Friends of Fort Wooster Park

Volunteer Leader(s):

Liz Doyle-Santini
Ann McGuire
Sam Sigg

Neighborhood: East Shore/Annex

Type of Site: Park Friends Park Friends

Address: 959 Townsend Ave, New Haven, CT, 06512


Photo Gallery

2023 Greenspace Report

Fort Wooster Park is an incredibly unique Greenspace where historical and archaeological significance meet ecologically rich forest and beautiful trails for community members. The high hilltop area that is now this city park was first used by Quinnipiac people as sacred burial grounds. American colonists later established a signal beacon on the hill (now known as Beacon Hill) during the Revolution. This summer, the Friends of Fort Wooster Park focused on three main projects: grove cleanup, sign beautification, and upper park cleanup. We started the summer with a community cleanup day raking out brush and debris from the dense grove of trees in the southern part of the park along Townsend Avenue. We pulled out weeds, cut down trip-hazard stumps and roots, and laid cardboard and pine bark mulch on the eastern edge. We also moved two picnic tables, which had been donated to the Friends by a local business, to the grove so that community members can rest in the shade of the grove. Around the stone monument to Native American tribes of Connecticut, we expanded the flower bed, removing the small pavers that lined the front and outlining the bed with large cobbles to protect it from mowing. Led by Liz Doyle-Santini, we planted four sedums in front of the monument and one Japanese hollies flanking the monument’s sides. We also created a small garden bed around the metal historical sign just south of the stone monument, which details the Indigenous and colonial history of the park. Lastly, in our final two weeks we weeded the garden area surrounding the memorial stone at the upper part of the park near the playground. We planted coral bells and laid pine bark mulch around the stone and the perennials lining the sides. Sam, Kevin, and Sean also devotedly cleared overgrown knotweed and other plants from the trails throughout the wooded areas not only on our workdays but during the week as well, making them clear and wide enough for friends and neighbors to enjoy. Sam also took on the daunting task of clearing large debris and trash from the park, where various dumping incidents, storms, and other occasions have caused trash to accumulate in the forest.

2023 Accomplishments

  • 2 shrubs planted (‘Sky pencil’ Japanese hollies)
  • 14 perennials planted (sedum (4), butterfly milkweed (3), purple coneflower (3), coral bells (2), coreopsis (2))
  • 7.0 yards mulch spread
  • 9 events
  • 21 volunteers
  • 109 volunteer hours