Fighting to Save Dwight's "Town Green" From Development
"The liberal provision of parks in a city is one of the surest manifestations of the…degree of civilization, and progressiveness of its citizens."—John Charles Olmsted
25 Kensington Street, New Haven CT
THE FIGHT TO SAVE KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND
Friends of Kensington Playground is fighting to save Kensington Playground from development into a 15-unit apartment building and 15-car surface parking lot. (Because the developer is converting 8 existing apartments into office space, there will be a net gain of only 7 units of housing.)
Kensington Playground is the only public playground in the urban, low-income Dwight neighborhood of New Haven. The splash pad in Kensington Playground hasn’t worked since 2017.
In October 2020 the New Haven Board of Alders sold Kensington Playground for $1 to The Community Builders, so that affordable housing could be built on the park. They did so despite outcry and testimony from many residents.
In November 2020 Friends of Kensington Playground filed a lawsuit to stop the sale of the parkland, citing the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and CT Statute 7-131n (sometimes called the park replacement statute). In addition, separate from the legal complaint, we requested both a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and a Section 106 (of the National Historic Preservation Act) Review.
In January 2021 we provided the City with a list of alternative building sites. We support affordable housing, but not on our park.
Besides holding Halloween and Easter events, and bicycle, clothing and school supplies giveaways in Kensington Playground, Friends of Kensington Playground obtained written approval from 8 Community Management Teams (CMTs) for a resolution to present to city officials, mandating at least one playground per neighborhood with a playscape, (working) splashpad, and tall trees.
Friends of Kensington Playground’s ongoing lawsuit over lack of due process in the decision to develop Kensington Playground has led to a change in the developer’s plans, enabling renovation of their existing properties to proceed independently. We remain hopeful that our efforts will result in the city reclaiming and saving this valuable and irreplaceable neighborhood greenspace.
If we save Kensington Playground, Friends of Kensington Playground is committed to adding a playscape to the playground.
To read our latest update, visit our GoFundMe page
THE LEGAL FIGHT
Our legal fight against the sale of Kensington Playground consists of several elements:
In November 2020, we filed a legal complaint against the City of New Haven citing CEPA and 7-131n.
CEPA, the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act, establishes a process by which state agencies must identify and review their proposed “actions which may significantly affect the environment”. The core purpose of CEPA is to provide a public process for state agencies to identify and assess the extent to which their proposed actions may potentially affect the environment, and to evaluate alternatives to avoid or minimize such impacts.
CT General Statute 7-131n requires that when a municipality takes land previously intended for use as park or for other recreational or open space purposes, it must hold a dedicated public hearing on the issue, replace the parkland with parkland of equal value and size, and provide the public with the replacement land at the public hearing.
In November 2020, separate from the legal complaint, we requested both a NEPA Review and a Section 106 Review.
The National Environment Policy Act (NEPA ) requires preservation of aspects of our historic, cultural and environmental heritage as much as possible. Since the Federal government is funding part of the construction on the parkland, a NEPA review is appropriate.
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires review and consideration of federal or federally funded activities that can have an impact on properties listed in or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The proposed construction is within the Dwight Street National Historic District on land eligible for the National Register. Thus, a Section 106 review is required.
In January 2021, through our attorney, we provided the City of New Haven with several alternative building sites. You can review that document here.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us through the contact button,
or call Pat at two zero three 285-5077.
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 501(c)(3) charity. Donations are tax deductible.
This drawing was made by a child who lives adjacent to Kensington Playground.
NEW HAVEN REGISTER: KIDS ONCE AGAIN SPLASHING IN NEW HAVEN PLAYGROUND
June 25, 2022
While adults continue the larger fight over the elimination of Kensington Playground, in the meantime, at least the kids in the Dwight neighborhood will get to experience one of the joys of summer missing for the past five years.
