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    Parks, Recreation and Trees
    Elm City Parks Conservency
    About ECPC

    Elm City Parks ConservancyElm City Parks Conservancy (ECPC) is a not-for-profit parks advocacy organization serving the New Haven parks system. Our mission is to strengthen public awareness of and participation in the city’s parks. Our methods include building partnerships with individuals, park friends groups and other community-based organizations, and sharing resources.

    ECPC’s scope is as broad as the New Haven Parks System, a network of over 100 parks and green spaces. We work to enhance all of New Haven’s parks and monuments, from the smallest parcels, such as Kimberly Square’s ghost ship monument, to the largest, like East Rock Park’s four hills and 425 acres.

    The partnering of ECPC with the New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees provides many opportunities for new programs, new monies and new ideas, that can positively influence the direction, management and shape of our beloved parks and monuments. ECPC is a regular presence at public hearings and park events. From individual park festivals to city-wide planning meetings, ECPC provides support, information and advocacy assistance for New Haven park users.

    An all-volunteer Board of Directors governs ECPC.

    The Board
    Marge Ottenbreit, President
    Colin Caplan
    Dave Demers, Secretary
    Doreen Abubakar
    Chris Ozyck
    Dave Reher
    Anna Schildroth, Treasurer
    Rita Vaughn Wilson

    ECPC Office:
    Atwater Senior Center
    26 Atwater Street
    New Haven, CT 06515

    If you’d like to find out more about us, volunteer, or become more involved with New Haven’s parks, please contact us at: 203-946-2459 or email: elmcityparksconservancy@gmail.com.

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    ECPC Events
    Winter Festival featuring POLAR PLUNGE for PARKS
    Polar Plunge

    Polar Plunge - First Day New Haven

    Each year on January 1st, brave souls around the world start off the New Year by stripping down, suiting up and plunging into icy waters!. Join ECPC at the Carousel at Lighthouse Point Park for our city’s version of this time-honored and wonderfully wacky tradition. Polar Plunge - First Day New Haven is back! Now that the devastation from Super Storm Sandy has come and gone, Polar Plunge - First Day New Haven will be held at Lighthouse Point Park on January 1, 2015 from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Kids will jump in first at high noon, and adults will take the plunge at 12:30 pm. All Plungers will enjoy a full brunch for $20, and with all supporters joining in for just $10. There will be prizes for those in costume, a raffle, and Polar Plunge hoodies and t-shirts for supporters to purchase during this enjoyable family “fun-raising” event. The Lighthouse will also be open for tours up to the top. Always a great way to start off the New Year!

    As in years past, Parks Plungers can collect sponsorship pledges in support of ECPC or dedicate funds raised to benefit their favorite local park or other open space. In return, a wonderful family brunch is provided, along with the opportunity to spend some time soaking in our steaming hot tubs after taking the plunge, and celebrate the coming of 2015.

    For information about online pledging, receiving pledge packages, and further details, call:
    203-946-2459, or visit www.razoo.com/story/Ecpc

    Annual Meeting

    Join ECPC as we celebrate New Haven's incredible parks and open spaces, and hear about what we have accomplished over the year. The date and location of this year's annual meeting will be announced here, so check back later for more details.

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    Fort Nathan Hale

    Fort Nathan Hale statue
    Fort Nathan Hale entranceFort Nathan Hale drawbridge
    Cannons at the FortCannons at the Fort
    Cannons at the FortCannons at the Fort
    Underground bomb-proof bunker at the FortCivil War doctor's kit
    Colonial LadyColonial Lady
    Fort Nathan Hale in 1843

    Parks Presents

    Each month from June through October, ECPC holds a community service event in a different New Haven park. Our goals are to organize needed maintenance and beautification – we offer a present to each park – while becoming a greater presence throughout the entire parks system. At these events, all are welcome to help out, meet your neighbors and improve the quality of your environs.

    SCA Summer Interns

    Each summer, ECPC hires several Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns who seek the opportunity to gain valuable resource conservation work experience. Motivated young men and women from across the United States and around the world apply to SCA for short or long-term positions. Our SCA Resource Assistants assist with our mission, working with the New Haven Park Rangers, local Park Friends Groups, and ECPC staff. They provide manual labor as well as conduct community education and outreach activities to help restore, maintain, and enhance New Haven’s parks.

