The next time you stop to smell the flowers in Hartford, thank Knox Parks and their host of volunteers for planting them. For over 40 years, this lone champion of Hartford’s environment has been transforming the city’s landscape one abandoned lot, city block, and neighborhood at a time. Whether through the 12 community gardens they organize, the hundreds of Hartford Blooms Pots they decorate the city with, or the many tree planting initiatives they plan with Hartford neighborhood groups, the Knox Parks Foundation strives to make your city beautiful.
The keystone of their many programs and projects is community involvement. Rather than showing up, planting some flowers, and leaving, Knox Parks’ mission is to teach communities how they can care for and improve their surroundings themselves. Community gardens provide a gathering place where city-dwellers can meet and grow food for their families. Neighborhoods band together to plant and then nurture their trees. So when you thank Knox Parks for planting those flowers, they might tell you to thank your neighbor for taking care of them.
Behind all this flora, two forces are regularly at work to keep the city green. The first, Knox Parks’ AmeriCorps Green Crew program, trains youth in horticulture, landscaping, and environmental stewardship while employing them to maintain Hartford’s green spaces and support Knox’s programs. The second, The Greater Hartford Green Team, is a volunteer network of urban and suburban residents who meet on the third Saturday of every month (weather permitting) to undertake a major environmental improvement project at various locations throughout Hartford. So the next time you stop to smell the flowers, call Knox Parks to thank them, then ask how you can help.
For more information or to make a donation visit www.knoxparks.org or call (860) 951-7694.
Save the Date: The Knox Parks Foundation will celebrate the Year of the Urban Tree with a fundraising gala on June 11 at The Hartford Insurance Group.