Park & Nature Preserve
Please join us...
Six Lakes Park Coalition member organization CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut) will be holding two Home & Health Equity Community Listening Sessions on issues facing southern Hamden that will include discussions of Six Lakes. Time will be spent building relationships, doing public education, and listening to community members share their vision for building home & health equity in Hamden. Please join us:
Thursday, February 16th | 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8th | 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Whitneyville Branch Library Brundage Community Branch Library
For information on these sessions, as well as on a third session (to be scheduled) for Newhall residents impacted by structural/foundation home repair needs, please contact CONECT organizer A.J. Wallace at (951) 768-8858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up here to receive future alerts and support the Six Lakes movement: https://www.6lakes.org/contact-join-us
Who We Are:
A coalition of like-minded individuals and groups that have come together to preserve and make publicly available the 100-acre wildlife and aquatic resource of Six Lakes, otherwise known as the Olin Powder Farm, in southern Hamden.
We envision the establishment of a public nature park that fosters wildlife and drinking water conservation, promotes the well-being of those in surrounding communities, and cultivates the relationship between people and nature through environmental education.
This incomparable parcel of quiet natural space and beauty is nestled in the heart of southern Hamden and is also a part of an essential network of green spaces including Lake Whitney, the Mill River, and the Farmington Canal Trail. The Six Lakes Parks Alliance aims to work with the town of Hamden and surrounding community to preserve this green space and convert it into a public park.
Within the park boundaries, local residents would enjoy meandering paths through stands of majestic pines and mature oaks and around shallow ponds teeming with waterfowl, fish, and turtles. This natural space is an urban wildlife refuge where flora and fauna can thrive undisturbed by nearby human activity.
The Six Lakes Park Coalition seeks to facilitate the transformation of the 100-acre Olin Powder Farm into a park and nature preserve that maintains the ecological integrity of the area and aligns with the needs and interests of the Newhall neighborhood and wider Hamden community.
In realizing this mission, we are reminded of the words of Robert Bullard, the famous environmental justice advocate: “The middle class is demanding urban hiking trails and bicycle lanes while the poor don’t even have a way to get to the store. With childhood obesity higher among low-income minorities, their communities could also benefit from a hiking trail or a bicycle lane.” These words highlight the significant connection between the Powder Farm's cleanup and re-commissioning to the well-being of the Newhall community.
The Powder Farm is connected physically, hydrologically, and historically to the predominantly African American Newhall community located just south of the property. Pre-settlement, the Newhall neighborhood contained a significant inland wetlands marsh system that once flowed from south to north into the Six Lakes property. This marsh system was filled with industrial and municipal waste as a town and industrial landfill during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mid-century, the marshes were filled with municipal and toxic waste. They were later subdivided and developed with affordable homes that were marketed to working-class families. Most recently, this neighborhood endured the massive construction disruptions and the loss of a middle school following the necessary environmental cleanup of this toxic legacy, spearheaded by DEEP.
Thus, the Newhall community and Hamden reflect a larger national pattern of explicit racial segregation and environmental injustice. With this and the conclusion of the remediation process underway, we work to collaborate with the community in restoring both the ecological integrity and public ownership of the site.
Please consider joining us and our partners in realizing this 50-year dream of the Hamden Conservation Land Trust. Join our mailing list.