Atkinson Common and the Belleville Improvement SOCiety

How We're Helping

The Belleville Improvement Society works with volunteers, members, donors and community partners to ensure that the park remains a resource for everyone to enjoy. The Belleville Improvement Society is a certified 501(C)3 charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Get Involved

Are you passionate about what we're doing? Let us know! We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. We'll help you find a way to volunteer that best suits you. We're excited to have you join the team!

Contact Us

Thank You

Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you. 

Maintain. Preserve. Beautify. Atkinson Common

A Historical Perspetive

The Belleville Improvement Society was formed in 1893, twenty years after Atkinson Common was bequeathed to the City of Newburyport. The Belleville Improvement Society originated when local families began to convert the open field into a public park and garden for residents of Newburyport's Belleville neighborhood. It is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that helps maintain, preserve and beautify Atkinson Common. It is a certified 501(C)(3) charitable organization. 

Like all public parks, Atkinson Common requires ongoing care and maintenance, and throughout its existence it has gone through periods of restoration and decline.


For over 100 years, the Society has existed to maintain, preserve and beautify Atkinson Common. Today, Atkinson Common is comprised of some twenty-one acres including both the historic park and garden on High Street and the recreational portion, Pioneer League Fields. The gardens frequently provide the backdrop for weddings, family gatherings, graduations, school events, veterans' events and memorial services. The landscape, historic structures and commemorative monuments are well sought out by local artists.  The Pioneer League Fields host over 600 Pioneer League ball players every season. The tennis courts are home to Newburyport High School tennis team and host to the Youth Services summer programs. The Civil War statue and Soldier and Sailors Tablets frequently host commemorative events held by local Veterans' groups and aficionados. And the High Street entrance provides a striking public forum that is frequently utilized for political rallies and speeches.  No other facility can claim to have touched the lives of such a diverse group of visitors and area residents.

Given the prominence of this property within the local community, it is of the utmost importance that the historic park and garden be restored while allowing for, and respecting the contemporary uses of the Common. 


Since the founding, The Belleville Improvement Society has been the catalyst for many park improvements including the Lily Pond, Gazebo and the Rock Tower. This work has been accomplished in collaboration with the City of Newburyport Parks Department.


We look forward to seeing you at Atkinson Common and would love to provide you with updates and event information. If you would like to become a Friend of Atkinson Common the annual dues are $30. Send us your info on the Contact Us page and include a note that you would like to become a Friend of Atkinson Common and we will send you the info.