The Trust for Public Land in Action: 2019 C E L E B R AT I N G W HAT YO U M A D E P O S S I B L E IN CONNECTICUT AND BEYOND
A letter from our President & CEO and Connecticut State Director At The Trust for Public Land, we believe that the health of people is inextricably linked with the health of the land. From small towns to big cities in Connecticut and across the country, we know that “land for people” has the power to create strong, vibrant communities. The creation of a new park or trail can trigger a domino effect of strengthened social bonds and increased democratic participation, leading to healthier, more resilient, and more just communities. That’s why we envision a nation where everyone has a quality park close to home and everyone can enjoy great outdoor experiences, no matter where we live or how much money we have. From neighborhood parks to national parks, we are making sure that all Americans have access to nature. We are creating shared prosperity for everyone. In 2019, you helped reconnect people to the places and outdoor experiences that bind us
together. With your support, we created a new neighborhood park and green schoolyard in Bridgeport’s East End, where, in the spring, Jettie S. Tisdale School student groups met in their new outdoor classroom and daring young acrobats scaled the net climber during recess. In the summer, children joyfully cooled off in the splash pad, and seniors walked laps on the track. All year long, neighbors gather to socialize at the pavilion and the rain gardens soak up stormwater to improve water quality in Long Island Sound. In Windsor, you helped us save one of the town’s last food-producing farms, preserving the popular corn maze and pumpkin-picking opportunities at Brown’s Harvest in the process. This special place along the Wild and Scenic Farmington River is now forever protected for people from all over Connecticut to gather and enjoy outdoor experiences on the farm.
In Connecticut and beyond, we strive to put our land-for-people mission to work as a solution to our nation’s most pressing challenges. Together we can build community, improve public health, achieve equity, and address the climate crisis. With every park we create and acre of open space we protect, we make Connecticut a happier and healthier place to live, work, and play. We look forward to enjoying the land and visiting our parks with you. Please join us. With gratitude,
walker and diane with community leaders keith williams and debbie sims Johnson Oak Park, Bridgeport, CT
Diane Regas President & CEO
Walker Holmes Connecticut State Director
Your impact: from neighborhood parks to national parks With your involvement, The Trust for Public Land has protected over 3.6 million acres of land and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects. Here in Connecticut, we have created 95 special places and protected 7,500 acres. These treasured parks and public green spaces become a trailhead to a lifetime of experiences in nature and to exploring and protecting the parks and public lands we all own and love.
This past year, The Trust for Public Land: • Protected 68,996 acres as a part of 69 strategic conservation plans • Celebrated the completion of 177 new projects, including 6 Fitness Zones and 25 new city parks • Guided nonpartisan political action on 16 successful ballot measures, generating over $4.8 billion for healthy land and water
Our goal is to protect the lands that serve as America’s outdoor playgrounds and places of inspiration. That’s why, from our backyard landscapes to our national treasures, The Trust for Public Land continues to safeguard land in all 50 states.
At the federal, state, and local levels, we advocate for the importance of parks and open space, as well as the funding needed to ensure access to nature for all. Since 1996, The Trust for Public Land and our affiliated Action Fund have guided nonpartisan political action on over 540 ballot measures across more than 30 states, generating over $72.2 billion in public funds for healthy land and water, as well as parks and conservation.
Thanks to you, we’re closer to achieving our vision of an America where everyone, no matter where they live, has a great close-to-home place to enjoy nature’s benefits.
Today, more than 8 million people live within a 10-minute walk of a place created or protected by The Trust for Public Land—and countless more visit these sites each year.
• Played a leadership role in securing permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an essential source of support for parks and open spaces nationwide
weir farm national historic site Wilton, CT
The Trust for Public Land across Connecticut
A waterfront for everyone
The proposed greenway is an exciting long-term solution for many challenges facing Connecticut’s largest city and could directly serve almost 40,000 people who live within a 10-minute walk. Linear parks are essential infrastructure for healthy, connected, equitable communities. Waterfront parks and greenways can be catalysts for new outdoor exercise routines and can ameliorate common health conditions like obesity, asthma, and depression. Climate-smart and ecologically
-Bill, Bridgeport resident & waterfront advocate
So far, The Trust for Public Land has brought local artists to sites along the waterfront to create installations, begun uniting the community through an advisory committee known as the Waterfront Advisory Board, and brought together friends and families at events along the greenway’s proposed route. Help us reimagine Bridgeport’s waterfront by sharing this story, getting involved, or joining an event.
steelpointe harbor Bridgeport, CT
“Bridgeport has a unique waterfront because of the way it winds up into our neighborhoods and—if we allow it—into the lives of the people who live here.”
responsible features will help restore aquatic ecosystems, improve water quality, and protect neighborhoods from flooding and storm surges.