Read more here
NEW HAVEN REGISTER: KENSINGTON PARK ADVOCATES LAUD JUDGE’S DECISION NOT TO DISMISS SUIT AGAINST CITY
June 17, 2022
A Superior Court judge kept alive a 2020 lawsuit seeking to prevent the city from selling a Kensington Street playground, ruling against a motion by the city to dismiss the suit and saying the environmental issues it raises are serious enough to merit further investigation. Read more here
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: JUDGE KEEPS KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND LAWSUIT ALIVE
June 16, 2022
A Kensington Playground-focused lawsuit got a new lease on life, after a state judge rejected the city’s request to strike down the case. Read more here
NHI: TCB PRESSED ON PRESERVING HISTORY IN KENSINGTON REDO PHASE 2
A second set of Kensington Square subsidized apartments is one step closer to renovations, as the city reviews the project’s effects on the Dwight neighborhood’s historical memory.
The affordable housing developer The Community Builders (TCB) met with neighbors Thursday night to discuss that second phase.
After upgrading a first phase of apartments in the Kensington Square area in 2017, TCB plans to renovate its remaining units in Dwight. A dozen New Haveners had another chance to voice their questions and reactions to the plans at the public meeting Thursday evening, thanks to a section of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Before TCB’s renovations can ensue, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires the city to screen the project’s “effects on historic resources — cultural, religious, or architectural,” according to Jaime Stein, the city planner who ran Thursday’s meeting.
The meeting, which was required under the Section 106 process, brought together a representative from TCB, a group of the developer’s fiercest opponents, and other invested neighbors to discuss the details of the planned renovations.
Read more here
CT MIRROR: CT VIEWPOINTS - KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND, DWIGHT'S IRREPLACEABLE GREENSPACE
August 24, 2021
Friends of Kensington Playground (FOKP) – a group mainly of Dwight residents most of whom live close to Kensington Playground (KP) and have been active in New Haven’s Dwight community efforts for decades – agree with Delisa Tolson that the playground was once neglected and dangerous, unsafe for children and families. However, several years ago Captain Healy set Kensington Playground as his top priority when he became the New Haven Police Department’s Dwight district manager and began the park’s transformation.
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: ICE RINK CONTRACT, SCANTLEBURY SIGN APPROVED
July 22, 2021
One new sign, four temporary security bollards, and a new operator for the skating rink were all voted up.
No vote was taken — yet — on a proposed new policy asserting the right of every neighborhood in town to have a playscape or playground and a water area....
To Never Sell Park Land Again
If there were an elephant on the agenda, it was the proposal by Pat Wallace and The Friends of Kensington Playground that the commissioners formally adopt a policy that the city will never sell park land and that every neighborhood have at least one playground/playscape and a water element.
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: GRASSROOTS QUEST AIMS TO SAVE PLAYGROUNDS
July 6, 2021
A proposal is making the rounds of New Haven neighborhood meetings. Its pitch: The Board of Parks Commissioners should never give up the only public park in a neighborhood, and it should always ensure each neighborhood has at least one playground with a playscape and a splash pad or water element. Read more here
LETTER: 'OFFICIALS IGNORED THE VOICES OF THE PEOPLE' IN SELLING CT PLAYGROUND
July 4, 2021
In the Dwight neighborhood of New Haven there is a struggle to save Kensington Playground, our only public playground. City officials want to give the playground away for affordable housing. Neighbors believe there are other places such housing can be built in this neighborhood. We believe the decision to give away the playground was made in an undemocratic way. Friends of Kensington Playground has sued the city and filed complaints with federal agencies. Read more
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: JUDGE SIDES WITH CITY, DISMISSES HALF OF KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND LAWSUIT
June 17, 2021
A state judge threw out half of a lawsuit about the future of Kensington Playground, after agreeing with the city that a Dwight resident and a neighborhood parks group do not have legal standing to sue the city for selling the public greenspace. Read more
PARK CASE Q: CAN CITY “TAKE” FROM ITSELF?
