Thank you for being a FRIEND!

In the 22 years since it’s founding, Friends of Ballard Park has accomplished much to turn Ballard Park, once a derelict lot, into a popular location for residents to enjoy nature in a positive active manner. We appreciate all of the support you have given to us over the years to make this happen. We are grateful to our corporate and individual sponsors, the many contributors to our Annual Fund and Fundraiser, and especially, to the Ballard family.

Mrs. Carol C. Ballard, in 1990, purchased and donated the thirteen-acre site to the City of Newport for the purpose of “maintaining the property in its natural, scenic or open condition” for the enjoyment of Newport’s residents. With the founding of Friends of Ballard Park in 1996, Mrs. Ballard envisioned the Park as a community-gathering place with educational programs for children and family events.

The site became an outdoor learning laboratory for area children. Thousands of students have taken an educational field trip over the past decade. They learned about geology, insects, plants, surprises in nature and trail safety skills they are sure to use in the future. 

Over the years, unique events attracted thousands of visitors to Newport’s Only Nature Preserve. We hope you will remember events such as the Pumpkin Tour, Mad Hatter (Iced) Tea Party, Molly Finn Battle of the Bands, Illuminated Garden and Movies on the Rocks series with fondness.  We appreciate all of the talented musicians who participated in the Jenkins Construction Music Month series and Molly Finn Battle of the Bands. We thank the many local teens that donned colorful costumes for the Mad Hatter Party to enchant event goers. We also thank the students and artists who created lighted displays for the magical Illuminated Garden, budding filmmakers whose shorts debuted at Movies on the Rocks and everyone who carved a pumpkin or cleaned one up!  (And, this is only a short list of the many highlights.)

Please remember, although Friends of Ballard Park has closed its door, Ballard Park is owned by the City of Newport and will continue to be a place where the public can hike and connect with nature. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Some of the hiking trails are steep, so be sure to wear your sneakers or hiking boots. Don’t forget to see the 19,000 daffodils blooming in the quarry meadow this April! 

We wouldn’t have had so many years of successful events without all of the supportive donors and volunteers who helped us – so thank you for being a FRIEND!