Edition 4 of 6 (July 17 – July 23, 2018

Report compiled by Will Taft, NHS CB&O Summer Fellow

Community Building and Organizing Weekly Project Report

Community Gardens and Greenspaces
This week, Doreen launched free fishing courses at Beaver Pond Park,
one of the few public bodies of water designated for fishing in New
Haven. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
stocks the pond with trout and catfish throughout the year. On
Wednesday (July 18th), Doreen taught the basics of fishing to a group
of 42 students. On Saturday (July 21st), in partnership with Fixing
Fathers, a New Haven organization that works to strengthen father-
family bonds, Doreen hosted another fishing workshop for fathers and
their children. 32 people attended the workshop. The lessons
connect residents to a local greenspace and underutilized
community fishing site and build a coalition of community
members invested in the ecology of local waterways. To schedule
a fishing course with Doreen, call her at 203-415-3646.

At the Learning Corridor, Doreen and Haley honed their concrete
recipe for garden stepping stones. On Friday (July 20th), they
guided Newhallville Ambassadors through the process of creating
the stones so that the Ambassadors can teach younger students
how to make their own. Each student will place their customized
stone in the Learning Corridor garden. The stones and
beautification activities give the students a sense of ownership that
makes recurring visits to the garden more likely.

Doreen and Haley also began working closely with Newhallville
resident and gardener extraordinaire Mr. Alonzo (pictured below)
in the Learning Corridor garden (also known as the Hazel St.
garden). At 90 years old, Mr. Alonzo still tends to the community
garden almost
every day. He
sowed the
flourishing in
the garden this season: collard greens, callaloo, kale, tomatoes, corn,
squash, and herbs. In partnership with the Learning Corridor, Mr.
Alonzo will work as the Learning Corridor Garden Keeper. He will
continue to manage the garden and oversee plantings. His lifetime of
gardening wisdom and knowledge of urban horticulture in New Haven
will inform the lessons Doreen and Haley teach to visitors and student
groups. Mr. Alonzo already gave Haley tips to ensure the pumpkin
patch she planted with students on July 11th will be successful.
On Monday (July 23rd), rain prevented Haley and Doreen from
hosting an Explore.Discover.Create session at the Learning
Corridor. Haley and Doreen took programming they developed
at the Learning Corridor to the Harris and Tucker school.
Students planted personal pumpkin cups and used instructional
materials Haley drew.

Adam coordinated the delivery of a truck-load of wood chips to
Sherman Forest on Wednesday (July 18th). The wood chips will
be used to cover trails in the forest and protect trees from
weeds along the tree corridor that runs parallel to Sherman
Parkway. Adam will work with volunteer groups from the Yale
Law School and Yale first year preorientation programs to lay
the mulch.

On Wednesday (July 18th), Adam, Will, and Jared visited
resident Kim Martin who lives on Sherman Parkway. Kim can
view Sherman Forest from her home and has advocated for
park rehabilitation. The NHS team worked with Kim to bag and
clear yard trimmings from her backyard.

On Sunday (July 29th), the Mt. Zion Seventh-day Adventist
church is sponsoring a road ride with doctors on the
Farmington Canal Trail. Residents can stop at the Learning
Corridor at 10am to ride a bike and talk about healthier living
with a doctor from the Mt. Zion Health Ministry. Doreen
coordinated the event Kim Holmes-James who works at the Mt.
Zion Health Ministries.

Women’s Empowerment Mural
On Wednesday (July 18th), 12 New Haven Public School students who
are apprentices at Artspace this summer visited the Women’s
Empowerment Mural with their mentor Roberto Lugo. Doreen
coordinated the event. The students are working with Roberto to build
a large scale ceramics piece that will be showcased at Common
Ground Highschool. The group met with Kwadwo Adae, the artist
behind the Women’s Empowerment Mural, to discuss the motive for
the mural and the role of art in shaping social development. After
meeting with
Kwadwo, the
group walked
down the Farmington Canal Trail to the Learning Corridor to
discuss hosting a workshop on ceramics for Newhallville
residents. The meet-up demonstrated the potential for the mural
to inspire future programming and catalyze public art elsewhere
in the community.

In order of appearance from top…
1. A pumpkin plant sprouts in a raised gardening bed at the
Learning Corridor. Every seed Haley planted with Newhallville
Ambassadors and Harris and Tucker students last week has
sprouted at the Learning Corridor.
2. Newhallville resident and gardener extraordinaire Mr. Alonzo
stands in the Learning Corridor garden.
3. Students review an angler’s guide that outlines important
fishing regulations. Doreen provides the guide to attendees of
the fishing workshop.
4. Participants of the fishing workshop learn how to tie a clinch
knot, used to secure the hook to the line.
5. Haley teaches a group of Harris and Tucker students how to
start a pumpkin plant in a plastic cup.
6. Newhallville Ambassadors practice making concrete garden stepping stones at the Learning Corridor.
7. Kim Martin, Adam Rawlings, and Jonathan De Los Santos work to clear yard trimmings from Kim Martin’s backyard.
8. Kwadwo Adae speaks to students in the Artspace summer apprenticeship program at the Women’s Empowerment
9. Artspace apprentices, their mentor Roberto Lugo, and Doreen Abubakar at the Learning Corridor urban oasis.

What we are reading this week…
In this article, read about how bike advocacy can produce bike equity and how it often fails to do so. Doreen works to
bridge the gap between cycling infrastructure and Newhallville residents.

Read about Roberto Lugo’s work to empower communities of color through his ceramic art here. He visited the Women’s
Empowerment Mural with a group of students from Artspace on July 18th.

Want to get involved in any of these projects? Sign up to volunteer here: