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Providence

Roger Williams Park

Roger Williams Park, in the southern part of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, is an elaborately landscaped 427-acre (173 ha) city park and is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The park is named after the founder of the city of Providence and one of the founders of the state of Rhode Island, Roger Williams.

The land for the park was a gift to the people of Providence in 1871, in accordance with the will of Betsy* Williams, the great-great-great-granddaughter, and last surviving descendant of the founder to own the land. It had been the family farm and represented the last of the original land grant to Roger Williams in 1638 from Canonicus, chief of the Narragansett tribe. The family farmhouse (built in 1773), known as the Betsy Williams Cottage, and the Williams family burial ground (including Betsy's grave) are still maintained within the park.

The park also contains seven lakes which comprise approximately 98 acres (40 ha). It is located in the southernmost part of the city of Providence bordering the city of Cranston. The park was designed by Horace Cleveland in 1878, and was constructed in the 1880s.

Many of the roads, bridges and sidewalks were built by the Works Progress Administration from 1935 to 1940. Currently it contains the Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, the Japanese Gardens, the Victorian Rose Gardens, the Providence Police Department's Mounted Command center, the Dalrymple Boathouse and boat rentals, historical tours, a Carousel Village for children that includes the "Hasbro Boundless Playground" which is accessible for handicapped children, the Temple to Music, the Roger Williams Park Casino, large greenspaces, and many miles of walking paths.