July 11, 2023
Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins was joined by residents and local and state elected officials for the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Itri Park in the Knightsville neighborhood of Cranston on Saturday, July 8th.
Mayor Hopkins said the neighborhood and surrounding area of the park plays host to numerous public events throughout the year, including concerts, art shows, holiday celebrations, and the upcoming St. Mary’s Feast.
"The vision to redevelop this public space for the enjoyment of a multi-generational audience began with unanimous city council support in 2019 – before the COVID-19 pandemic," Mayor Hopkins said. "Since then, we have become even more aware of the need for open public recreational spaces to keep our community connected, and to improve the physical and mental wellbeing for all of our residents. The new piazza will serve as an invaluable outdoor resource for this special neighborhood, and all of Cranston, by providing space for concerts, cultural performances, and other community events that complement the recreational and cultural needs of our residents."
"The new park space will serve as a continuous and positive reminder of everything that is good in our city and is a genuine tribute as to why Fortune Magazine recently recognized Cranston as one of the top fifty cities in America for families to live in 2023," Mayor Hopkins continued. "This park will bring many years of new joy to Cranston and the people who come to this setting for moments of reflection, to read a book, be with their children or enjoy recreational activity. And this is only Phase One of a revitalization of the area that will soon see us begin work on local streetscape and infrastructure as we did in Pawtuxet Village and the Rolfe Square corridors!"
In making this Knightsville revitalization possible, Mayor Hopkins wishes to thank Governor Dan McKee, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, former Congressman Jim Langevin, and House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi for their special interest for the City of Cranston and, in particular, the Knightsville revitalization efforts. These individuals were instrumental in securing over $1 million in State and Federal grants to make this project affordable for residents.
Mayor Hopkins also thanks Councilman Chris Paplauskas who, years ago, had an early idea for a small pocket park and helped us to this day with encouragement and great ideas.
Mayor Hopkins would also like to recognize the team of dedicated individuals that helped build this beautiful park: Our valued DPW workers for demolition of the old site and more; Our DPW Management Team Members who oversaw the project from start to finish; AI Engineering; Tower Construction; and most importantly, the people of Knightsville for their patience and understanding during construction, their support for this landmark project and, for their contributions and rich traditions for making Knightsville the wonderful place that it is to live and work.