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FRIENDS OF
KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND

Making a Difference Today

25 Kensington Street, New Haven CT

 
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THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER!

The Friends of Kensington Playground have filed a lawsuit against the City of New Haven over the sale of Kensington Playground for $1 to The Community Builders to build housing and a parking lot. We are also pursuing historic preservation and environmental issues under federal law, because the playground is in the heart of the Dwight Street National Historic District,  


DONATIONS WELCOMED:

We are appealing to the community for donations to help with legal costs and, if we win, to improve the parks's playscape.  


We will accept donations through our Save Kensington Playground GoFundMe campaign here


If you prefer to donate by check, please send your check payable to Friends of Kensington Playground, c/o 66 Edgewood Ave., New Haven, CT 06511 

Note: Friends of Kensington Playground is a registered public charity with the State of CT Department of Consumer Protection. We are an incorporated non-profit, but not tax exempt, so your donation is not tax deductible. 

We believe the Playground is an important asset for the community and critical to the health and well-being of residents of the Dwight neighborhood.  While we support affordable housing, we believe there are other places to build.


The Friends of Kensington Playground is an unincorporated nonprofit association formed by neighbors to advocate for this parkland located in the heart of the Dwight Street National Historic District.  Contributions are not tax deductible.  A full accounting to donors will be made of donations received and expenditures made. 

Thank you for helping us save Kensington Playground!

 

MAKE A DONATION AND HELP US SAVE THIS PLAYGROUND AND PARK

We are appealing to the community for donations to help with legal costs and, if we win, to improve the parks's playscape.  


We will accept donations through our Save Kensington Playground GoFundMe campaign here


If you prefer to donate by check, please send your check payable to Friends of Kensington Playground, c/o 66 Edgewood Ave., New Haven, CT 06511.


Note: Friends of Kensington Playground is a registered public charity with the State of CT Department of Consumer Protection. We are an incorporated non-profit, but not tax exempt, so your donation is not tax deductible. 

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The Friends of Kensington Playground’s statement on the Oct 19 Board of Alders decision to sell Kensington Playground for $1 to The Community Builders:

“It is a bad day for democracy in New Haven.  Only three Alders, Douglass, Festa, and Roth, stood with the neighborhood.  Others relied on old stereotypes of Kensington Street to hijack our only playground to benefit a non-profit developer that has not been a good landlord.  Kensington Playground is a major success story for Policing in New Haven.  Lt. John Healy made it his top priority when taking over this policing district.  As a result it is now a place we can use. The City did not follow the law.  The Dwight Central Management Team never gave its support. Housing can be built without taking this playground from our children. Yet two of our three alders want to sacrifice a precious neighborhood asset rather than leading us to a win-win solution.  We call upon the Mayor to reject this deal.  We ask the City to convene a mediation process to help the parties find a housing solution without sacrificing our playground.  That is the kind of leadership we need and deserve."

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: MAYOR JOINS PARK GROUP, AS (ANOTHER) PARKS GROUP SUES CITY

November 19, 2020

New Haven’s mayor joined a national coalition seeking more money for urban parks—while a group seeking to save an urban park in his backyard sued the city for selling it.

Those two public greenspace developments were announced in separate press releases.

Read more here

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NEW HAVEN REGISTER: OUR CHILDREN NEED... TO PLAY’: NEW HAVEN PARK ADVOCATES FILE SUIT OVER $1 LAND SALE TO DEVELOPER

November 18, 2020

They are not giving up.

Friends of Kensington Playground filed a court complaint over the city’s decision to sell a Dwight neighborhood park for $1 to a developer as part of a plan to build affordable housing.  Read more here

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: 
IT’S ‘NOT LIKE THERE WILL BE NO GREEN SPACE’; NEW HAVEN ALDERS TRADE PARK FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

October 20, 2020

Affordable housing has trumped some green space as the Board of Alders voted to sell Kensington Park to The Community Builders, with 15 new units of affordable housing to be constructed at the site.


Aldermanic President Tyisha Walker-Myers, D-23, said she was confident the city had done its “due diligence” in the deal, which had been under consideration for some time. Immediate neighbors have said recently that they were not aware of the plans and argued that new housing be placed elsewhere.

Read the full article here

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NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT:
CITY SELLS PARK;
HOUSING CALL PREVAILS

October 20, 2020

On October 19, the Board of Alders voted overwhelmingly in support of trading a Kensington Street park for 15 new affordable apartments — but only after an impassioned debate about the relative merits of building low-income housing atop public green space.


Read the full article here

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: NEW HAVEN RESIDENTS OFFER CITY $2 TO SAVE PARK, THAT'S DOUBLE WHAT DEVELOPER IS PAYING

October 12, 2020

NEW HAVEN — Mayor Justin Elicker wouldn’t take the $2 symbolically offered to save Kensington Park, although it doubled what the city had received to sell it.

The proposed deal was already in motion.

The Board of Alders’ Community Development Committee voted Sept. 30 to sell the parcel to The Community Builders, a Boston-based developer, for $1 so it could use the site to build 15 units of affordable housing.

Along with the proposed new units, the project has garnered $30 million in federal funds to rehabilitate 96 older units owned by TCB and $100,000 in city Community Development Block Grant funds. The project also could mean new opportunities for living spaces in a city where 10,000 people are on a list for affordable housing.

Read the full article here.

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YALE DAILY NEWS: DWIGHT RESIDENTS OPPOSE CITY’S PLAN TO DESTROY PARK FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

October 12, 2020

Just four blocks away from campus, there is a medium-sized park dotted with trees, benches and one broken splash pad. It’s also the center of a city-wide debate about the need for affordable housing and the significance of greenspace to local communities. 

