With the roof and chimneys secure, Edgerton Park Conservancy improved the interior. The lecture room was repainted and the Horticultural Library was professionally cleaned--every book of its excellent collection. More improvements are in the planning stage. EPC hopes to expand the library into the vacated police office.
Hurricane Irene took a modest toll on the park, bringing down only one tree: a black oak. There were no injuries or damage to structures. Even Elm Shakespeare’s stage weathered the storm. In 2010, Edgerton Park sadly saw four black oaks removed from near the greenhouse complex because the trunks tested to be rotten inside at the base. Irene gave further evidence that their removal was an appropriate safety measure. EPC works with the New Haven Parks Department to keep the park as safe as possible. Before Sunday in the Park, EPC arranges for safety pruning in the busiest areas.
This year, in April, Urban Resources Initiative generously donated and planted seven new trees. Over the last three years, URI has donated 15 trees to the park and seven trees to the tree-line outside the perimeter wall.
G.R.O.W.E.R.S., a new horticultural program for handicapped adults, now occupies the west wing and headhouse, where Greenbrier had been for years. During the last year of its lease, Easter Seals operated a modified Greenbrier program and then closed. Greenbrier director Scott Hickman now directs the new agency, G.R.O.W.E.R.S., (a 501c3 with support from the Department of Development Services). Many Greenbrier workers have happily returned to Edgerton Park, which has been their home for many years. G.R.O.W.E.R.S. sells plants and keeps the greenhouse open for visitors seven days a week.
New Haven Farms occupies Room #4 (north wing, next to the Conservatory). They grow seedlings in the greenhouse for their urban farms in New Haven. NHFarms and EPC are still investigating the possible restoration of the NE corner of the park, where the Brewsters grew fruits and vegetables.
Rental greenhouse space for individuals is fully occupied, but the waiting list is short.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK
Sunday in the Park 2011 was a success. Coming up, on September 16, 2012, is the 25th anniversary fair. Proceeds from the fair continue to make it possible for EPC to take care of grounds and structures in the park.
SCHOOL GROUPS PROGRAM AND CONSERVATORY TOURS
Once again, the educational program for school groups was full. EPC’s docent tour has been a very popular, very successful program.