Parks Conservancy lands $395K grant for Kennedy Plaza walkway
THE DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE Parks Conservancy will construct a public walkway through Burnside Park to help connect Kennedy Plaza and the city’s train station, with a $395,000 grant from the Champlin Foundations. Above, an aerial rendering of the proposed $1.7 million Kennedy Plaza project, slated to begin in the spring.
PROVIDENCE – The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy has secured a $395,000 grant from the Champlin Foundations to create a new public walkway through Burnside Park to help connect Kennedy Plaza and the city’s train station, The Providence Foundation announced Tuesday.
The “pedestrian gateway” will run through Burnside Park along Exchange Street, according to a news release from The Providence Foundation, the business-backed nonprofit that supports the Parks Conservancy.
“The Champlin Foundations grant will fund a detailed design and reconstruction of the northeast corner of Burnside Park, creating a new and attractive entrance by the Burnside statue,” said Matt Gamache, property and design coordinator for the Conservancy, in an email. “This entrance and a corresponding footpath will allow travelers to easily cut through the Park on their way from Exchange Street and the Amtrak/MBTA station to the RIPTA bus hub in Kennedy Plaza, strengthening this connection.”
The Downtown Parks Conservancy has been working with property owners, city, state and business leaders to improve the area around Kennedy Plaza and create a public-private partnership to maintain it. The effort is patterned on similar partnerships in other cities such as Bryant Park in New York.
This spring, the state is scheduled to begin a $1.7 million project to reduce the number of bus lanes at the Kennedy Plaza terminal to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
Construction of the new Burnside Park path is slated to start next spring and should be completed by the end of the summer, the release said.
“Every major city needs a place where people can congregate, and a strong public-private partnership is required to manage that space,” said Conservancy Executive Director Cliff Wood in the release. “With energized support from our government officials and robust capital partner investments that prioritize the transformation of Greater Kennedy Plaza, we can ensure this project’s success.”