A park grows in New Haven, with help from IKEA

IKEA donated $1 million for community initiated projects in Connecticut as a thank you to the state for the help it gave families during the pandemic, Alder Eli Sabin, D-7, said. The money will close the funding gap to transform the lot – now leased for $1 a year for 15 years, with an option to renew with the state Department of Transportation – from a neglected overgrown space and occasional trash dumping ground to one filled with seating and landscaped for public use. Two years ago the East Rock Community Management Team allocated $20,000 of its Neighborhood Improvement Program to get the idea off the ground. Another partner is Emerge, a group that provides job opportunities and other services for persons returning to the city from incarceration. They will be responsible for the demolition of the old fence and for construction of the gabion wall. City Bench will help build some of the furniture.


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