Gov. Malloy Announces Funding to Make Renovations to the Historic Colt Park in Hartford
Funding Comes From Combination of Federal, State, and Local Grants
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that a combination of federal, state, and local grants will help make significant renovations to Hartford’s Colt Park that will allow residents to enjoy the historic site for years to come. He joined Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John B. Larson, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Robert Klee at the park this afternoon to make the announcement.
DEEP has received a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. National Park Service that it will pool with a $450,000 state grant and a $300,000 local grant from the City of Hartford for the upgrades. Funds will be used to make improvements to the park’s Roberto Clemente baseball field; renovate the north walkway access to fields, play areas, and the soccer pavilion; install two new softball fields and basketball courts; and complete the loop road of the park.
This funding comes on the heels of $10 million in state bond funding that was recently approved for upgrades at the adjacent Dillon Stadium.
“These important upgrades to Colt Park not only bring about an improved experience for residents, it will pave the way for more people to visit and enjoy Hartford,” Governor Malloy said. “The state’s investment in this project represents my administration’s continued commitment to the revitalization of our cities, creating economic activity, excitement, and increased well-being across Connecticut, and I thank our federal partners for their steadfast commitment to making these critical upgrades a reality. I am confident that Colt Park – one of our state’s most important historical landmarks – has a bright future.”
“For more than 100 years, Colt Park has been a community gathering spot and recreation area,” Lt. Governor Wyman said. “This investment ensures the park is restored and enjoyed by the generations to come. I want to thank Governor Malloy, our Congressional delegation, federal partners, and the City of Hartford for coming together to protect one of our historic landmarks and an important regional recreation site.”
“This significant federal grant will help enhance Colt Park, a unique historic treasure and cultural diamond in the rough,” Senator Blumenthal said. “Its value to the people of Connecticut and especially Hartford will be enduring and extraordinary. We must continue to fight for federal support to revitalize parks and historic places.”
“I jumped at the chance to open my Senate office at Colt Gateway because I wanted to be a part of reinventing this historic property,” Senator Chris Murphy said. “From my office window I’ve been able to see firsthand Coltsville’s dramatic transformation from an old industrial site into workspaces, apartments, and a national historic park. This new grant funding will help us continue to improve enhance Colt Park, ensuring that future generations can learn about Connecticut’s history and the role our state played in advancing the industrial revolution.”
“This is great news for the City of Hartford and the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood that will improve access to recreational opportunities for city residents and will serve to enhance the community and the neighboring Coltsville National Historical Park,” Congressman Larson said. “The Coalition to Strengthen the Shelden/Charter Oak Neighborhood, Friends of Colt Park, Friends of Coltsville, the City of Hartford, and DEEP have worked tirelessly to support Colt Park over the years – this is welcomed news that will build on their efforts. I am proud to have advocated for funding for Colt Park along with Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and continue to be a strong supporter in Congress of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps make conservation and recreation projects like this possible.”
“For more than a century, Colt Park has been a gem in Hartford’s South End – an historic park, designed for both active and passive recreation, and one of the most well-used parks in our beautiful parks system,” Mayor Bronin said. “This grant funding gives us the ability to make significant investments in upgrading Colt Park, from the fields to the walkways and entrances, and also grow the park’s tree canopy. I want to thank Congressman Larson and our entire federal delegation, Governor Malloy and his administration, and the Friends of Colt Park and the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission for all of their hard work over many months that helped us secure this grant.”
“Protection and enhancement of our outdoor spaces is at the heart of DEEP’s mission,” Commissioner Klee said. “This grant will help ensure that everyone, regardless of income level, will have the ability to purse outdoor recreation activities and enjoy a relaxing day in the park.”
“Coltsville National Historical Park is pleased that Colt park received a National Park Service grant,” James Woolsey, Superintendent of Coltsville National Historic Park, said. “This tangible investment in the neighborhood is part of the area’s rejuvenation. It will ensure the long-term preservation of the historic resources at Coltsville, but also make the site relevant for current generations by rebuilding the infrastructure of Colt Park. This project is a win all the way around.”
The park, located on Wethersfield Avenue, was gifted to the city of Hartford in 1905 with the purpose of being an amenity for the working class residents in the area, which it continues to do to this day.