evokes boardwalks, cabanas and life at the beach.”

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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.