Urban Oasis on the Trail

When you think of a wildlife refuge you might picture vast wilderness far away from people, however we are building a new type of refuge, a small stewarded wild area built to forge connections between nature and urban people. This new Urban Oasis is right on the Mill River Trail. This summer volunteers have planted eight trees and numerous bushes. Although small this area makes an important contribution to enhancing biodiversity, improve water quality and increasing habitat connectivity. To inform and inspire trail goers there will be an educational sign posted about the river, and the urban / nature connection.

The design of the garden was created with partners at Reed Hilderbrand, with plants selected in consultation with URI and Audubon Connecticut for their benefit as animal habitat and to enhance the experience for people traveling the trail. The money for plants and project support was provided by Audubon Connecticut. An intern and on-site logistical support for the plantings was provided by the Urban Resources Initiative. The Yale Peabody Museum will work with the site team to develop an interpretive sign to educate and inspire visitors. Radiall, the company neighboring the Urban Oasis area agreed to help by providing water. The Urban Oases Program in New Haven receives support from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Disney Conservation Fund, Nestle Waters North America, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Our Urban Oasis is one of many across New Haven. The broad partnership making these spaces happen includes: Audubon Connecticut, the New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New Haven Departments of Education and Parks, Recreation and Trees, Common Ground High School, Urban Farm and Environmental Education Center, the Yale Peabody Museum and USFWS, New Haven City Planning Department and City of New Haven.

Volunteers, have planted the trees for this year, but we need more help. To get the trees started right we need to water them twice a week. We also have goals this summer of :

  • Repairing the benches along the trail and

  • Improving erosion

  • Removing invasive

  • Sign design and erection

  • Trail building with City of New Haven

  • Keeping the trail litter free, and

  • Outreach to neighbors

We will be out there on the trail every Thursday at 5pm till the leaves fall, if you would like to volunteer come join us. If you are interested in helping water 10am on Mondays email info@millrivertrail.com

We invite you to walk the segment of the trail we have been working on and check out the achievements so far.