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT
June 9, 2021
The first court hearing in a months-long dispute over the future of Kensington Playground raised a broader question: Can the city be accused of “taking” land that it already owns? Read more here
YALE DAILY NEWS: DWIGHT RESIDENTS DELIVER LETTERS TO MAYOR
May 4, 2021
Hamilton came to support a group of 12 Dwight residents on Monday afternoon who delivered 15 letters to New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker opposing the city’s $1 sale of Kensington Park to a developer in exchange for affordable housing. The letters were responses to the city’s March Environmental Review Report, which found “no significant impact on the human environment” caused by demolishing the playground. Monday marked the city’s deadline for public comment in response to the Environmental Review Report, which had to be submitted in writing to Elicker’s office.
Read more here
May 3, 2021
A city-commissioned report concluded that converting Kensington Playground into affordable apartments will not harm the environment. A group of neighbors strongly disagreed and took to the streets Monday to say so. Read more here
YALE DAILY NEWS: DWIGHT RESIDENTS ORGANIZE BIKE GIVEAWAY TO SAVE KENSINGTON PARK
April 19, 2021
On Saturday morning, a park in the Dwight neighborhood was abuzz with energy. Children raced along the sidewalk on new bikes and munched on snacks provided by a nearby church. Families reflected on what Kensington Playground means to the community. Read more here
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: KIDS GET WHEELS AT KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND
April 18, 2021
Winter Carter, 5, received a new bike on Saturday morning — and jumped for joy. She was one of the 13 children who took bike and safety lessons and received refurbished bikes at the latest event to build public support for saving Kenginston Playground from becoming the site of new housing.
Read more here
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT: KIDS’ EASTER EVENT HIGHLIGHTS QUEST TO SAVE KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND
April 5, 2021
Friends of Kensington Playground and Upon This Rock Ministries distributed 48 Easter baskets and 30 bags filled of canned goods to Dwight residents on Saturday.
The giveaway was a part of Friends of Kensington Playground’s ongoing mission to save the pocket park on Kensington after the city sold the property to The Community Builders, INC. (TCB) to build affordable housing.
Friends of Kensington Park has collected over 200 signatures to a petition to save the playground. It has also collected over $7,000 through a GoFundMe campaign that will pay for filing a lawsuit against the city to stop the sale of the park to TCB.
Saturday’s giveaway was a part of the ongoing movement to shine light on how the space is essentially Dwight’s community green.
Read more here
YALE DAILY NEWS: LAWSUIT OVER DWIGHT PARK FOR HOUSING DEAL DELAYS CONSTRUCTION INDEFINITELY
Feb 8, 2021
A group of Dwight residents has filed a lawsuit against the Elm City, making a final stand against city plans to sell their local park — Kensington Playground — to a developer for affordable housing.
Read more here
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
IN SUPPORT OF URBAN PARKS
These articles may be of interest to you.
REDLINING MEANS 45 MILLION AMERICANS ARE BREATHING DIRTIER AIR, 50 YEARS AFTER IT ENDED
By Darryl Fears
The Washington Post, March 9, 2022
Decades of federal housing discrimination did not only depress home values, lower job opportunities and spur poverty in communities deemed undesirable because of race. It’s why 45 million Americans are breathing dirtier air today, according to a landmark study released Wednesday.
The practice known as redlining was outlawed more than a half-century ago, but it continues to impact people who live in neighborhoods that government mortgage officers shunned for 30 years because people of color and immigrants lived in them.
UNDERSTANDING CHILD-FRIENDLY URBAN DESIGN
Brookings Institute, October 21, 2021
To address children’s language and spatial skills, cities around the world are beginning to invest in Playful Learning Landscapes (PLL)—installations and programming that promote children and families’ learning through play in the public realm. A new PLL metrics frameworkprovides a roadmap to collect data that demonstrates PLL’s tremendous potential to narrow opportunity gaps while creating more livable and playful cities. Read more here
TO COMBAT GUN VIOLENCE, CLEAN UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD
New York Times, October 8, 2021
Until a Black man turns 45, his most likely cause of death is homicide. After each such violent death, traumatic shock waves pierce through family and friends. Whole neighborhoods suffer. In some communities with high rates of violent crime, babies are more likely to be born early, children are more likely to struggle in school and adults are more likely to report being depressed, as well as face increased risk of heart disease.
