It’s A Landslide!

Thomas MacMillan File Photo.Edgewood Park won a national election to get a new fruit orchard—by close to 10,000 votes more than the next closest community.

New Haven’s Friends of Edgewood Park formed just one team out of 120 in 20 states nationwide competing for the prize.

The prize: a grant from the Edy’s (as in ice cream) Fruit Tree Foundation’s “Communities Take Root” program. Contestants had to rally supporters to email votes continually over time to win the competition. Friends of Edgewood Park mustered some 33,000 votes.

Edy’s announced the results at midnight on its website.

The grant will pay for 44 new fruit trees in the 123-acre park—- returning a vital resource to one of the city’s true treasures.

“We will either plant the trees this Fall or next spring based on volunteer interest and getting a water source to the site,” reported Jessica Feinlab, an organizer of the Edgewood Park effort.

The city has offered to match the grant by planting trees in other parks.

Click here to read the Edy’s checklist of, in Feinleib’s words, “the things we will need to plant and how the day will go when we get to that point.”

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posted by: Westville neighbor on August 1, 2011  8:57am

That’s fantastic!! Now, if we can just make the park safe enough to walk through during the day, we’d be all set!

posted by: Nan Bartow on August 1, 2011  9:16am

Congratulations to Friends of Edgewood Park!  You never gave up.  Your park and other New Haven Parks will produce lovely flowers and fruit for the enjoyment of humans and animals for many years to come.

posted by: Seth P. on August 1, 2011  9:38am

Great!  The power of the vote has proven beneficial.  Congratulations Elm City!!!!

posted by: Semi Semi-Dikoko on August 1, 2011  9:56am

Thank You All!
We are truly indebted to all of New Haven for rallying behind this effort, our many friends across the state and even those across the country and the world with ties to the Elm City and who kept sending us encouragement, (via e-mails & social media), and their votes. The City of New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees, (the Director, the Landscape Architect, our friendly Rangers, and many more), wholeheartedly supported this project and we are appreciative for that as well.
The planting will take place towards the end of summer 2011. We are working with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation for a tentative planting date that can come as early as somewhere around Labor Day 2011, and we are truly excited!

Thank you again to all of you for supporting Edgewood Park, your neighborly parks, rivers, and public green spaces. We will keep you informed in a timely fashion.

Semi Semi-Dikoko
Friends of Edgewood Park

posted by: Josh Smith on August 1, 2011  11:21am

Is anyone going to set up an email list to let people know when the planting date is?  If so, please add me, because I’d like to volunteer to help, if far enough advance notice goes out, and if it’s on a weekend.  My email is new-haven-patriot-at-gmail-dot-com (Without the hyphens, and with the appropriate symbols included.  The way I wrote it out just helps disguise my email from spam robots. :)

posted by: Semi Semi-Dikoko on August 1, 2011  12:24pm

Josh, It is done!
Thank you so much for the support!

posted by: patricia kane on August 1, 2011  3:15pm

This park is a special urban treasure.
I walk my dogs there during the day and have never had a problem. People are generally friendly and there are many people with children enjoying the green space.
Parks are an important break from the noise and asphalt of our city.
They also contribute to mental health.
We all need to protect and nurture this magnificent inheritance.

posted by: Gabriel Da Silva on August 1, 2011  9:11pm

Congratulations to Friends of Edgewood Park! , Thank you for your hard work, Semi, Jessica and all that help make our city beautiful, for us and future generations

posted by: Elm St mama on August 1, 2011  9:12pm

Westville neighbor, one thing you can do to “make the park safe enough to walk through during the day”... is to actually walk through it during the day. I’m there all the time with kids or walking/jogging. It’s good to be aware and alert anywhere, but Edgewood Park seems to me to be a friendly place.

posted by: Sharon Lovett-Graff on August 1, 2011  10:06pm

Semi! You rock! Yeah Selima! Thanks to everyone who made this happen, not just for Edgewood Park but for the entire city of New Haven. Thanks to Bob Levine, for matching our efforts, and promising to plant additional fruit trees throughout the city of New Haven.
I hope that all our our Westville neighbors will join us in planting these trees! A busy park is a safe park!!

posted by: Lynn Smith on August 2, 2011  6:28am

Congrats to Friends of Edgewood Park!  Never doubt the power of a dedicated and active citizenry.  Can’t wait for the next chapter in this super story.

posted by: Whythebadrap? on August 2, 2011  11:52am

@Elm st mama:  You are correct.  The park is a nice place and people need to use it more.  The more people the safer it will be.

It would, however, be nice if the city actually had a park ranger walking or driving his cart through the park on occasion, ticketing those with dogs off leash, as a way of keeping ATVers out of the parks, and picking up garbage or writing tickets to those at the basketball court that put their litter on the ground rather than in the provided garbage cans.

posted by: Elaine Braffman on August 2, 2011  7:25pm

Wonderful and delicious news! Congrats to all from Semi to Stephanie and many others!
Let me know when you will be doing the planting I really would like to help out!

posted by: Stephanie FitzGerald on August 3, 2011  4:10pm

One way to volunteer to help plant and take care of the fruit trees is to sign up to receive regular emailings from Friends of Edgewood Park at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

posted by: Sherry Ellis on August 8, 2011  4:20pm

Hurray, I knew we could do it! Do we have a date yet? xoxoxo Sherry Ellis