For Immediate Release: April 15, 2013
Providence College, Providence Parks Department, and City Officials Collaborate to Make Improvements to Neighborhood Park
Providence, R.I. -- For the seventh consecutive year, Providence College alumni, staff, and students will work with the City of Providence in Friars United for Service in Our Neighborhood (FUSION). This year’s effort is a collaboration to refurbish Fargnoli Park. (located on Smith Street, at the corner of Jastram Street in Providence, R.I.)
The event will be held on Saturday, April 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (best media opportunity from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
Among those attending will be College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., and Providence City Councilman David Salvatore.
The PC community has long understood the importance and the value of giving back to the community. Presently, over 2,000 Providence College students volunteer just short of 50,000 hours annually at more than 200 different non-profit sites in the Greater Providence area.
“Today, we are pleased to focus the efforts of our annual FUSION event on Fargnoli Park. This area is a staple for the Elmhurst community and we believe that our contribution here today will assist in helping the City and the neighborhood maintain this important landmark.” said Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P.
Last year, the group installed a new play structure, swing set, benches, and a safety surface at Corliss Park. Providence Parks Department officials estimate that there has been more than $100,000 of labor donated to various projects by PC students, staff, alumni, and city employees in the first six years of this ten-year partnership. To date, much of this work has occurred at the Esek Hopkins Homestead complex including new walkways and perimeter fencing in conformance with the historical structure, addition of a new turf soccer field, and playground apparatus on the adjoining athletic complex.
The unique partnership with city parks department officials was developed by the College’s President’s Council. The council is a leadership group, comprised of senior executives from many of Rhode Island’s most prominent employers, who serve in an advisory capacity to the College’s president.
The FUSION effort matches PC undergraduates with young alumni/alumnae who graduated between 2000 and 2012, regional alumni club leaders, members of the National Alumni Association Board of Governors, and members of the President’s Council. FUSION is designed to facilitate networking and service opportunities among students, alumni, College neighbors, and members of the Greater Providence community.
According to PC officials, this unique partnership with the City of Providence has helped cultivate relationships on several levels. Alumni are role modeling for students how to stay connected with their alma mater. Some 18 executive mentors and upper-class student mentees are using the service project as another “touch point” as participants in the President’s Council’s innovative Executive Mentoring Program. Police officers assigned to the neighborhood are using the service day to further engage students living in the neighborhood. And Providence College is working with city officials to find creative ways to serve as an asset to the City.