FERP is incredibly proud of these two major infrastructure projects that totally transformed this location in Rice Field. The path leading up from Rice Field to English Drive was dangerously eroded, and the road was in danger of caving in. This significant project came to fruition thanks to a major donation from Mr. Roger Ibbotson, expertise and funding from the Engineering Department, sandstone blocks procured from the Parks Department, and an integrated design created by David Moser with input from Friends.
Betty's Way, the stonedust, sandstone lined path to the right transformed a steep and narrow footpath into a smooth extension of the White Trail enabling a safe and smooth link to our Friends in Cedar Hill. It is named after Ms. Betty Thompson, an activist for the Cedar Hill neighborhood, who reinvigorated a dormant FERP with Justin Elicker. A generous grant from REI Coop paid for the trailblazing work carried out by Chris Ozyck and finished off by the large group of volunteers featured on the HOME page.
From 2008 to the present the Friends of East Rock Park have been an Urban Resources Initiative Greenspace group. During some summers we have been more active than others!
The very first project involved chopping back a large swath of impassable brush along the bank of Rice Field that obscured visibility and made the area feel unsafe. The brush had totally obscured a half dozen benches and was filled with litter. The work begun that summer continued on for several years.
This year we created an Educational Native Species garden along the Orange Street bank (pictured above.)
We look forward to enhancing it in the years ahead.
The entire city of New Haven is indebted to URI for their visionary work and their ongoing support. We would never have achieved all that we have without expertise and energy of our dear friends at Urban Resources Initiative, especially Colleen Murphy-Dunning, Chris Ozyck, and Anna Ruth Pickett.
Every summer since 2008 with the exception of 2020 FERP has conducted a Youth@Work program. Youth@Work is administered by the Department of Youth and Recreation and students are paid with funds from the State of Connecticut.
FERP pays the supervisor who we hire to plan and carry out the student stewardship projects. We are grateful for Susan Holahan and Roger Ibottson whose generosity have funded this position. We are also grateful for the wonderful supervisors and the small crews of students who have made such a difference.