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The Norwalk Green: A Community Space

Letters to the editor. Send signed letters to Nancy@NancyOnNorwalk.com with a suggested headline.

In this time of hope and goodwill, Norwalk boasts a wonderful community space, the Norwalk Green. Dating back to the 1800s, the Norwalk Green was the center of all community activity in Norwalk. Just up the hill from the commercial hub around the head of the Norwalk Harbor, it was a public common space where residents gathered, worshiped, and even grazed livestock. In the decades following WWII, however, activity on the Green dwindled as the streets surrounding it filled with every-increasing car traffic. Cut off from the neighborhoods around it, the Green slowly transformed from a classic New England community space to little more than a leafy, well-kept traffic island. 


Recently, though, that trend has been reversing. Over the past three years, the Norwalk Green has been the site of numerous community-oriented events bringing many hundreds of residents and visitors together to enjoy nature, music, local events, and friendship. One event at a time, our vision for a community space on the Green has become a reality, and we’d like to keep it going.


Making the Norwalk Green area safer for pedestrians and bicyclists while maintaining access for car traffic is a big goal, and it involves the input of many non-profit groups, faith communities, business owners and residents as well as the City of Norwalk’s Dept. of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking (TMP). Over the coming years this historic area of Norwalk will become a safer, more walkable, popular and important public meeting place for Norwalk residents, with
close proximity to Wall Street.


Our Norwalk Green is once again playing an important role in our society and is now the frequent site of vigils, parades, concerts, campaigns, protests and community gatherings of all sorts. This popular gathering place is critical to our growing a more vibrant, diverse and youthful Norwalk community.

(Contributed)


Recent and upcoming free, family-friendly community events on and around the Green include the following:

  • Two weeks ago, the third annual “Gratitude on the Green” was held at the Norwalk Green gazebo featuring a performance by students from the new Norwalk Conservatory of the Arts. It was a fun evening!
  • This Fri., Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., the First Taxing District hosts the annual “Tree Lighting on the Green.” Afterwards, everyone is invited to St. Paul’s across the street for a bonfire and hot apple cider and cookies. The doors will be open at 6pm for a festive organ concert. Friday is also the opening night of the St. Paul’s Holiday Market.
  • Saturday from 11:30-1:30, the public is invited to enjoy “Café For a Day” at St. Paul’s, a seasonal lunch with a French flair. And, to top it off, enjoy viewing the photo exhibit in the gallery featuring the natural beauty of Norwalk by three Norwalk Land Trust photographers. 
  • Thursday, Dec. 14, at 5 p.m., the public is invited to light the Chanukah menorah in front of Congregation Beth El (109 East Avenue, in parking lot behind the building), bringing bright light and music to the darkest days of the year.  
  • The third annual “Earth Day on the Green” will be held on Sat., April 20. Save the date!


To host events or get involved with the Norwalk Green community, please contact the First Taxing District or Norwalk Green Association:
[email protected]
[email protected]

The Norwalk Green is a highly visible part of Norwalk, a great venue, a beautiful open space for community gatherings and the health of our environment, and a link to other vibrant neighborhoods. Now more than ever, we need a friendly community gathering place. See you on the Green sometime soon, perhaps on Friday evening!


Rev. Tamara Moreland, First Congregational Church

Rev. Daniel Simons and Audrey Cozzarin, St. Paul’s on the Green

Rabbi Ita Paskind, Congregation Beth El

Brad & Tracy Craighead, Norwalk Green Association

Tanner Thompson, Bike/Walk Commission

Jalin Sead, Common Council member and First Taxing District Commissioner

Diane Jellerette, Norwalk Historical Society

Comments

2 responses to “The Norwalk Green: A Community Space”

  1. Benjamin Hanpeter

    Great letter! I too hope to see the neighborhood around the Green become safer and more accessible to people walking and biking. The Common Council should allocate the remaining funding needed to complete the East Ave corridor study, so we can finally fix the dangerous situation around the Green and East Norwalk more generally.

  2. Our unique partnership of community leaders was the result of small, Covid-era gatherings in safe, convenient outdoor space and an ongoing goal to bring more people together as part of revitalizing this iconic part of central Norwalk.

    None of this would have been possible without the First Taxing District and the City of Norwalk’s support and encouragement.

    We look forward to partnering on future events and working towards a series of solutions that provide safe pedestrian passage around The Green and an improved road re-design of the East Avenue Corridor between Rt 1 and I-95.

    Thank You.

    Brad Craighead
    Norwalk Green Association

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