Colt Park Clean-Ups

May 28, 2021 Posted by: Coltsville Rangers

Jane Jacobs, a New York City urbanist and city activist, once wrote, “City Park users simply do not seek settings for buildings; they seek settings for themselves. To them, parks are foreground, buildings background, rather than the reverse.” Jacobs argued city parks were essential to the functionality of a healthy American neighborhood because they acted as places for social connection in an urban landscape sometimes devoid it. Parks are deeply integrated into the social fabric of a community, serving as a refuge from the hum drum of city life and as a place for locals to gather, talk and enjoy themselves. In this way, Jacobs was talking of our very own Colt Park, whose value to its community is as important as she emphasized.  

These refuges of city life and spaces for social connection, like Colt Park, inevitably get heavy use from the members of their community, and they often require coordinated efforts to help maintain them for future generations. This maintenance is the responsibility of everyone who uses the park, not just the responsibility of the city, who often have many parks that need attention and maintenance. The community at-large must take up the mantle of stewardship and help to preserve the parts of their community that mean so much to them. The Colt Park Foundation, formerly Friends of Colt Park, serves this purpose of local stewards taking up the mantle to help preserve the essential community element that is Colt Park for future generations.  

Since March 2020, Colt Park has been closed for renovation and improvements funded by the National Park Service, State of Connecticut, and City of Hartford.  In that time, the Colt Park Foundation has been unable to work in the park as improvements have gone on. The park officially reopened to the public in April 2021, and with that, community members once again have an opportunity to work to preserve that essential element of their community. Volunteers are now needed to help ensure the park is clean and safe, and can continue to provide enjoyment for everyone. The Colt Park Foundation, a partner of the NPS, organized clean-up projects and the team at Coltsville National Historical Park embraces these opportunities to support our partners. We welcome opportunities to learn about the community as we work alongside its members.  

On March 27th, April 24th, and May 22nd, Rangers from Springfield Armory National Historic Site and our Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA) Eric supported the Colt Park Foundation's clean-up efforts in Colt Park. Rangers worked alongside our neighborhood stewards. It was a great opportunity for Rangers to meet our neighbors, including volunteers from Sheldon/Charter Oak community and the Los Amigos Softball League. These events have been a success, and the National Park Service continues to support these community efforts in Colt Park. 

We hope to see you at the next clean-up, in June, where we will continue to follow the example set forth by the people of the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood to preserve this special part of our community. We are inspired by those who live, work and play in Coltsville, and who make Colt Park their “foreground, ”as Jane Jacobs said. In following them, we learn much about what this place means to the people who live here. Check out @coltparkfoundation on Facebook for more information on when the clean-ups will be happening and how you can get involved.  

 
Three Rangers, the Coltsville Community Volunteer Ambassador, and a volunteer stand together looking at the camera. In front of them is a pile of full trashbags and tools for picking up trash. They are in a green field in Colt Park, Hartford, CT.
NPS Rangers, Coltsville's Community Volunteer Ambassador Eric, and a volunteer stand together at the Colt Park Clean up in March.

NPS Photo

Last updated: June 1, 2021

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Coltsville National Historical Park
c/o Springfield Armory National Historic Site
One Armory Square, Suite 2

Springfield , MA 01105

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(860) 500-6078

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