As Rhode Island’s number one tourist attraction, with over 1.2 million visitors “walking the Walk” each year, keeping Newport’s historic Cliff Walk in tip top shape requires near constant attention by both staff as well as a dedicated group of volunteers led by the City’s Cliff Walk Commission.

This past year, due to Covid’s social-distancing requirements and ever-increasing crowds, the wear and tear observed along the popular attraction prompted members of the Commission to seek out new ways to help preserve and maintain the historic trail.

“Over the years, Federal, State and City funding has paid for major repairs to the Walk,” said Peter Janaros, Chairman of the Cliff Walk Commission in a statement. “But there’s also a need for constant upkeep that will allow us to continue in our mission of preserving and maintaining this beautiful asset for all to enjoy, now and into the future.” 

To enhance the visitor experience and maintain its beauty and longevity, the City and the Cliff Walk Commission have introduced a voluntary donation program titled Cliff Walk Together.

By texting “CLIFF” to 56512, visitors are taken to a Give by Cell donation page where they can select their desired contribution amount and donate using a credit card. All funds go to the Cliff Walk Commission’s restricted account held by the City of Newport.

“Unlike most tourist attractions, one of the marvels of the Cliff Walk is that there is no charge for anyone to enjoy the entire walk. Voluntary donations will now allow our Commission and the City to ensure the visitor experience continues to be enjoyable, memorable and safe,“ said Janaros.

Signage prompting visitors to give by cell will also be installed along the walk and the City will be launching a new “#CliffWalkTogether” social media campaign to help boost donations.

In addition to providing funds for routine and immediate maintenance needs, the Cliff Walk Commission is also planning on using donations to develop a volunteer ambassador program which will help the City ensure that the walk remains a safe, healthy, and clean destination for locals and visitors alike.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).