Keney Park Collaborative Clean-Up

On Saturday, the City of Hartford Department of Public Works, the Garden Club of Hartford, and Friends of Keney Park collaborated on a clean-up and planting project of the entrance to Keney Park at Woodland and Greenfield Streets.  (More pictures below!)

Working together from plans developed in part through a student contest sponsored by the Garden Club, the team transformed the area just in time for summer.  Using best practices approved by DPW, attendees removed invasive species, planted new native trees and shrubs, and mulched the area.

This collaboration is another instance – along with design contests, plantings, and improvements of the Barbour Street entrance, among other things – of a years-long investment by the Garden Club of Hartford in Hartford parks.  The Garden Club is a 101-year-old nonprofit organization, with members hailing from around the Hartford region, which aims to expand knowledge of horticulture, conservation, flower design, and more.  Friends of Keney Park is a nonprofit organization that aims to develop, maintain and enhance one of the nation’s oldest parks as an urban nature center.  It has collaborated with governmental and institutional partners to hold events and raise money for improvements in Keney Park and is represented on the City of Hartford Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission.  The City of Hartford Department of Public Works is responsible for and is committed to maintaining the city’s physical infrastructure and providing quality services to the citizens of Hartford.  The Parks and Cemetery Division and Forestry Division of DPW spearhead tree planting and beautification and maintain parks, fields, cemeteries and trees that are used by thousands of Hartford residents and visitors alike.

(Lead photo and three others below courtesy Henry Hester, Friends of Keney Park.) 

Tom Baptist, Superintendent of the City’s DPW, puts this effort in perspective:  “The City remains committed to the vision set forth by Olmsted and Eliot, that Keney Park contain no artificial landscapes, such as manicured lawns or formal gardens, and ‘to preserve and to encourage wildness of vegetation, planting only native trees and shrubs.’  Going forward, Keney Park will figure prominently in any assessment of the attractiveness of Hartford as a place to live and work, not just to visit.  It is hard to imagine a more verdant and sylvan setting for Hartford residents to thrive.”