New Haven plans to sell Kensington Playground, a public park in the Dwight neighborhood, to a Boston-based developer for one dollar. In return, the developer will build 15 units of affordable housing on the site. The plan has met opposition from some Dwight residents, who see the park as a safe space for church-goers and children. As the final approval meeting for the apartment block approaches, residents have begun a push to rally city-wide support and defeat the land swap proposition.  Read the full article here.

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: MAYOR TURNS DOWN $2 FOR PARK

October 8, 2020

Pat and Nia confronted Mayor Elicker at his East Rock "Meet the Mayor"event and offer him $2 for KP, doubling TCB's offer of $1.

Read more here:

“I’m going to double our money,” Dwight neighborhood activist Pat Wallace told Elicker.

“It’s making me a bit emotional to see so much greenspace here in East Rock,” said Nia Campinha-Bacote  “It’s far beyond any green space we have. What will you say to us? To the black and brown people who enjoy the park?”

Elicker noted that the deal includes public greenspace in Newhallville.

“How is putting land in another neighborhood going to help us?” responded Campinha-Bacote.

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EYEWITNESS NEWS:
NEW HAVEN RESIDENTS TRYING
TO SAVE PARK AS CITY EYES IT
FOR NEW APARTMENTS

October 5, 2020

Check out Channel 3 reporter Matt McFarland's story on the Playground here. Matt speaks with three residents using the park.

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT:
NEW HOUSING OK'D AFTER PARK SALE DEBATE

October 1, 2020

Read Tom Breen's coverage of the BOA Community Development Committee's hearing on the sale of Kensington Playground for $1 here.

Be sure to watch our neighborhood testimony in two video clips at the end of the article, particularly the second clip.

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NEW HAVEN REGISTER:
A NEW HAVEN PARK PLAN CALLS FOR HOUSING; NEIGHBORS FEAR LOSS OF 'IMPORTANT ASSET'

October 1, 2020

Read Mary O'Leary's coverage of the Board of Alder's Community Development Committee's hearing here.

 
 
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Don't let Mayor Elicker and the City

steal your playground!  


Sign our online petition here

 
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DON'T STEAL OUR PLAYGROUND!

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." – Frederic Douglass

Kensington Playground is about to be sold for $1 to The Community Builders, so that they can build housing and a parking lot.  This sale is being done without outreach to the community that uses the playground, without notices placed in the playground until September 19, and without a public hearing.  Is this democracy in New Haven?


The Friends of Kensington Playground say "Mayor Elicker don't steal our playground!"

That's the gist of it, however there is alittle more to the situation:  The playground consists of 5 parcels. 4 parcels are owned by the City of New Haven, and 1 parcel is owned by the New Haven Parks Department.  The Parks Dept. parcel will be swapped for a city parcel in Dixwell; Then the 5 parcels, our Kensington Playground, will be sold for $1 (one dollar!) to The Community Builders (TCB) so that TCB can build a 15-unit apartment building and a 15 space surface parking lot.

Let's talk about this.

Learn more here

BUILD SOMEWHERE ELSE!

YOU LIVE HERE.  YOUR VOICE COUNTS!

PARK CLEAN-UP SATURDAY 11/21 10 AM

Update: Thanks to everyone who came out to rake leaves with us

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BOARD OF ALDERS, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING

9/30 AT 6 PM.  

Update: Despite powerful testimony against the deal, the BOA CDC voted in favor of the deal. Now the deal heads to the full BOA for a vote in mid Oct.

and check back here for more updates.

Read more in the New Haven Independent here

and in the New Haven Register here



Thank you to everyone who stood up for the playground and the children of Dwight neighborhood.


Tell the Board of Alders what YOU want the space to be!  A better playground? Affordable ownership housing?
Let your voice be heard.

Join us in the playground on Wednesday, Sept 30 at 6 PM when we attend this meeting via Zoom.

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SIGN-MAKING
SAT. 9/12/20 

Update:  Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us.  The highlight of the morning was creating a "Kids Play Here.  Pick up after your dog." sign and poop bag station.


Join us in the playground Saturday morning, 9/1/20, at 10 AM to continue making signs opposing the sale of Kensington Playground to Community Builders for $1, so that housing and parking can be built over the parkland.

Materials and refreshments will be provided.

Please wear a mask.

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COMMUNITY MEETING 

WED 9/9/20 AT 6:30 PM IN THE PLAYGROUND

Update:  Thanks to everyone who came out and made signs with us. We had a great night.

Join us Wednesday night for a community discussion about the playground.  Tell us how you use the park and how we can make the playground better.  We'll discuss how we can work together to save Kensington Playground.  

Refreshments provided.

Please wear a mask.

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DWIGHT CENTRAL MANAGEMENT TEAM MEETING  9/1/20

Update: Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us at the meeting on Zoom in the Playground!
Your voice is important and appreciated.


Fight for what you want the space to be!  Tell the DCMT Meeting on Tuesday, Sept 1 at 6:30 PM what YOU want to happen!  Join the Community Meeting by computer on Zoom from the playground.

Photo Credit: Emily Hayes, New Haven Independent, March 9, 2020; image taken at an earlier DCMT meeting.

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PLAYGROUND
CLEANUP

8/29/20

Update:  Thanks to all the volunteers who joined us for this successful event!


Do you want the playground gone or made a good playground?  If the neighborhood wants to get rid of the playground, should more rental housing be built, or affordable OWNERSHIP housing by a developer with a good track record?  
Come for a playground cleanup and conversation, Saturday, August 29, 2020, 10 a.m.  Rakes, leaf bags, disposable gloves, snacks provided.   Please wear a mask.  

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“It always seems impossible until it is done.”   — Nelson Mandela


CONTACT THE FRIENDS OF KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND

25 Kensington Street, New Haven CT

 

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