Roger Williams National Memorial National Park Week Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Providence. In celebration of National Park Week (April 16-24), the staff at Roger Williams National Memorial and John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor will be hosting Rhode Island National Parks Day on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 282 North Main Street in downtown Providence.   Come and learn about the important role that urban spaces and natural places can play in public health and how you can get involved their preservation and protection.

National parks are located in 49 states, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands and most Americans live within a couple of hour’s drive of a national park. From a family picnic or a leisurely stroll through Roger Williams National Memorial to a 12-mile bike ride or 8-mile paddle along the Blackstone River, Rhode Island’s national parks offer the opportunity to experience some of America’s most special places in your own backyard.

As part of the Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative, the theme of this year’s National Park Week, Roger Williams National Memorial is hosting a FREE yoga class and zumba class as part of Rhode Island National Parks Day on April 16.  At 12:30 p.m.,  join an instructor from Eyes of the World yoga studio, neighbor of the Memorial, for a mellow yoga class, perfect for all fitness levels, where you will connect your mind and body through breathing practices, meditation and yoga poses. Please bring your own mat or blanket.”Yoga is a direct experience of the vast interrelatedness of all life and of all things,” remarks Tom Gillette, owner of Eyes of the World.

At 2:00 p.m., join Tracey Degaitas, owner and instructor of theBodyFirm aerobic and exercise studio, for a latin-inspired, low impact, dance fitness class that is easy to follow and lots of fun to do!  Make sure to wear comfortable, athletic shoes and be prepared to dance the afternoon away. “Zumba is great way to exercise without knowing it.  I have students that range in age from thirty year olds to eighty years-young who faithfully come to class because it’s so much fun and easy to do,” said Tracey Degaitas.

Parking is free in the Memorial parking lot on Canal Street and pre-registration for the classes is not necessary. Just show up and bring a friend!

For more information on this and other park programs, please contact Park Ranger Sparkle Bryant by phone at 401.521.7266 or by email at

Roger Williams National Memorial, a unit of the National Park Service, commemorates the life of the founder of Rhode Island who was a champion of the ideals of religious freedom and liberty of conscience.  For more information about Roger Williams National Memorial, please visit

John H. Chaffee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, an affiliated area of the National Park Service, commemorates the place where America made the transformation from farm to factory.  For more information about JHC Blackstone River Valley NHC, please visit

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