Bringing a Forgotten Park Back to Life
In 2012, a small band of New Haven neighbors and local history lovers came together to form the Friends of Fort Wooster. Our goal: to reclaim a forgotten piece of local history and bring a beautiful, but forgotten neighborhood park back to life.
First You Rake...and Cut...and Rake
To say we had a lot of work to do is an understatement. The park was so overgrown, the earthern Fort that American patriots protected could barely be seen. Working with the Elm City Parks Conservency and the City of New Haven Parks Department we put together a plan that consisted of little more than, "Let's see what's under there."
Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, particularly the the generous support of time, sweat, and financial aid from the Masonic Lodges of New Haven (Quinta Essential Lodge No. 500, Hiram No. 1, Cosmopolitan No. 125, Wooster No. 79, St. Alban’s No. 38, and the New Haven Chapter of DeMolay) the beauty of Fort Wooster Park began to emerge.
Clearing the Paths
With Fort Wooster at the top of Beacon Hill, paths wind around the earthernworks down through the park to emerge in the open area near the Quinnipiac Indian Monument on Townsend Avenue. At least they used to. Years of "construction" by paintballers and a half dozen hurricanes had left the park trails impassable and dangerous. Once again, a little muscle went a long way, and by National Trails Day in June 2013, the park trails were once again passable.
Maintaining the trails is a constant challenge. 2014 saw the distribution of a thousand cubic feet of mulch onto trails in an effort to minimize vegitative growth.
If You Build it, They Will Come
In 2014, the Friends of Fort Wooster proudly announced the installation of a new flagpole near the site of the Fort, donated by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut Freemasons in honor of Revolutionary War patriot General David Wooster (for whom the park is named) with the flag donated by the Daughter's of the American Revolution, Mary Clap Wooster Chapter.
Coinciding with David Wooster Day and the 235th Anniversary of the Battle of New Haven, celebrations and the flagpole dedication took place on July 5, 2014. About 200 members of the CT Freemasons, neighbors, local dignitaries, colonial reenactors, and Friends gathered for a beautiful afternoon of history, remembrance, food, and fun. Our sincere thanks to all for making it such a wonderful day. Click on Gallery to see pictures.
Ongoing clean-ups and more work are scheduled. Please click on the
Get Involved page for more information or to volunteer your group.