Our Mission 

To create a gathering place in Washington that invites friends and neighbors to relax, learn, play and share all that our community offers.


History of the Park

For decades, Vinnie’s Texaco Station occupied a prominent corner in the center of Washington Depot. When Vinnie retired and the Station closed, the property was placed on the market and sat empty for several years – an eyesore in the heart of the Depot. 2013: A small group of civic-minded local residents, led by four local businesspeople, Michael Ackerman, Barbara Bouyea, Denise Trevenen, and Peter Talbot; and local visionary John Millington, shared a dream: the purchase of the site of the garage and its transformation into a park, an events space and a vibrant community hub. Thanks to the generosity of 40 donors and, in particular, substantial gifts from Rita and Gus Hauser and the Gould Foundation; they closed on the $650,000 purchase in August, 2013; and renamed it The Park@One Green Hill. That winter, the Park hosted its first Holiday in the Depot event.

2014: In the spring, the Park was granted a 501(c)3 nonprofit status as the Washington Park Foundation, with a founding board of trustees that included Michael Ackerman, Barbara Bouyea, Peter Talbot and Denise Trevenen. Additional donors funded the commission of a 45-foot granite sculpture, “Currents”, by internationally renowned artist (and local resident) Mark Mennin.

No longer an abandoned lot, the Park began hosting additional local events, including a Washington Art Association sculpture exhibit featuring works by Mark Mennen and Michael Steiner, a tag sale to benefit local nonprofit ASAP and again December Holiday in the Depot festivities.

2015: In May, the Washington Park Foundation announced a $675,000 capital campaign to create a landscaped park and the refurbishment of the vacant gas station.

In the words of then Board President Douglas Day, “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of our construction phase, an important milestone that will soon allow Washington residents to see inspiring progress in the Depot. Our vision is clear, thanks to the input of area residents over the last two years. This project began as the dream of four local business owners in 2013, and started to become a reality after more than 40 generous Washington residents pooled together the funds to purchase the vacant gas station site. The Park@One Green Hill is now poised to become a thriving centerpiece of the town...”

In June, the Washington Park Foundation launched its first Saturday farmers market, now a seasonal institution in the Park and a major draw of full- and part-time resident into the center of Washington Depot during six months of the year. Once again, local townspeople rose to the occasion, contributing about $200,000 to the capital campaign. In October, the WPF announced the receipt of its largest Leadership gift from Judy Black, a 30-year member of the Litchfield County community. Ms. Black’s substantial gift completed the $400,000 building restoration budget, and fully funded and expanded the original landscaping concept, specifically incorporating thoughtfully planted gardens, featuring flowering trees, seasonal colors, winter greens and an assortment of perennials all designed by Ms. Black.

Importantly, in addition to her Leadership Gift, Ms. Black crafted a generational commitment to provide annual maintenance funds to support the landscaping requirements of the Park. The WPF agreed to rename the project The Judy Black Park and Gardens @ One Green Hill to honor Ms. Black’s Leadership Gift. Ms. Black expressed her enthusiasm for the project with these words, “After experiencing the wonders of Litchfield County for more than 30 years, it is gratifying to help bring this important project to fruition for the benefit of our entire community. Having enjoyed a lifelong passion for trees, shrubs and flowers, it has been fulfilling to design personally the gardens that will be planted at

One Green Hill in the spring of 2016. The creation of the gardens is a quest to share the most beautiful specimens I have ever seen. The gardens are designed to invite all to step away from worry and stress, offering people a place to relax, dream, be inspired and experience the continually unfolding wonders of nature. The gardens will be a gathering place to meet friends, to visit with neighbors, and a place for children to play and explore.” Upon Ms. Black’s death in November, 2015, the park was officially renamed The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens. 

 

 

2016 to the present: On September 25th, the WPF held a formal dedication of The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens. Over 250 people turned out to celebrate this new enhancement to the town. Speakers included Douglas Day, Board president; Elizabeth Esty, U.S. Congresswoman for the 5th District; Richard Schlosberg, Ms. Black’s husband, and Carolyn Setlow, a close friend of Ms. Black and a WPF trustee.

WPF Board continues to seek additional donations required to fund further enhancements for the building (which may include a catering kitchenette, state-of-the-art WiFi, an Audi-Visual system, an enhanced security system, etc.), as well as rich program offerings for the entire community. In the fall of 2016, the Board hired its first part-time employee, Katie Altadonna Morely, as Director of Program and Marketing. The calendar for 2017 is already filled with a wide variety of events, exhibits, and performances.

The Mission

As eloquently stated by Judy Black, the Park’s mission is to provide a central gathering place for local residents – both a place to relax and enjoy the wonders of nature as well as a venue for cultural and education experiences geared to all ages. The Park and refurbished garage were designed to host a farmers market, movie screenings, children’s activities and events, holiday festivities, cultural exhibits, and indoor and outdoor performances. In addition, it seeks to offer an attractive venue for other nonprofits to hold their own events, including meetings, performances, workshops and fundraisers. In these ways, the Washington Park Foundation hopes to enhance the quality of life of local townspeople and to support the economic development of the townand the success of local businesses.

With the announcement of the capital campaign, Fran Keilty, owner of The Hickory Stick Bookshop across the street from the Park, expressed excitement that the Park and events would attract people into the Depot. “The Park...will be a wonderful addition to Washington Depot, with its green space providing a welcoming centerpiece for all driving into and walking through the Depot. In addition, the remodeled garage right in the center of town and the plan to have it available as a resource to the community willbenefit all residents.”

In a congratulatory letter on the occasion of the Dedication of the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, U.S. Senator Christopher S. Murphy wrote,”...Connecticut is fortunate to have generous advocates and local leaders like the Washington Park Foundation to help beautify our towns and bring livable, playable recreation spaces into the lives of children and families... Thanks to the memory and kindness of people like Judy Black, this park’s Leadership Gift donor, generations of Washington residents will have a safe place to further their health, happiness and well-being.

The legacy of the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens will be found in the potential of those who use it, individuals who will be able to foster community with their neighbors in a place that encourages creativity, activity and a love of nature.”


Board Members

The Washington Park Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3, oversees the The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens. Our Board of Trustees represents  the broader Washington community. 

Denise Trevenen, President

Hilary Houldin, Vice President    

Pels Matthews, Vice President

Carolyn Setlow, Secretary

Douglas Day, Treasurer

 

   
 

Barbara Bouyea

Ronald Garfunkel  

Karyn Detje Sorce

Wilson Henley

Patrick Horan

Julie Loughran

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Book the Event Space

EVENT IDEAS

  • Meetings
  • Lectures
  • Performances
  • Catered Events
  • Networking events
  • Workshops

Contact

 


The Park in the News

Washington Park Foundation Announces $675,000 Capital Campaign, May 4, 2015

The Litchfield Country Times, May 27, 2015

The New Milford Spectrum, May 27, 2015

A Day of Dedication: Happening in The Hills

Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects Announces First Exhibit at The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens

Project renamed The Judy Black Park & Gardens @ One Green Hill

Republican American, June 21, 2015

Republican American, July 4, 2015

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