Does it matter if Elizabeth Park’s East Lawn in Hartford’s West End gets a makeover? I mean, the invitation said “Cocktails At Sunrise” and there it was, 6 p.m., a perfect summer evening with as nearly perfect a view of the city. Already looked really good to me!
Well it can be better, according to a tenacious group of West End residents, park supporters and city officials who are raising some money to spruce up the portion of the park that is best known for its glorious sunrises and its excellent snow sledding hill. And so on Saturday, the serious fundraising got underway to make it happen.
“It’s my neighborhood, I grew up here and now I own a home here,” explained task force member and Kenyon Street fixture, Brian Gallagher who was among the crowd that attended the event designed to bring awareness and cash to the project. “It’s a park for everyone and I want it to be the best it can be.”
A new play and splash area, new playground equipment, a new basketball court, new dogwood trees and restoration of the stone entrance on Prospect Avenue are just some of the plans. Spearheaded by the West End Community Association (WECA) and the Elizabeth Park Task Force, the city of Hartford has also thrown into the plan.
“The city is going to make a substantial contribution to the effort,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, still swinging his hips to the rumba he had enjoyed at the Hartford Jazz Festival over at Bushnell Park. “We have money for all of our parks,” emphasizing “no favoritism” for any of the city parks, even though he does live in the West End. “We will do as much as we can.”
The Pond House provided appetizers while a duet provided music and libations flowed freely.
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