ELIAS ROSARIO, AMERICAN VIEW PRODUCTIONS
B R I D G E P O R T W AT E R F R O N T PAT H W AY Imagine a linear park along Bridgeport’s shoreline, stretching from Johnson’s Creek and Pleasure Beach in the East End all the way to St. Mary’s by the Sea in Black Rock. While the majority of Bridgeport’s waterfront is publicly owned or controlled, about 70 percent of it is currently inaccessible and underutilized. What if we could open up over 20 miles of Bridgeport’s coastline for everyone to enjoy? The Trust for Public Land, the City of Bridgeport, residents, and other stakeholders are working together to make this vision a reality. Together, we are planning, designing, and creating a waterfront pathway that will trace Long Island Sound and several rivers.
park & paddle event Bridgeport, CT
The fight to protect treasured forestlands A BIGGER, BETTER MONO POND S TAT E PA R K The Trust for Public Land protects land everywhere so that people have access to trails and trail networks that connect them to the outdoors, to their communities, and to their workplaces or schools. In eastern Connecticut, The Trust for Public Land is seizing a rare opportunity to protect up to 1,000 acres of forestland adjacent to Mono Pond State Park in partnership with the state of Connecticut and the towns of Columbia, Lebanon, and Hebron. The location of the properties provides a unique chance to protect miles of recreational and interpretive side trails along the 50-mile Air Line State Park Trail.
Spanning nearly half of the state, the trail draws walkers, hikers, equestrians, and trail bikers from Portland to Thompson to connect with nature and each other. With your help, we can create permanent access to its beautiful lowland blueberry swamps and rocky foothills for people across the state to enjoy.
Our success will more than triple the size of Mono Pond State Park, create more opportunities for outdoor recreation, and unlock a new 10-mile trail network connecting to the Airline State Park Trail. Whether it’s paddling, hiking, fishing, or simply watching the birds rest on Mono Pond, this park is majestic. Expanding the State Park will preserve this diverse ecosystem and strengthen part of a key greenway for both humans and wildlife.
Our work is made possible thanks to the generosity of individuals like you. Help us meet this year’s $1 million goal in Connecticut for: • Our work at home—make a gift to Connecticut programs • Parks for People—help us increase closeto-home park access • Protect Connecticut’s public lands— create more opportunities for outdoor experiences • The Trust for Public Land—support our land-for-people mission with an unrestricted gift Mono pond
Mono Pond State Park, CT
Connecticut Advisory Board We are so grateful for our amazing volunteer leaders! Tom Holloway Rob Klee Caroline Niemczyk Carolyn O’Brien Emma Tuzinkiewicz, Fellow Harry White
Susan Balloch David Berkowitz Bill Buchanan Wesley Cain, Fellow Millie Carstensen Raúl de Brigard
A special thank you to our Nutmeg Council
An esteemed group of former Connecticut Advisory Board members and advocates of our land-for-people mission Don Brownstein Andy Cavanna
Peter Cooper Henry Lord George Mack
Jim Millard Terrie Wood
for supporting our land-for-people mission in Connecticut and beyond. We couldn’t do it without you.
Join us. The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.
Walker Holmes Connecticut State Director 203.777.7369 | firstname.lastname@example.org The Trust for Public Land 101 Whitney Avenue, 2nd Floor New Haven, CT 06510
tpl.org COVER: TOP LEFT, NICK BENSON; TOP RIGHT, RICHARD FREEDA; MIDDLE LEFT, RICHARD FREEDA, MIDDLE RIGHT, ELISA HALSTED; BOTTOM, RICHARD FREEDA.
Celebrating what YOU made possible in Connecticut and beyond.