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.