dept. public works

Urban Birds Celebrated in Elizabeth Park

Audubon Sharon sharin’ “Mandala,” a Red-tailed Hawk

Audubon Connecticut and Park Watershed presented a celebration of migratory birds at Elizabeth Park on Thursday, in part to mark 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Besides a guided bird walk and the chance to check out some birds of prey, the event featured chats from national and local experts.

Scott Johnston, Chief of Bird Population Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, explained what sparked the need for the treaty. Unregulated hunting of birds, primarily for use in hats, impacted the populations. These hats included all, pieces of, or just feathers from egrets, herons, terns, owls, and hummingbirds.

Today, Hartford and New Haven are recognized as two of the 26 places in the United States designated as Urban Bird Treaty Cities, meaning they have committed to education and action. (more…)

Temporary Closure of Bushnell Park Playground

Citing numerous safety concerns, Hartford’s DPW will begin removing the playground in Bushnell Park on Monday, April 18. The map, amphitheater, and “literary picnic grove” will remain.

Bushnell Park Foundation and DPW intend to install an accessible playground, with construction starting in the fall. To pay for this, the Bushnell Park Foundation has set up a donation page.

In the meantime, there is a public playground located in Pulaski Mall, just south of Downtown.

Suggestion Box: Patching the Budget Hole

How we got here

The City of Hartford’s economic problems did not just happen. They did not spring up when Mayor Bronin was sworn into office. They did not emerge last year or even the year before that. (more…)

Cemetery Improvements on Horizon

Photo taken July 19, 2014

Those who regularly visit Zion Hill Cemetery see that gravestones there are routinely toppled and destroyed. Unlike Cedar Hill Cemetery, where visitors are frequent and staff are visible, Zion Hill does not get nearly that level of care and attention throughout the year, despite being a fraction of Cedar Hill’s size and having a police substation opposite one corner. Gates remain open after hours.

What is thought of as one cemetery between Zion, Ward, Affleck, and Allen is actually a patchwork of various cemeteries. The City of Hartford maintains some of this; the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Association of Jewish Cemeteries maintains the

Photo taken July 19, 2014

various other cemeteries found here. (more…)

Sprucing Up Bankside Grove

City vehicles have been spotted with growing frequency in the Bankside Grove section of Pope Park, with a major cleanup getting underway today. A few trees have been taken down in recent weeks, but today Mayor Bronin announced that DPW would be tackling the bulky waste that is often illegally dumped here, along with removing litter and understory vegetation.

According to the Mayor’s Office, this clean up is meant to “improve the attractiveness of the park along Park Terrace and enhance its ecological viability.” (more…)

Paving Schedules

paving schedule posted on the Department of Public Works website

Though Real Hartford announced the night-time construction on Park Street, many residents were caught completely off-guard. That is despite the City’s press release stating that it and SAMA (Spanish American Merchants Association) would be contacting Park Street business owners and landlords. We have heard from both area landlords and residents that they were not given notice. In an election year when the public is bombarded with a constant stream of information, it is easy for news about travel and sleep disruptions to get lost.

The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works has posted on its website some information about Spring road construction. As of May 21, 2015, the only dates listed are for the construction that began on Park Street earlier this week.

As it turns out, this is an incomplete list. (more…)

Parking Ban Update 2/2/15

Even though the parking ban was originally scheduled to last until 11p.m. with a four-hour grace period, the ban is now being lifted at 6p.m. and the City of Hartford says all vehicles must be removed from the authorized lots by 10 tonight.

If this seems like deja vu, it’s because the City of Hartford did essentially the same thing during the previous snow event — first announcing one time, then shortening it. Some residents are already suspicious about why vehicles were towed from school lots last week; the constantly changing time frames no doubt create more trust in local government.

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