Community Greenspace Turns 25

Celebrating 25 years of Community Greenspace

Beautifying Neighborhoods and Engaging Residents

Community partners celebrate a quarter century of the Community Greenspace program. Photo credit: Maya McFadden, New Haven Independent.

For many years, the corner of Hazel Street and Shelton Avenue was an infamous blighted vacant lot known as "the mudhole." Now it is an inviting public garden, landscaped by dedicated neighbors working with Community Greenspace. The transformation, and the 25-year birthday of the Community Greenspace program, was celebrated this summer by program partners, residents and city officials.

"We visualize this as a place where young people can sit down and do homework or read a book or a mother and father can bring their children," said Newhallville Alder Delphine Clyburn. "If we make our home a good place that we can enjoy with our families, that is a blessing to us." Read the New Haven Independent coverage of the birthday event.

The Community Foundation started the program in 1994 and turned over to Urban Resources Initiative (URI), which provides material supplies, technical advice, and hands-on training to residents involved in creating and maintaining the greenspaces. The Foundation has granted more than $1 million to Community Greenspace and the program has created more than 300 urban greenspace restoration projects throughout New Haven, and annually engages more than 1,000 residents.

To learn more about New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, visit its profile on

Did you know?

Individuals have less mental distress, less anxiety and depression, greater wellbeing and healthier cortisol profiles when living in urban areas with more greenspace compared with less greenspace. Source: The importance of greenspace for mental health.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.