Buildings, Grounds & Forestry Division
The division oversees the day-to-day maintenance of most public facilities within the city. Staff manage 35 parks, 8 historic cemeteries, the famous 3.5 mile Cliff Walk and all athletic facilities. Amenities include 18 tennis courts, 15 playgrounds, 7 baseball fields, 6 basketball courts, 5 softball fields, 3 soccer fields, a dog park and a skate park.
The forestry staff manages all public trees including planting, pruning, removal and stump grinding. The goal of the program is to establish a fully stocked, healthy community forest that is diverse in age and species.
Contacts for Buildings and Grounds Division:
The Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission (HCAC)
The Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission (HCAC) seeks to assist the City in the efforts to preserve, protect and promote Newport's historic burying grounds.
Use the links listed to explore more information about the commission and our historic sites
- General information about Newport's historic cemeteries
- A map showing public and private cemeteries
- A self guided walking tour of the Common Burying Ground
- Gravestone repair regulations
- Annual Report 2017
To find information about specific graves, visit: www.rihistoriccemeteries.org.
The Common Burial Ground dates to the 17th century and holds a large collection of colonial era headstones including the largest number of colonial African American headstones in the country. The predominantly African-American northern section of the cemetery is known as "God's Little Acre", For more information about God's Little Acre visit: www.colonialcemetery.com
For information about any related topic, contact the Newport Historical Society.
Tree Work Requests & PermitsPlease utilize the contact information above to request tree maintenance such as pruning or the removal of dead trees.
Per ordinance a permit is required for a private party to plant, prune, remove or excavate, within the drip line of any public tree, (ord.12.36.120) Permit Application Standard Permit Application -Tree Lighting
Tree Planting Programs
Commit to caring for a young tree and the City of Newport will provide one at a subsidized cost and plant it for you! (Tree must be situated within 20 feet of a public roadside). The Spring 2018 Tree Planting Program is now underway. You can download the application form here to see this year's tree species to choose from, or if you have any question in general about the program email Carol or Scott. A full list including photos of trees offered can be viewed at Newport Arboretum
The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, in November 2008, published the manual titled, "Tree Owner's Manual for the Northeastern and Midwestern United States". This manual provides helpful information on choosing, planting, and caring for your tree. View Manual
Newport Tree Society
The Newport Tree Society is a volunteer organization of citizens whose mission is to protect, maintain, regenerate and expand our urban forest. Their role is to encourage and assist government action and participation, to support the goals of the Newport Tree & Open Space Commission and the Newport Tree Warden and to foster private sector initiatives and efforts. For more information about the Society's programs please visit their website: Newport Arboretum.
Newport Tree and Open Space Commission Publications
Clear Low Branches
Don't Top Trees
Planting Perky Trees
Newport's Magnificent Beeches
Atmosphere Helpers and Carbon Bankers
Unwanted Tree Insects & Disease
Commemorative/Memorial BenchThe City of Newport offers anyone with a desire to memorialize a loved one or to commemorate a special event, the opportunity to purchase a bench with a personalized plaque.
Benches are placed in City parks, parkways and public beaches. Standard bench models have been selected by the city for particular parks in coordination with the community based on their durability and the desired aesthetics for each location.
Benches range in price from $1,043.00 to $2,381.40 depending on the model selected. To obtain more information on sponsoring a bench contact Carol Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or download the application for details.
The Cliff Walk along the eastern shore of Newport, RI is world famous as a public access walk that combines the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport's gilded age. Wildflowers, birds, geology ... all add to this delightful walk.
Following Hurricane Sandy repairs, and the installation of a new restroom facility at the trailhead on Narragansett Avenue, the 3.5 mile scenic trail is now fully open.
In the spring of 2015, sixteen (16) QR code trail markers were installed at significant locations along the walk that provide information on the gilded age mansions as well as geographic and geological features. The signs are intended to provide interpretive information on the walk while limiting sign pollution. Each point of interest features a QR code and an URL that can be scanned or entered on a smart phone. A free app is also available to download on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets. Download the app to: learn more
What makes Cliff Walk unique is that it is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District.
