Welcome to Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees
Return To City Homepage Menu is below
  • InfoNewHaven
  • Return Home
  • Parks Logo

    Report An Issue

    Search Our Site
    transparent image for spacing

    Parks, Recreation and Trees
    Books-n-Parks - City of New Haven

    Books-n-ParksBooks-n-ParksFree Books! Fresh Air! Welcome to Books-n-Parks

    A joint program of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees and the New Haven Free Public Library.

    Why put books in parks?
    To encourage reading in our parks!

    The Board of Park Commissioners, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees, and the New Haven Free Public Library welcome you to our Book-n-Parks program. Weatherproof yellow boxes filled with free books are popping up in parks across the city. New Haven Reads is supplying the books, and neighborhood volunteers are restocking the boxes as needed.

    Volunteers needed!

    Duties are simple:

    • Pick up books from New Haven Reads and fill “your” book box.
    • Check the box a couple times a week in warm weather, a couple times a month in cold weather.
    • Develop a list of genres that move and those that remain week after week.
    • Call New Haven Reads to schedule book pick up, specifying neighborhood preferences.
    Want a book box in your neighborhood park?

    If you – an individual or community group - would like a book box for your neighborhood park, email project coordinator.

    Books-n-Parks at Edgewood Park

    Back to top

    How do you participate?
    • Pick a book. Relax and read. When your eyes need a break, take in the lovely scenery, or watch your child play.
    • If you like the book, TAKE IT HOME! Keep it, return it, or pass it on. Please do not sell it or throw it in the trash!
    • To donate books to Books-n-Parks, please contact New Haven Reads at (203) 752-1923.
    • If you have gently used books that you’d like to add to your local Books-n-Parks box, by all means go ahead.
    • VOLUNTEER to fill a book box. Click here to email us

    Back to top

    Locations of Books-N-Parks Boxes
    • East Rock Park
      College Woods playground,
      Orange and Cold Spring Streets
    • Edgewood Park
      Playground near
      Edgewood Avenue & ET Grasso Boulevard
    • Beaver Pond/DeGale Field
      Playground near Goffe & County Streets
    • Lighthouse Point Park
      Beachside playground
    • Chatham Square
      Clinton & Grafton Streets
    • Russo
      Chapel Street and DePalma Court
    • Criscuolo
      Playground near Chapel & James Streets
    • East Shore Park
      Hannah's Dream playground
      off Woodward Avenue

    If your park does not receive a box during this first season, and has a dedicated group of people ready to fill a box, email the project at booksnparks@gmail.com.

    Back to top


    Books-n-Parks originated with Commissioner David Belowsky’s notion that parents and caregivers should have something to read while accompanying their children to the city’s playgrounds. His colleagues agreed that readily available books would encourage people to read more and spend more time in our parks. Parks Director, Bob Levine, and City Librarian, Jim Welbourne, collaboratively developed Books-n-Parks with the help and support (and books!) of New haven Reads. As of summer 2009, the yellow Books-n-Parks boxes grace eight parks in diverse neighborhoods across New Haven.

    Sponsored by:
    • John DeStefano, Mayor
    • Robert Levine, Director New Haven Parks, Recreation & Trees
    • New Haven Board of Park Commissioners
          David Belowsky, President
          Clifton Bush, Jr., Vice President
          Arlene DePino
          Hector Torres
          C. Michael Tucker, Treasurer
          Kevin Walton
          Georgia Miller
          Migdalia Castro
    • New Haven Free Public Library
      Jim Welbourne, City Librarian
    • New Haven Reads

    Back to top


    Click To Visit Department
    Canoeing at East Rock Park
    Polar Plunge at Lighthouse Point Park
    Winterfest at West Rock Nature Center
    Footer For City Site
    Residents | Visitors | Business | Online Services | Q&A | Guide to New Haven | Government | Forms Central | Calendars | Emergency Info
    Any comments/suggestions E-mail the Webmaster for the City of New Haven or contact the Mayor's Office, 165 Church Street, New Haven CT 06510, Telephone 203-946-8200.
    New Haven City Seal