    Experience Your Parks Small Grants

    Through the generosity of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, ECPC offers grants of up to $250 to Parks Friends and neighborhood groups to offset the expenses of holding events at their local parks. pdf icon Click here for information and application.

    Public Art in the Parks

    Public Art OrnamentsECPC actively supports the ongoing conservation of New Haven's public sculptures through our Monument Medallion Program. Using the momentum from the success of our Save Our Sculpture campaign, through which we funded the restoration of the Timothy Ahearn Monument in West River Memorial Park, we have commissioned Woodbury Pewter to manufacture commemorative medallions that feature New Haven Park sculptures and monuments.

    Five Mile Point Lighthouse adorned our first medallion in 2004, followed by the Christopher Columbus statue in Wooster Square in 2005. In conjunction with the office of former Mayor John DeStefano, ECPC selected the Angel of Peace (located atop East Rock Park’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument) for the 2006 edition to honor the rededication of this statue following a substantial conservation program to maintain its integrity and elegance. The 2007 Monument Medallion features the Defenders' Monument, commemorating a unique Revolutionary War battle fought right here in New Haven.

    pdf iconClick here for Ornament Order Form.

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    ECPC In The News

    Volunteers in the Parks:
    Kimberly Field Entrance Restored - New Haven Independent

    Polar Plunge:
    New Haven's Polar Bears Aren't Extinct - New Haven Independent

    Long Wharf Nature Preserve - New Haven Independent
    Bird Watching: Don't Move That Trail - New Haven Independent

    Public Art in the Parks:
    ‘Angel of Peace’ statue returns to East Rock today - New Haven Register
    Statue to be returned to East Rock - New Haven Register

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    ECPC Newsletters

    View our newsletters and see what we've accomplished.

    PDF IconSummer/Fall 2013 PDF IconSpring 2012 PDF IconSpring 2008 PDF IconSummer 2007
    PDF IconWinter 2007


    A membership in ECPC benefits New Haven's wonderful park system, our organization’s efforts, and serves each of our members as well. The parks gain more dedicated friends and advocates, ECPC accrues strength in numbers to more effectively carry out our mission; and members can stay informed about our events, programs and efforts.

      1. To download a membership form right-click here.
      2. Fill in the form.
      3. Mail it with your check to :
             PO BOX 9667
             New Haven, CT 06536
    Parks Friends

    New Haven has more than a dozen Park Friends Groups that contribute time, energy and innovative ideas to keep our parks vibrant and healthy. ECPC has worked to strengthen the parks by providing resources and information to these established and developing neighborhood groups. ECPC also helps with mailings, outreach, fundraising, and event insurance through our partnership with the Parks Department, and will advocate on the behalf of Park Friends Groups on appropriate issues of concern.

    The current Friends Groups include:

    Edgerton Park Conservancy
    Fort Nathan Hale Restoration Projects, Inc.
    Friends of Bayview Park
    Friends of Beaver Ponds Park
    Friends of Bishop Woods Bird Sanctuary
    Friends of East Rock Park
    Friends of Edgewood Park
    Friends of Jocelyn Square
    Friends of Lenzi Memorial Park
    Friends of Lighthouse Park Carousel
    Friends of Rainbow Park
    Friends of West River Memorial Park
    Friends of West River Narrows Area
    Historic Wooster Square Association
    Proprietors of the Common & Undivided Lands (New Haven Green)
    West Rock Ridge Park Association

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    Friends of Lighthouse Point Park

    A new group, Friends of Lighthouse Point Park, has formed. We invite anyone interested in helping to contact ECPC at our email address or call us at 203-946-2459. Please contact us if you are interested in joining a Park Friends Group - or even starting one of your own! We can help!

    Email Elm City Parks Conservency

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    Click To Visit Department
    Polar Plunge at Lighthouse Point Park
    Canoeing at East Rock Park
    Winterfest at West Rock Nature Center
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