Newport RI Ballard Park


About Friends of Ballard Park

In 1990 Carol C. Ballard donated a thirteen acre parcel of open space to the City of Newport “for the enjoyment of all Newport’s residents” thus creating Ballard Park. Carol envisioned the site would serve as an outdoor laboratory for area students and a place where the local public could connect with nature.

Friends of Ballard Park formed in 1996 “to protect, preserve and maintain Ballard Park”. Founding board
members included Carol Ballard, Jim Baker and Ginny Purviance. The trio worked with Scott Wheeler and Susan Cooper from the City of Newport to clean up the quarry meadow. Burned out cars, large construction material, household appliances and other trash were removed and the quarry was regraded and sodded. A trail system was introduced and clean ups were held.

The first field trips to Ballard Park were held in 2002. Each year Friends of Ballard Park has expanded the program to partner with more social service agencies and most recently schools. Ballard Park is designated as a field trip site for second and fourth graders from Newport Public Schools.

In 2003 Friends of Ballard Park hosted its first large event — the Annual Ballard Park Pumpkin Tour. More than 2,000 people attended and the annual event which ran successfully for ten years attracting crowds 5,000 people or more.

Over the past few years Friends of Ballard Park has developed a regular stable of events which kick off each February with the Illuminated Garden and include outdoor movie screenings, concerts, evenings of star gazing and hikes.

With the support of the community, Carol’s vision is being realized — over 1,000 children participated in field trips at Ballard Park last year and more than 5,300 people came to events in Ballard Park, scores more visit the park on their own each day. We appreciate your support of our efforts and look forward to seeing you along the trails of Ballard Park!


Carol C. Ballard

Mrs. Ballard donated 13 acres to be used for Ballard Park when an abutting 54 acre parcel she owned was deeded to the City as a wildlife refuge. She had the idea that Ballard Park would serve as the natural viewing area for the 54 acres while providing a site for educational and cultural activity. She has been a major contributor to the organization both financially and as a visionary.

Peggy Richmond
President & Treasurer

Colleen Quinn
Vice President

T. J. Brown
Leslie Ballard Hull
Leslie Reed

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Annual Report

Friends of Ballard Park is dedicated to protecting, maintaining and promoting Newport's Only Nature Preserve.

Its goals are

1) to ensure Ballard Park remains a wild and natural open space for future generations;

2) encourage the local public to visit and use the park;

3) provide educational and cultural opportunities for local youth and families and

4) highlight the unique qualities and historical importance of Ballard Park.

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