Mermaids, Pirates To Hit West River
by Staff | Jul 13, 2012 11:49 am
Posted to: Citizen Contributions, Environment, West River
The third annual West River Water Fest will splash down at the Barnard Nature Center on Saturday.
Organizers Kathy Fay and Doreen Abubakar sent in the following details about the event, taking place from 1 to 4 p.m. at West River Memorial Park at the corner of Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Rt. 34:
The free event at Barnard Nature Center area will feature live sea and river animals, museum artifacts and natural objects like animal skulls kids can touch. Kayakers and canoeists are invited to bring their boats and join in the water exploration.
• A pre-festival cleanup in the park, and river cleanup for those bring their own small craft from 10 a.m. to noon
• Free guided family canoe rides during the festival and a guided group paddle to the new tide gates
• Incredible bird life viewed both from land and water, and explained by knowledgeable guides—herons, egrets, ospreys, cedar wax wings, woodpeckers and many other types of sea and land birds
• Activities for smaller children including kiddie pools and sprinklers, mermaids reading story books, arts and crafts, pirate tales, a water magic show and bike safety demonstration.
• Games and educational activities about the watershed ecosystem, global warming and sea level rise, watershed conservation efforts in Haiti, and the relationship between water use and agriculture. This year’s theme is from the United Nations World Water Day 2012: “We are thirsty because we are hungry.”
• A guided nature walk to the newly restored Duck Pond in Edgewood Park at the end of the day’s activities.
The Festival aims to engage residents in communities surrounding the West River: The Hill, West River, Westville, Edgewood and across the city and beyond. “By involving young people from New Haven neighborhoods with their watershed, we hope to inspire them to pursue further education and perhaps resource conservation or scientific careers,” said Doreen Abubakar, founder of the coalition of sponsoring organizations, the West River Watershed Partnership. Ms. Abubakar envisions the Festival one day stretching the entire length of the West River Memorial Park as local groups continue to find creative ways to join in celebrating the watershed.
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I will start off by saying that i am a wounded disabled AMERICAN VETERAN.We stopped by this festival with 6 children.As we pulled in we were stopped by a festival worker who said parking for the festival would be on the other side of the boulevard behind Barnard school.i showed her my handicap placard and explained i am only able to walk short distance due to my prosthetic brace and my use of a cane.without a thought she exclaimed still doesn’t'tout the many cars parked in the area saw an open spot and drove to it .a other worker said it would be fine to park there. as we started to disembark the first women ran down towards us yelling that she was going to block my vehicle in and have it towed.i reminded her it was a public park that we were in and let alone that i am a lifelong resident but a disabled VETERAN.SHE SAID NONE OF THAT MATTERS SHE WAS THE FESTIVAL ORGANIZER PAID 500 BUCKS TO RENT THE PARK AND DOESNT HAVE TO PROVIDE ANY HANDICAP ACCESSABILITY.At this point a person whom said he was a city rep showed up and saw what was happening and said i would need to move my car a little farther away than where it was.at this ppointwife wanted to leave she ffeltthreatened bullied and embarrassed and wanted to leave .ifeltvery hurt and angry that my children could not enjoy the day due to injuries that i suffered while defending OUR FREEDOMS.THE CITY OF NEW HAVEN HAS A RECENT HISTOY OF TRAMPLING ON THEIR CITIZENS CIVL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES,i feel mine were ssquasheda bugs.this woman oorganizershe was A city employee,but would not give her name.SHAME ON HER.A DAY FOR THE CHILDREN TURNED OUT TO BE A DAY OF DISGRACE.
Good Morning and thank you for your email. Below is the reply/statement I wrote that you may use to reply (if you so wish). Please edit as necessary. All the best!
The West River Water Festival planning committee is truly saddened and sorry to know that a handicap veteran and his family whom came to enjoy the day at the 3rd West River Water Festival, felt that his Civil Rights were affronted by the organizers. Thus, it is with our utmost respect and sincere regrets that we apologize for any miscommunication and misunderstanding regarding the parking in the area. We were mindful and tried to convey the issues of parking to this gentleman and all those who attended, however, we recognize that more could have been done, if there was a parking and handicap parking area assigned in this area of the park. Thus, we thank this gentleman for sharing his disappointing experience, and we want to assure him and future West River Water Festival goers that we will learn from this unfortunate incident and attempt to improve the parking and transportation experience next year.
The fish rots from the head….
This is another example of poor management by the DeStefano regime. When you hire based upon patronage rather than skill and talent, these are the types of people you get.
Next election is 15 months away. Come on, New Haven, you deserve better. Vote for change.
This is Kathy Fay, co-chair of the Water Festival planning committee. Reading the comment by nahavener, I feel deeply concerned about anything that might mar the wonderful festivities that took place Saturday. While I have no firsthand knowledge of the particular incident, we certainly want every guest to feel welcome and enjoy every moment of the festivities. I sincerely apologize if the actions or words of any of our volunteers or organizers were perceived as being disrespectful, as that was certainly not the intention.
We recognize that there is a lack of designated handicapped parking at the site, which is admittedly a challenge. We are working hard on coming up with some acceptable solutions to that problem in time for next year’s festival, and hope that the individual who was unable to enjoy himself would accept our invitation to give us a try again next year.
To SaveOurCity,I must point out that this event was not organized or staffed by City of New Haven staff or departments. The Parks Department graciously allowed the use of the park for the festival, which was organized by a hardworking group of volunteers whose commitment to providing a wonderful day of fun, family- oriented, teaching activities about our natural environment remains unparalleled.