Friends Of North Burial Ground

(6.12) The recently formed Friends of the North Burial Ground and Randall Park will be holding their inaugural event at the cemetery on North Main Street this Sunday. The event is free and open to the public and will feature multiple guided tours by Park Rangers, historians, and nature activists. The day will also include a family scavenger hunt, a tree and flower planting ceremony, a demonstration of grave blankets, Civil War re-enactors, and live music.

The North Burial Ground (NBG) is Providence’s oldest public cemetery and serves as the final resting place for more than 100,000 of our ancestors, including scores of notable residents. It also houses over three centuries of artistic headstones, memorials, and tombs, exhibiting symbolic meanings and intrigue that provide a rich history of Providence and its inhabitants.

Its pond is a source of never-ending natural activity including regular visits by herons, muskrats, frogs, toads, and a variety of birds.

The Friends of the NBG and Randall Park (which is the land in between North Main Street and the cemetery proper) is a not-for-profit group recently formed to help preserve and maintain the cemetery in the future, to make it an economic asset for the city of Providence, to promote its value to the public as a historic and natural resource, and to conduct events that showcase the cemetery in various ways. (Facebook event page.)

Erik Christiansen, an associate professor in the department of history at Rhode Island College, a member of the North Burial Ground Project, and one of the founders of the Friends group, says that “the North Burial Ground has served many purposes in the past, and this day is about demonstrating to city residents some of the possibilities for recreation, education, and contemplation that this hidden gem of an urban oasis offers.”

A schedule of activities will be available starting at 12:30pm at the Rochambeau Gate.

Free and open to the public, 1pm to 4pm, Sunday, June 12, North Burial Ground, North Main Street at Branch Avenue, (directions)

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