Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

New Pocket Park Created at Trailhead

The Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS® collaborated with community partners on a placemaking project in Rocky Hill, CT.

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.

A bench, bike filling station and bike rack at Dividend Pond Trails in Rocky Hill, CT

Photo courtesy of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS®

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.

Entrance to Dividend Pond Trails in Rocky Hill, CT

Photo courtesy of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS®

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.

Girls scout troops planting trees at Dividend Pond Trails in Rocky Hill, CT

Photo courtesy of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS®

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.

Rocky Hill town Mayor performing the ribbon cutting ceremony at Dividend Pond Trails along with the CEO and members of GHAR.

Photo courtesy of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS®

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.

Members of the Greater Hartford Realtors® photo op next to bench, bike trail, and bike filling station at Dividend Pond Trail

Photo courtesy of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS®

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.


Community Outreach Programs

Housing Opportunity Grant
Housing Opportunity Grants support state and local REALTOR® Associations’ affordable housing activities. The goal of the program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities by creating affordable housing

Smart Growth Grant
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger sense of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes.

NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

Placemaking Webinar Series
Our Placemaking Webinar Series will provide more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® were involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

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Smart Growth

The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task.