February 2022
Your copy of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association 'News & Views' has arrived! You will find that you can easily go to any subject in the table of contents by just clicking on it or just browse through the articles as you wish. Please have a look. 
Next Meeting

The next meeting is Monday February 7th at 6:15 PM. The meeting will be held utilizing Zoom software.
The Zoom e link for that meeting will be:

Dial-in Phone#: 1 646 558 8656    
Meeting ID: 452 191 5370    Passcode: 897273
From The Executive Director
David MacDonald
2022 will be a year of growth and action for AHNA
AHNA is beginning the New Year with the recently completed Neighborhood Strategic Plan and a busy agenda for 2022. The AHNA Board of Directors have reviewed the Strategic Plan and identified 8 key projects that will create the foundation needed to achieve the goals in the Strategic Plan. We urge you to attend the General Meeting at 6:15pm via Zoom. 

From The House

Highlighting Some Helpful New Laws

By Rep. Matt Ritter

A number of new state laws recently took effect with the new year, and I want to highlight one in particular that will help improve the lives of thousands of Connecticut families.
Beginning on January 1, employees became eligible for paid family and medical leave benefits under the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority Trust Fund established last year. 
Exploring Asylum Hill - Sewing in Asylum Hill
 By Bernie Michel
Back in 2015 the News & Views published a story about a sewing program at the Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club. By then it had become quite successful, with many girls and boys signing up to learn the basics of how to use a sewing machine to create something from cloth, for themselves. In the process of course, they also learned a few other lessons. 
Asylum Hill Then And Now
340 Farmington Avenue
Volunteer Of The Month - Fresh Start Pallet Products
By Bernie Michel
It’s been over five years since we reported on Fresh Start Pallet Products and volunteering. Then we talked about Dr. Ed Johnson, and we’re happy to report that he is still happily engaged there. This month we’re featuring Rich Carman, a very active board member and member of the executive committee. 
A Poem From Chair Of Our Green Committee

Our River’s Plea

by Lynn Johnson@2022

For thousands of years, I flowed between Willows, Oaks and Cottonwood.
Native peoples fished in my waters, and beavers built dams.
Birds filled the air with song.
Butterflies took nectar from the flowers along my banks.
Life was peaceful and unchanging,
until you who are pale of face arrived.

You created farms, and said you owned me.
You trapped the beaver for their fur.
You chopped down trees for your houses and barns.
Native people left in sorrow,
no longer able to live as they did before.

They had called me “Little River,”
knowing I ran to my mother in the East.
They understood my seasons.
When the Spring rains came,
they moved to higher ground.

More and more pale faces came.
You created roads,
and more buildings to house your produce.
You chopped down more trees to grow
your crops of corn and tobacco.

You called me the “Woods River,”
as I meandered through
the autumn trees of red and gold.
Now most of those forests are gone.

Then you built factories along my muddy banks.
You called me the “Mill River,
and used me as a dump for industrial waste.

Next you raised pigs alongside my shores.
You let their excrement seep into my waters.
I was becoming more and more polluted,
and my smell more putrid.
You called me the ”Hog River.

” When your Mark Twain moved to Hartford,
I was still beautiful.
He caught sight of me shining,
and built his house on a hill for that view.

Your Horace Bushnell tried to save me
by creating space in your city through which
I could flow, to my mother,
the Connecticut River.
Then you called me the “Park River.

” But you turned against me when my waters rose,
as they do every Spring.
You decided to bury me,
and spent millions of your dollars
to build concrete tunnels underneath the ground.
You forced me through them,
and most of me disappeared,
so an avenue full of cars is what
passes by the Twain home.
What is left of me above ground you call
“The North Branch of the Park River.”

Now your driveways and parking lots
are built on my floodplains.
When the Spring rains come,
what do you expect me to do?
You dump your dirty snow,
full of dog poop and oil from your cars,
into my waters.
How do you expect me to smell?

My champion, Mary Pelletier, fights for me.
She calls on you to restore my floodplains
She asks you to strengthen my banks
with pollinator plants and native trees.
She begs you to stop your waste water
from polluting mine.

Will I continue to be your dumping place,
or will you protect and clean my waters?
Will you give me room to shine and flow again?

It’s up to you.

Lynn Johnson has lived by the North Branch of the Park River for over twenty years. She is chair of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood’s Green Committe

Mary Pelletier is Director of www.parkwatershed.org

Events Calendar

Please click on the following link to go to our online Events Calendar.

From the Editor

If you have any comments, suggestions or submissions please contact me via email at communications@asylumhill.org 
Paul O'Mara Communications Committee Chair
Stay Connected

Send emails directly to AHNA at info@asyluhill.org

To visit our website click on the following link. AHNA Website

To visit our Facebook page go to 'Asylum Hill Living' group page.