With support from the West End Civic Association, a map of points throughout the neighborhood has been developed to identify how backyards, lawns, and neighborhood landscapes effect urban watersheds, especially with respect to the North Branch Park River ecosystem. These map points were added to an interactive watershed map that includes points from the Mary Miss: City as Living Laboratory field installation along the North Branch at the University of Hartford – and points along Trout Brook.
The West End neighborhood map points are based primarily upon 12 characteristics that are integral to the neighborhood: 1) North Branch of Park River; 2) Landscapes of the stream corridors; 3) Heritage trees and forests; 4) Lost landscapes, such as meadows, former ponds, and intermittent streams; 5) Parking lots and transportation; 6) Recreational fields; 7) Invasive plants; 8.) Vegetation between properties, which provide micro-habitats like a hedge rows; 9) Storm water drainage patterns; 10) Lawns; 11) Community gardens (existing and proposed); and 12) Edible landscapes. The Blue-Green map will hopefully generate community conversations about how the West End can further enhance our neighborhood habitat and quality of life.
The project included two neighborhood walks as well as a survey of interests, observations, and habits that connect us to nature within the neighborhood. Please feel welcome to contact Mary with any additional comments.
Over 700 communities nationally and internationally have participated in creating local green guides that highlight features that make livable cities. New Haven City Plan and Yale Urban Resources Institute have recently produced a third online and print edition of the New Haven Green Map, which was first published in 2004. See http://www.greenmap.org/greenhouse/en/home for more information about the “green map” movement. The West End Civic Association Neighborhood Blue-Green map project focuses on environmental habitat that is related to water cycle, that is the relationships between landscapes, the built environment and water features, such as the North Branch of the Park River (or the pond at Elizabeth Park). The West End neighborhood map-point information has been added to a watershed wide map. To review the whole Park Watershed interactive map, click here.