Riverfront Recapture to Transform 60-Acres of Riverfront Land into Community Park, Expand Access, and Create Regional Connections
Riverfront Recapture has purchased 60 acres of riverfront land on the Hartford-Windsor town line to build a new community park. This acquisition will allow Riverfront Recapture to complete a regional trail connection between the Hartford and Windsor Riverwalks and connect even more people with the Connecticut River.
“As we celebrate our organization’s 40th anniversary, we’re thrilled to continue the work of recapturing the riverfront. This land purchase gives us a rare opportunity to conserve one of the last riverfront parcels in the region and significantly expand public access to the Connecticut River. The redevelopment plan represents a transformational investment in the multimodal transportation system along the Connecticut River, will drive economic development, and improve the environment and community health in the underserved neighborhoods surrounding the park. We are very grateful to our project investors for making it possible,” said Michael Zaleski, President and CEO of Riverfront Recapture.
The purchase of this property was funded by private investors, including a leadership gift from the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, and The Mowell Family Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, with generous legal support from Robinson + Cole.
The State of Connecticut Bond Commission provided funding for redeveloping public areas of the park and constructing the trail connection via the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Additional funding for trail development comes from a Community Connectivity Grant, awarded to the town of Windsor in partnership with Riverfront Recapture by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT).
Plans for the property include the creation of Garmany Cove, a nine-acre cove which will be the site of Riverfront Recapture’s envisioned paddle sport and outdoors center, featuring rowing, kayaking, canoeing, dragon boating, and stand-up paddle boarding. Additional concepts include new trails, space for a 10-acre commercial development, and infrastructure such as a fishing pier, docks, and maintenance facilities. A poor-quality wetland will be replaced by an ecologically developed floodplain wetland. Hundreds of new trees will be planted to provide habitat corridors across the meadows. The park will support recreation, youth programs, community events, and festivals. The new trail will complete a seven-mile multi-use public transportation system extending from South Windsor to Hartford with connections to East Hartford and Glastonbury. The future park, trail, and commercial development are directly adjacent to federal opportunity zones in Hartford and Windsor. The project will improve access to greenspace and the Connecticut River and positively impact the environment and community health.
Project Resources & Media:
- Project Concept Plan
- Hartford Business Journal: Riverfront Recapture buys 60-acre Hartford-Windsor parcel, plans community park
- Hartford Courant: Riverfront Recapture announces 60-acre expansion that will connect trails, add cove for paddle sports
- Journal Inquirer: Land added for park on Hartford-Windsor line