The Parks Division is responsible for maintaining the City of Hartford’s vast system of parks, fields, cemeteries, and trees, which provide a vibrant array of recreational activities and improved quality of life for the residents of Hartford and visitors. The parks division maintains 37 parks, and 2,300 acres of park land.
These functions include:
- Maintenance including lawn mowing, litter collection, vegetative plantings and athletic field preparation.
- Maintenance of horticultural medians, Elizabeth park green house, 70 athletic fields and 5 cemeteries.
- Maintenance of 20,000 street trees as well as forestry management of trees in parks and recreational areas.
- Permits and reservations for use of parks, athletic fields, weddings and events.
- Coordination and park preparation/cleaning for approximately 275 annual special events. Including the popular Hartford Jazz Festival and the Red Dress Run for Women.
- Burials in 4 active cemeteries (including Soldier’s Field), burial listings, and cemetery archives.
- Snow and ice removal from city building sidewalks and parking lots, day cares, recreational centers and park sidewalks.
Hartford parks and open spaces serve as valuable amenities for the City’s residents, businesses, regional visitors, and tourists from abroad. The multifaceted benefits of Hartford’s parks include a range of recreational fields for organized sports, scenic pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians, swimming pools, boat launches, equestrian trails, golf courses, playscapes for children, gardening, and other healthy opportunities for social interaction.
Hartford has 46 parks and parkettes, plus five cemeteries, totaling 2,259.5 acres.
Hartford’s facilities range from large parks like Bushnell, Pope, Keney, Colt and Goodwin to small neighborhood parks and greens like Campfield Green and Franklin Square Park.
Hartford Parks system is of great historic significance to the evolution of American public parks. Pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was a native of the city and his firm played a key role in planning Hartford’s park system. Six of Hartford’s parks are on the National Register of Historic Places: Bushnell Park, Keney Park, Colt Park, Elizabeth Park, Sigourney Park, and Charter Oak Landing.
Hartford is blessed with the nation’s first publicly-funded municipal park, Bushnell Park (1854), as well as America’s the first municipal rose garden in Elizabeth Park.
Consists up to twenty-one members. These members include representatives of the active friends of parks groups and the remaining members are nominated by the Mayor and subject to approval by the Council on an at-large basis without regard to the neighborhood in which they reside. It provides input and feedback concerning the use of parks by the general public, park management, and park policies and recreation program formulation to the Director of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation. It is to have working relationships with schools, community and civic organizations and provide the general public with information and education as regards recreation and park maintenance. The Commission serves as the contact point for the public to express their opinions and requests relative to recreational programming in Hartford. The commission meets the last Tuesday of every month. These meetings are open to the public.