About the Conservancy
Mission & Vision
Hartford & the Conservancy
Conservancy Improvements
Board of Directors and Staff
Conservancy Improvements

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy has a proven track record in restoring and managing major projects in the park and in raising private funds, securing government and foundation grants. Since 1977, the Conservancy has planned and managed restoration and capital improvements in collaboration with the City of Hartford, the State of Connecticut, the Ethel Donaghue Trust, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Connecticut Valley Garden Club, and other organizations. One of the first major improvements was the installation of an irrigation system for the two-and-a-half acre rose garden with over 450 interior and perimeter rose beds. Roses need water to thrive.

In 1990, Ethel Donaghue, a lifetime park neighbor, left a trust for capital improvements in the park. The Ethel F. Donaghue Trust for Elizabeth Park has enabled the Conservancy and the City to direct their efforts to include buildings and structures in the park as well as the gardens. These projects included fundraising efforts, facility design, contractor selection and supervision, negotiation with donors, permit procurement, construction meetings, engineering, and historical research on the part of the Conservancy. Below is a partial list of restoration and capital improvement projects including:

  • Installation of underground irrigation system for rose garden
  • Installation of the Perennial Garden pavilion
  • Renovation and rebuilding of Sunrise Overlook
  • Design and installation of the perennial garden
  • Installation of benches throughout the park
  • Design, installation, and renovation of Shade garden
  • Renovation of Pond House Café
  • Renovation of the three Lord & Burnham greenhouses
  • Relocation and installation of the Putnam greenhouse
  • Renovation of the Rose Garden gazebo
  • Renovation and redesign of parking area
  • Replacement of original 1904 rose garden arches Phase I and Phase II
  • Installation of a gardening shed
  • Renovation of the Shade Garden stone wall
  • Planting of 80 Kousa Dogwood trees along East Lawn track
  • Heritage Rose Garden renovation
  • New Play Ground on East Lawn

Conservancy Future Plans

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy will continue to make capital improvements, garden renovations, and grounds enhancements as part of their commitment to their mission. Elizabeth Park will always be a public park, and the Conservancy will continue to involve the City of Hartford as their partner and the public in the planning of any improvements.

In collaboration with the City of Hartford Department of Public Works, Parks Division, the Conservancy is currently embarking on the restoration of the “Farmstead,” a collection of historical buildings and structures. The renovations of the exteriors of the buildings will be completed by the end of 2015. The “Farmstead” includes the Caretakers Cottage (1875), the Gardner’s House (1897), the cold storage building (1910), the Greenhouses (1897), Brownstone Restrooms (1935), and the maintenance buildings (1935). This project’s financing combines City, State and private funding sources.

The Conservancy has plans for Master Tree Assessment and Re-Planting. The last tree assessment was completed in 1992, and with the October 2011 storm, many old, historic trees were lost. Along with the assessment, the plans include an update of the notable tree walk guide.

The Heritage Rose Garden renovation is almost completed, with the exception of a few details, which include an ADA path from the park road to garden, stone entrance columns, and new benches. Funded by the Connecticut Valley Garden Club, this garden is the home to Old Garden Roses. The completion of the Heritage Rose Garden is slated for 2016.

For questions or information, please call: 860-231-9443, ext. 104
or email us:

Christine Doty
President and CEO

Kathy Kraczkowsky
Co-Director of Park Operations


Elizabeth Park Conservancy
1561 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117
Map (directions)

Pond House Café
1555 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117
860.231.8823 / phone
Map (directions)
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