read more here
TREES COULD BE A MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND CLIMATE CHANGE ANTIDOTE
NPR, September 18, 2021
A growing body of research shows the many ways trees improves our mental and physical health. There's a push to understand more. Read more
AS RISING HEAT BAKES U.S. CITIES, THE POOR OFTEN FEEL IT MOST
NPR - MEG ANDERSON, SEAN MCMINN · SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
NPR analyzed 97 of the most populous U.S. cities using the median household income from U.S. Census Bureau data and thermal satellite images from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. In more than three-quarters of those cities, we found that where it's hotter, it also tends to be poorer. And at least 69 had an even stronger relationship than Baltimore, the first city we mapped.
This means that as the planet warms, the urban poor in dozens of large U.S. cities will actually experience more heat than the wealthy, simply by virtue of where they live. And not only will more people get sick from rising temperatures in the future, we found they likely already are. Read more
IN DEFENSE OF TALL TREES: IDENTIFY THE VALUABLE AND STRONGEST LARGE TREES IN CITIES AND TOWNS. THEN WORK TO KEEP THEM.
2015 article by CT DEEP Urban Forestry Coordinator Chris Donnelly
In the wake of recent storms in Connecticut, residents have criticized tall trees as threats to public safety and the reliability of electricity and cable lines. Yet, tall trees are very much a natural part of the Connecticut landscape.
DEADLY AIR POLLUTANT ‘DISPROPORTIONATELY AND SYSTEMATICALLY’ HARMS AMERICANS OF COLOR, STUDY FINDS
The Washington Post, April 28, 2021
By Juliet Eilperin and Darryl Fears
Nearly every source of the nation’s most pervasive and deadly air pollutantdisproportionately affects Americans of color, regardless of their state or income level, according to a study published Wednesday. The analysis of fine-particle matter, which includes soot, shows how decisions made decades ago about where to build highways and industrial plants continue to harm the health of Black, Latino and Asian Americans today.
PEOPLE OF COLOR BREATHE MORE HAZARDOUS AIR. THE SOURCES ARE EVERYWHERE.
New York Times, April 29, 2021
By Hiroko Tabuchi and Nadja Popovich
Over the years, a mountain of evidence has brought to light a stark injustice: Compared with white Americans, people of color in the United States suffer disproportionately from exposure to pollution.
Now, a new study on a particularly harmful type of air pollution shows just how broadly those disparities hold true. Black Americans are exposed to more pollution from every type of source, including industry, agriculture, all manner of vehicles, construction, residential sources and even emissions from restaurants. People of color more broadly, including Black and Hispanic people and Asian-Americans, are exposed to more pollution from nearly every source.
E.P.A. TO REVIEW RULES ON SOOT LINKED TO DEATHS, WHICH TRUMP DECLINED TO TIGHTEN
New York Times, June 10, 2021
The Biden administration says it will consider tougher limits on a deadly air pollutant that disproportionately affects low-income and minority communities.
The Biden administration will reconsider federal limits on fine industrial soot, one of the most common and deadliest forms of air pollution, with an eye toward imposing tough new rules on emissions from power plants, factories and other industrial facilities. Read more here.
In Dwight, we are in the 85th percentile in CT for this deadly particulate matter. We are in the 90th percentile in New England and in the 74th percentile in the nation.
See data from EPA here.
YOU LIVE HERE. GET INVOLVED.
SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1-3 PM
Update: Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped make this an egg-cellent event. We were hop-py to see you! Here's a slideshow of the fun!
Join us for this fun, free event! There will be games and activities for children and their families, including:
Easter Basket Giveaway
Photos with Easter Bunny
Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Bonnet Decorating and Parade
Books for Kids
Renee's Closet Clothing Giveaway
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 3-4:30 P.M.
UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who joined us for this event! Kids, families, and neighbors gathered around a Christmas tree to drink hot chocolate, eat delicious cookies and clementines, create holiday ornaments, and decorate the tree. Kids chose free books compliments of New Haven. At 4 p.m. when we turned on the lights, the park was filled with song as Tangled Up In Blue, Yale’s Folk Music Group, led a carol sing. It was heartwarming to see so many residents using the playground. Click here to see images from the event.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31 FROM 1-4
Update: Thank you to everyone who joined us for this event! Kids decorated pumpkins, played games, and trick or treated for candy, and enjoyed delicious food with their families. Thanks to all the organizations, businesses, and individuals who made our event possible. Here's a slideshow of the event.
