Meet Your City: Small Parks

Charter Oak Landing

Why should Hartford’s large parks get all the glory? We have numerous playscapes and green areas with places to sit down.

Columbus Park: On Franklin Avenue between Bolton and Victoria Streets, there are tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a space for soccer games. Playground, water playground, and a rec center, plus, the Italian flag.

Campfield Green, Campfield Memorial Grounds, and Barry Square: These are on Campfield Ave where it crosses Maple Avenue and a bunch of other streets. Interesting if you like to stand in a space the size of a postage stamp and look at monuments.

Forster Heights Playground in South West neighborhood

Forster Heights Playground: Besides having a tongue slide on the playground, there is a water playground, basketball court, and enough room for people to picnic or toss a ball around. This is way the heck out, off of Amherst Street, next to Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Hyland Park: Mostly baseball fields, a playscape, and water playground between Fairfield Avenue, New Britain Avenue, Ansonia Street, and Monroe Street. There’s also a basketball court, t-ball field, and rec center.

Rocky Ridge Park: Crossing New Britain Avenue, this park is between Zion Street and Summit Street. Football and softball field, and playground. What makes this one interesting is the … wait for it … rocky ridge.

Rice Heights Playground: Large open space between Brookfield Street and Flatbush Avenue. There is a playground at Breakthrough Magnet School.

Day Park in Parkville

Bond Street Parkette: Some grass, some benches.

The Other Pope Parks: These are all part of Pope Park, but not always recognized as that. Pope Park North (also called “Baby Pope” for who knows what reason) is between Park Terrace, Russ Street, and Putnam Street. It was renovated a few years ago, removing the ridiculous tennis courts that had not likely seen a tennis match played on them in decades. It’s mostly a field with walking paths, plus a playground, water playground, basketball court, and some places to sit. Lots of shade from the trees here. Bankside Grove is between Park Terrace, Park Street, and Laurel Street. It was recently cleared of much debris, but has a ways to go. It is primarily a wooded and natural area with paths. Pope Park West is between Park Street, Pope Park Highway, Hamilton Street, and I-84. This has an amphitheater with sculptures.

Secret Laurel Street Park: It’s technically a private park north of Park Place Towers. Nice landscaping, places to sit down, tables, a walking loop, and basketball and tennis courts.

Charter Oak Landing: Boat launch, playground, and picnic tables. People go fishing down here. There is a path connecting it to Riverside Park. Nearby, you can catch the steps or ramp for crossing the Charter Oak Bridge on foot or by bicycle.

Secret Laurel Street Park in Frog Hollow

Dillon Stadium: Soccer and football on Huyshope Avenue.

Barnard Park/South Green: Between Main and Wyllys Streets, there are benches.

Porter Memorial Park: On Wyllys Street by Groton Street. There are benches. Much quieter than Barnard Park, even though it’s just a few steps away.

Charter Oak Memorial Park: So tiny! It is entirely fenced off and contains a monument. This is at the corner of Charter Oak Avenue and Charter Oak Place. Can you guess what the monument is for?

Pulaski Mall: This is a pedestrian-only path beginning on Main Street by the Pulaski monument by the Butler-McCook House, and ending at Columbus Boulevard. Tree-line walk with benches. There is a playground.

Burr Mall: This is the home of Stegosaurus, between City Hall and the Wadsworth. Otherwise, benches and grass. Sometimes, there’s a fountain.

Rice Heights Playground in Behind the Rocks neighborhood

Pulaski Circle: There is a monument in the center of the green space, but this is right where the Whitehead Highway spits out and is not pedestrian-friendly.

Buckingham Square Park: On Buckingham Street. Green space.

Hudson Street Park: Field and basketball court. Home of the tire tree.

New Ross, County Wexford Park: This actually has three sections. The middle part is Heaven, featuring the skate park and graffiti. The other two sections are west of Trumbull Street and east of Main Street. Those are filled with benches, rarely get used, and rarely experience spray paint art.

Rocky Ridge Park, Behind the Rocks neighborhood

Keney Memorial Tower: There’s a giant tower and some grass.

Quirk West Turf Field: Basketball and soccer. Albany Avenue between Edwards and Williams Streets.

Lozada Park: T-ball field, basketball courts, playground, and water playground/spray pad between East, Seyms, Center, and Mather Streets. There’s a small monument/marker here.

Delucco Park/Playground: Playground and water playground between Bedford and Brook Streets. Plus basketball courts.

asphalt park: Not sure the name of this, but it’s on Albany Avenue between Magnolia and Irving: basketball court, picnic tables, mural. You will know it because of the severe fencing that surrounds the basketball area.

Aaron-Fein Square: Between Greenfield and Ridgefield Streets, just some grass, trees, and what looks like was the base to a monument.

Columbus Park in the South End

Marcus Garvey Place: at Granby and Cornwall, a monument and benches. This was recently renovated.

Annie Fisher Turf Field: baseball, football, soccer on Plainfield Street.

Cronin Park/Playground: Granby between Durham and Burnham. Playground and water playground. Soccer, football, and basketball.

Brackett Park: off Main Street between Earle and Westland. Basketball court and playground, plus community center.

Willie Ware Park: off Windsor Street between Warren and Loomis Streets. There’s a basketball court, rec center, playground, and water playground.

Turning Point Park: Between Farmington, Broad, and the highway. Not much happening here since they cleared all the Occupy Hartford tents out a few years ago, although a fun surprise is that Google Street View captured that moment. There is a monument explaining that the original Hartford Public High School was on this site.

Gallaudet Square: Between Broad, Farmington, and Asylum, this has the Alice Cogswell statue and a sculpture, plus some benches.

Connecticut State Capitol Park: Off Capitol Avenue at Broad Street by the Legislative Office Building and Armory. Some places to sit down. It’s a war memorial.

Sigourney Square Park in Asylum Hill

Liam E McGee Memorial Park: between Garden Street, Myrtle Street, and Fraser Place, this seems to be a private park for employees of The Hartford.

Sigourney Square Park: Between Sigourney, May, Ashley, and Sargeant. Basketball court, picnic tables and benches, playground and water playground.

Clemens Place Park: Not exactly a public park, but situated on Farmington Avenue, west of the Mark Twain House & Museum’s driveway. Residents from nearby apartment buildings use this as a space to walk dogs. On Tuesdays, this is the site of the West End Farmers’ Market.

No Name Park: Access from Sisson Avenue next to the fire station. Not much back here except some basketball hoops.

George H. Day Playground: Playscape and water playground, basketball court, and community garden boxes. Benches and picnic tables. This is between Arbor and Orange Streets.

There are no doubt other small parks that have neglected to make their way into their post. If you know of any (or know the actual name of what I’ve dubbed “asphalt park”) share in the comment section below.

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