The Community Involvement Committee of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS® (GHAR) recently held a ribbon-cutting to reveal a pocket park that includes a bench, bike-filling station and bike rack at Dividend Pond Trails in Rocky Hill, CT.
This project began in October of 2021 and involved months of meeting and organizing with town officials, an area non-profit, and local girl scout troops. It was truly a collaborative project!
The area was an empty trailhead to miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. NAR’s Placemaking Grant money paid for the bench. The bench was purchased from a local non-profit Fresh Start, a community initiative that creates employment and training opportunities for economically disadvantaged residents.
Grant funds also covered the cement slab to the area and low-maintenance plantings that were done by two local girl scout troops. The girls earned a badge and learned about the flowering dog wood tree they helped to plant from our committee member who is also a master gardener.
The pocket park includes a bike tire filling station and bike rack, both donated by the Central Connecticut Health District (CCHD). The CCHD is a local health department that promotes and encourages healthy behaviors.
After coordinating with the Rocky Hill Department of Parks & Recreation, the date for the ribbon-cutting was set for June 4 to coincide with National Trails Day and NAR’s REALTORS® Volunteer Days. The committee invited local officials to attend. The state representative for Rocky Hill and the town mayor performed the ribbon-cutting. Members from the local Walk-Bike Rocky Hill group also attended, along with our CEO and members of GHAR.
To promote the new mountain bike trails, the committee gave away a free kid’s bike helmet after the ceremony and t-shirts were given to GHAR members in attendance.
At the conclusion of the ribbon-cutting, an organized trail walk began. One committee member’s child painted "kindness rocks" so that those on the trail walk could place them around the trails for others to see and enjoy.
A plaque was affixed to the bench noting the donation from Greater Hartford REALTORS® as a reminder to the public that "REALTORS® are Good Neighbors!" We strive to encourage, enrich, empower and enable the affinities that exist between the local community and the association. It was a great experience to work with so many different groups for the common goal—a pocket park that will provide helpful tools and support the growing mountain biking interest in the area.