Hartford Neighborhoods Offer Tours, Events On Saturday
Effort Designed To Promote West End, Asylum Hill
By JENNA CARLESSO
May 04, 2012
HARTFORD —— In an effort to promote the West End and Asylum Hill neighborhoods, several city organizations will hold activities Saturday designed to draw visitors and spark interaction among residents.
At 7 a.m., more than a dozen landscape architects and neighborhood residents will begin a design challenge, creating front yard gardens at 14 homes along Ashley Street. They'll have until noon to finish their creations, and will be judged on overall design.
The architects are donating their time for the event, said David Corrigan, projects manager at the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, a nonprofit group organizing the challenge. The Hartford Financial Services Group donated $25,000 to the effort, which was used for gardening materials such as mulch, compost and plants, and for the necessary equipment.
The Association of Professional Landscape Designers will award the winner $500.
Corrigan said city resident Michael McGarry came up with the idea after seeing a similar event in Buffalo, N.Y.
"We did it in part to beautify the streetscape, but it's also for community development," Corrigan said. "This has been very effective in drawing people out on the streets and getting them to interact with their neighbors. It does help build a more cohesive community."
From 10 a.m. to noon, the West End Civic Association will hold three walking tours, collectively known as Jane's Walk, named for the urban activist Jane Jacobs.
Two of the tours depart from United Methodist Church, 571 Farmington Ave., at 10 a.m. One will cover the area south of Farmington Avenue and the other will cover the Oxford/Whitney Historic District. A third tour, departing from the Connecticut Historical Society on Elizabeth Street at 10 a.m., will cover the area north of Farmington Avenue with an optional walk along the Park River nature trail.
The nearby Connecticut Historical Society at 1 Elizabeth St. is also offering free admission Saturday.
The Farmington-Asylum Business District will run guided tours of churches in the West End and Asylum Hill neighborhoods from noon to 2 p.m.
The churches are Grace Lutheran, at the corner of Woodland and Niles streets; Immanuel Congregational, at the corner of Farmington Avenue and Woodland Street; Saint Joseph Cathedral, at 140 Farmington Ave.; Trinity Episcopal, at 120 Sigourney St.; and United Methodist, at the corner of South Whitney Street and Farmington Avenue.
All of the events are free and open to the public. For more information about Jane's Walk, visit westend.org, and for information about the landscape design challenge, visit landscapedesignerschallenge.com.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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