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.”

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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).