Funding Award for Restoring BABY POPE PARK (POPE PARK NORTH)
Pope Hartford Designated Fund has been awarded a grant of $200,000 from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving towards the work to restore Baby Pope Park. These funds will be partnered with a commitment from the city of Hartford for this project. PHDF is now working to secure further community funding that will complete the amount needed, estimated at about $600,000. PHDF will provide the funding for the project design. Our goal is to complete the project in 2013.
Baby Pope Park is the northernmost parcel of the park bounded by Russ Street and Park Terrace and serves as a small scale open space for the surrounding neighborhood. This 2.65 acre area of the park originally consisted of tennis courts and wooded spaces, yet over time, as the trees have matured into historic specimens, much of the park has fallen into disrepair, been vandalized, and is not used to its full potential. The area suffers from lack of accessible pathways, seating and safe play facilities.
Neighbors in the area have come together to propose improvements to Pope Park North In late 2009 the Pope Hartford Designated Fund asked Pam Shadley, the landscape architect who has been working with us on park design, to meet with neighbors from the Pope Park North area and to create a concept design for its restoration. A neighborhood meeting at the Lyceum building brought forth many ideas from the community about what they would like to see in that area.
The new design for Pope Park North removes the deteriorating athletic courts, paths, and playground to create a safe, clean, attractive park that encourages family use with recreational amenities, walking trails, open lawn areas, and wet and dry playgrounds for 2-5 year olds. The park improvements are artfully woven into the existing landscape to protect the historic trees and create a quiet and lovely neighborhood space that residents can use and take pride in preserving.
A variety of seating options for passive and active participation are integrated with all the major spaces of the site with benches, picnic tables, boulder seats, and earthen berms. The design especially provides for seating for parents and adults as they watch over children playing.