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April 26, 2021

Riverfront Recapture buys 60-acre Hartford-Windsor parcel, plans community park

Photo | Riverfront Recapture A conceptual map of a new park planned along the riverside area of the Hartford-Windsor town line.

Riverfront Recapture, the nonprofit organization that manages riverside parks in Hartford and East Hartford, has purchased 60 acres of riverfront land on the Hartford-Windsor town line and plans to build a new community park there.

In a statement, Riverfront Recapture officials said the property will be redeveloped for recreation, with new trails, open green spaces, piers and docks.

“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,” said President and CEO Michael Zaleski. “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.”

A purchase price was not disclosed.

Funding for the acquisition came from private investors, including 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.

Currently, plans for the property include the creation of “Garmany Cove,” a nine-acre inlet where Riverfront Recapture plans to install a paddle sports and outdoor center, with rowing, kayaking, canoeing, dragon boating and stand-up paddle boarding all available.

New trails, space for a 10-acre commercial development and infrastructure such as fishing piers, docks and maintenance facilities are also expected to take shape, officials said. Walking routes in the park will help complete a regional trail connection between the Hartford and Windsor Riverwalks.

Wetlands within the parcel, which Riverfront Recapture said are of low quality, will be replaced by an ecologically developed floodplain wetland, and hundreds of new trees will be planted to promote the development of habitats in meadow areas.

Riverfront Recapture manages, operates and maintains four connected parks encompassing 148 acres along the Connecticut River: Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Charter Oak Landing and Riverside Park in Hartford and Great River Park in East Hartford.


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