GNH Community

nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information

In our Be The Change project, we will build on what we have accomplished over the last four years in Monitor Square. The first component of our project aims to improve accessibility to Monitor Square. Currently there is only a single entrance to the park, and it is a narrow gap in the railing at Chapel and Winthrop.

 

 

We feel that a single, small entrance discourages people from using the park. We would like to double the width of this entrance and to create a second entrance at Derby and Winthrop. We will also create a transition from the sidewalk to the grass by installing a bed of pavers at each entrance. These three changes—doubling the width of the existing entrance, adding a second entrance, and installing the transitions—will make the park more enticing and encourage people to use it. Whereas the current entrance, narrow and unadorned, works to keep people out of the park, the new, welcoming entrances will invite people to cross the street and enter into and enjoy the park. The resulting increased use of this public space will make the neighborhood safer and more vibrant.

The other component of our project focuses on the centerpiece of Monitor Square, a monument topped by a statue of an eagle. This eagle is dramatic to behold, with wings spread, talons raised, and head staring down. (We think it is the most amazing sculpture in any park in New Haven, but we may be slightly biased.)

        

At nighttime, this great New Haven asset loses its value because it is all but invisible in the unlit park, and we would like to correct this by lighting the sculpture up from below. The site of the eagle lit up against the nighttime sky will be eye-catching for both pedestrians in the neighborhood and drivers heading west on Chapel or Derby.

 

Background

Monitor Square is a nicely scaled public space, about one-third of an acre, situated on thoroughfares that connect downtown with the western side of the city. It sits at the intersection of three neighborhoods—West River, Edgewood, and Dwight—and is bordered by Chapel Street, Derby Avenue, and Winthrop Avenue.

 

 

The story of our work in Monitor Square is part of the larger story of our work to improve the West River neighborhood. In 2008 the Community Foundation chose West River as a site for its Neighborhood of Choice program, and under the guidance of Kevin Ewing, ordinary residents began to come together, get to know one another, and explore ways to improve the neighborhood. At the very start of this effort, Monitor Square was the site of a tragic murder. On the evening of Sunday, June 29, shortly after midnight, 53-year-old Antoinette Joyner was struck and killed by a stray bullet as she sat on a porch overlooking Monitor Square petting a cat. This was one of the key reasons we decided that improving Monitor Square should be part of our efforts to improve West River.

 

In 2009 we successfully applied to have Monitor Square designated a Community Greenspace site by Urban Resources Initiative. We have just completed our fourth season as a Community Greenspace site, and over the course of those four summers we have transformed Monitor Square. We have built two flowerbeds, one at the corner of Chapel and Derby and the other around the monument in the center of the park. We have planted seven trees within Monitor Square and another seven on the curb strip around it. In the past two years, our efforts have spilled out to the surrounding blocks. There are ten new trees on curb strips across the street from Monitor Square, and last year we built a flowerbed in front of an adjoining apartment building. We’ve even extended our efforts to a site three blocks away, at the corner of Derby Avenue and Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. There we removed a huge stand of weeds, planted five trees, and built a flowerbed around a sign that welcomes people to New Haven.

Views: 92

Replies to This Discussion

John,

You might find this FREE resource helpful for your project: http://blockee.org/

RSS

Imagine. Inform. Invest. Inspire.

Working together to build a stronger community - now and forever

Neighborhoods: What is Working

When Disaster Hits, Your First Responder Probably Will Not Be a First Responder

The FIRST assets in a disaster are neighbors. In fact, it turns out that while your neighbors have everything to do with your immediate chances in a disaster, your neighbors and their collective extended connections determine how well and how fast your community will recover.

Organizational Culture of Fear: The Shadow Side of US Culture

Don't let the title mislead you. Peter's intimate conversation with life, career and business coach CJ Liu is profound, touching and funny. Ostensibly a discussion of Peter's book Flawless Consulting, CJ says at the end, "We didn't talk about the book at all." Instead, the conversation ranged from personal transformation, integrating who you are with what you do and outlets for pain and rage to freedom, authenticity, courage and the power of co-creation--plus yoga, cartoons, parenting and much more.

The Problem With Problems

One of the reasons we may have so little productive citizen creativity at the local level is that people buy into the belief that the purpose of getting together is to deal with a problem. There is another purpose that is probably more important: engagement that mobilizes citizen creativity and contributions.

Open Street Project

Join us for an Open Streets Study Tour October 6th-8th!

The Open Streets Project is partnering with the non-profit organization New Brunswick Tomorrow to deliver an educational Open Streets Study Tour in New Brunswick, NJ from October 6th - October 8th. The Study Tour will feature classroom sessions, networking opportunities, a behind the scenes tour of New Brunswick’s industry leading Ciclovia.

The post Join us for an Open Streets Study Tour October 6th-8th! appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Project Revamped

The Open Streets Project has undergone some changes over the last year. We bid a sad farewell to project co-founder, the Alliance for Biking & Walking, who are moving on to other things, and we happily welcomed a new partner, international Open Streets leader 8 80 Cities. We are excited for all the possibilities and energy this partnership will bring.

The post Open Streets Project Revamped appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Home for the Holidays, and for Good

This is the story of Michael Elliot, who was homeless and fighting cancer when his life took a sharp turn for the better. Through a unique partnership with ProMedica Health in Toledo, where he was receiving treatment, Elliot was introduced to a LISC Financial Opportunity Center. There, he worked with a financial coach, who helped him secure a safe, affordable apartment and even begin saving money—all within a few months. Said Elliot, “It’s the greatest thing in the world that I have a place to call home.”

Kindling Hope in a Chicago Neighborhood

You can feel the change, say residents. Police data show it, too. In just one year, crime and violence have dropped precipitously in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood where LISC has long partnered with local leaders, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. How did it change? A concerted mix of strategic policing and community engagement, says Julia Ryan, LISC’s VP for health & safety—the very approach LISC supports in Englewood and dozens of communities across the country.

LISC Pledges New Commitment to Health

LISC has invested deeply in the health and wellbeing of people in the places where we work for 40 years. But we’re upping the ante. President and CEO Maurice Jones calls partners to join us in upending health disparities through tailored investments in communities, and designing a plan to assess the health outcomes of our broad work in economic development, housing, safety and financial stability.

© 2017   Created by Lee Cruz.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service