Join us for this family friendly event! Food, music, sweets, and cider, including Chicken Wings from Mama Mary's Soul Food.
There will also be pumpkin decorating and games for kids!
Costumes welcome. Please wear a mask.
RENEE’S CLOSET, POP-UP VACCINATION CLINIC
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21
10 AM - 1 PM
Update: We had a wonderful event! Thanks to all who attended! Thanks to Griffin Health and our volunteers!
Free walk up vaccination clinic, and a clothing and back-to-school supplies giveaway.
Free and open to all!
MISS MAE'S SINGING AND STORYTELLING
SATURDAY, JUNE 12 AT 1:30 PM
Update: Thanks to everyone who joined us for this event, and to Miss Mae for her wonderful stories and songs.
Miss Mae will be in Kensington Playground! Join us for this free, fun kids event. Refreshments provided. Bring a chair.
Miss Mae is part of Arts and Ideas Festival's "Arts on Call
RENEÉ'S CLOSET, A CLOTHING GIVEAWAY
SATURDAY MAY 22, 10 AM - 1 PM
Update: Thank you to everyone who joins us for this great event. We gave away lots of clothing, books, and household items -- All free! Some folks filled a bag, others shopped for a new outfit. Everyone snagged a deal.
SIDEWALK CHALK ART
SATURDAY, MAY 15, 10 AM
Update: Thank you to everyone who joined us for this fun event!
Drawing and painting with chalk in Kensington Playground! We had a wonderful time using stencils, chalk and spray chalk on the sidewalks of the park.
KID'S BICYCLE SAFETY CLINIC
SATURDAY 4/17 10 AM
13 kids left with bicycles, helmets, lights, locks, and the skills to ride safety. Friends of Kensington Playground is grateful to all of the sponsors and individuals that made this event possible, including: Bikes for Kids, Chapel West, The Devil's Gear Bike Shop, Kryptonite Bike Locks, New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation, St Martin de Porres Church, and Upon This Rock Ministries, Paul Hammer, and Joel La Chance.
FOOD PANTRY, EASTER BASKET GIVEAWAY
SATURDAY 4/3 AT 10 AM
UPDATE: We had a wonderful event in the park. We met many new neighbor, lots of kids, and saw old friends.
Thanks to all who participated, and to Upon This Rock Ministries for holding the food pantry.
SATURDAY 11/21 AT 10 AM
Update: Thanks to everyone who came out to rake leaves with us. We have had a great time: terrific weather in the fall weather, meeting new neighbors, and
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.
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.
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.
Please wear a mask.
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.
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.
WHO WE ARE
We meet on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Friends of Kensington Playground are a group of neighbors concerned about the sale of Kensington Playground. Despite outcry from the neighborhood, the City of New Haven voted to sell our park for $1 to The Community Builders (TCB), so that a 15-unit apartment building and a 15-space surface parking lot could be built on the parkland. Because 8 existing TCB apartments will be converted to TCB office space, there is a net gain of only 7 units
We campaigned against the sale at numerous city meetings, collected signatures and testimony against the sale, and door knocked to make residents aware of the sale.
In November 2020, we filed a lawsuit against the city over the sale citing CEPA and 7131-n. Separately, we also requested a NEPA review (since federal monies will fund the apartment building construction) and a Section 106 review (since the playground is within our historic district).
To join us and get involved, reach out to us through the contact button.
The Friends of Kensington Playground’s statement on the Oct 19, 2020, 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."
BECOME A MEMBER
Join Our Organization
Submit the form below to join Friends of Kensington Playground. Help us save and improve Kensington Playground.
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” — Nelson Mandela
CONTACT THE FRIENDS OF KENSINGTON PLAYGROUND
25 Kensington Street, New Haven CT