In 1975 the walk was designated as a National Recreation Trail... the 65th in the nation and first in New England. The walk runs 3.5 miles and about two-thirds of the walk is in easy walking condition.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation protects and celebrates America's diverse history. Connect with the history around you here
Newport Harbor Walk
Follow the link to view the Newport Harbor Walk: Newport Harbor Walk
Queen Anne Square
Newport Restoration Foundation and the City of Newport engaged Maya Lin and Edwin von Gal to redesign an underutilized and well-worn park - Queen Anne Square- to create a community gathering place that enhances Newport’s walkability and livability. The resulting design – The Meeting Room- creates a series of inviting public rooms for public life, is sustainable from a maintenance and management perspective, and sensitive to its urban and historic context.
Touro Park Stone Tower Restoration Project
In partnership with the Historic Hill Association the City of Newport assisted with coordination of the project and provided in-house labor to assist with the lighting upgrade and fence restoration. The City also provided funding for upgrades to the park's electrical service.
photo by Jim Egan
The Daffodil Project is a campaign to beautify Newport by creating large naturalized meadows of daffodils. The project is a partnership of community volunteers, the City of Newport, the Newport Preservation Society, Salve Regina University and the Newport Restoration Foundation. The plantings are made possible by the generous support of a private donor.
The program has been expanded into the Daffodillion Campaign with the goal of planting 1,000,000 daffodils throughout the city to celebrate renewal, beauty and live-ability in every neighborhood. See link for: More Info
The City welcomes groups and organizations that are willing to take on a small beautification project such as planting and maintaining flower beds or planters, collecting litter on beaches and parkways or assisting with park projects such as fence paintings.
If the adopt-a-spot includes the installation of plants the City requires an agreement that includes responsibility for tasks including, weeding, watering of plants, and any other type of beautification to our City streets.
For information on how to "Adopt-A-Spot", please contact Scott Wheeler, Tree & Grounds Supervisor.
Mutt Mitt Program
The Mutt Mitt Program is a program designed to alleviate the nuisance of dog waste in public parks and fields. The City has 44 dispensers located in various public locations around the City, that are filled 3 times per week.
The Mutt Mitts themselves are a heavy-duty double-lined plastic bag which is placed over your hand and makes it more easier for collection.
There are normally trash barrels near each dispenser.
City Ordinance requires dog owners by law to clean up after their pet, and disposing of the waste in proper receptacles.
In honor of your pet, the City offers a donation program to help offset the cost of the mutt-mitt refills. The average cost per year for mutt-mitts is $20,000. Donations can be made to the City of Newport, c/o Newport Public Services Department...please name your pet on your check. Print Form
Newport Dog Park
Who Let the Dogs Out?
The Newport Public Services Department is proud to announce that the Newport Dog Park is open to the public for resident and non-resident doggies alike.
The park is located on Connell Highway Extension. Traveling south on West Main Road (route 114) to the intersection of Coddington Highway, take a right onto Coddington Hwy, continue to the Rotary. Go around the rotary to the Shell Station and take the immediate right after the gas station. The park will be down on your left about a quarter mile, located after the U-Haul building. Traveling north on Broadway to the intersection of Admiral Kalbfus take a left, and proceed through three traffic lights to the rotary. Or from the opposite direction, traveling south on West Main Road to the intersection of Admiral Kalbfus Road, take a right onto Admiral Kalbfus Road and proceed through the same three traffic lights to the Rotary.
There are "Mutt-Mitts" available in the dispenser for the convenience of picking up after your pet.
Support Newport's Mutt Mitt Program today with your donation - Print Form
The park is approximately a half acre, fenced-in facility so that your pets can run off leash, and socialize with other dogs. It is open from 6:00 am - 9:00 pm and is also lighted.
It is encouraged that you bring your own water and toys, as none are provided.
Ballard Park is a wild and natural open space of 13 acres located near the intersection of Hazard and Wickham Roads.
The park was deeded as a gift to the City of Newport in 1990 by Carol C. Ballard.
Its unique features include two 19th century quarries and a diverse variety of native and introduced plant species. Ballard Park allows for unobtrusive observation of an abutting 54 acre wildlife refuge by providing paths suitable for walking and bird watching.
Friends of Ballard Park host free, family-friendly events throughout the year, visit www.ballardpark.org for more information.