Oak Hills Park is Site for AmericaWalks Grant
What do butterflies at Oak Hills Park in Norwalk and the underserved in our community have in common? Their common bond is the focus of a new grant we hope to be awarded. With a 3-way focus, the Norwalk Bike/Walk Commission is addressing environmental and public health needs through a set of grant applications. The Commission has applied for an AmericaWalks grant for a project set at Oak Hills Park.
The Norwalk Bike/Walk Commission has applied for this grant this grant, and its application will hopefully yield an award this month when announcements are made. The project seeks to bring together a number of Norwalk groups and departments to establish:
- A restorative meadow in Oak Hills Park
- A walking path in nature
- Transportation (accessibility) for the underserved
The Norwalk Bike/Walk Commission and its Pedestrian Committee with community groups such as Norwalk NAACP, SAVE Inc., the Norwalk Housing Authority, Norwalk Senior Center, Norwalk Pollinator Pathway, Norwalk Public Library and city offices/agencies such as Transportation, Mobility & Parking (TMP), Recreation & Parks, Oak Hills Park Authority, and the Health Department. Reaching out to our more underserved population is a goal, along with the restoration of a natural area.
The project site, Oak Hills Park in Norwalk, CT, features a stunning 18-hole public golf course and tennis center. However, it is its 11.5 acres of protected woodlands and open space nature area that will be the setting for this project. This nature area has an oval walking path which will, in fulfillment of the park’s 2016 master plan, meander in and out of a meadow. The ¼-acre meadow is planned to be established in Spring 2021. Funds are needed for materials and assistance in planting pollinator-friendly native plants.
Norwalk’s public transportation system and transportation services may not offer routes or be affordable for some residents to easily enjoy our parks and nature areas. Some residents, because of socio-economic reasons or aging, may benefit from the encouragement to visit Oak Hills Park. This new project seeks to provide transportation, at least for a set period of time, to make available perhaps for the first time for many people to enjoy this “hidden gem” in Norwalk. The effort to restore and establish a pollinator-friendly meadow follows the nationwide effort to create a “pollinator pathway” for the health of our bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife which need native habitat for migration and lifecycles. The walking path, threading in and out of the meadow, will delight visitors—and knowing it has a higher purpose, makes the walk even more enjoyable.
For more information, contact:
Co-Chair, Pedestrian Committee of Norwalk Bike-Walk Commission