Elizabeth Park is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works, Park Division, of the City of Hartford, with support and operational assistance from the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. Although over 80 percent of the park is physically located in West Hartford, the park land is owned by Hartford. The City of Hartford retains control and policy responsibility for Elizabeth Park.
The City of Hartford and the Conservancy have a public-private partnership that ensures the continuing maintenance of the gardens and grounds, restoration of buildings and structures, and public events. Their collaboration is a model on how a municipality and a community group can work together for a common purpose.
Under a license agreement between the City and the Conservancy, the City of Hartford outlines a framework for the Conservancy to operate in the park. This includes overseeing the gardens, grounds, and capital improvements, use of volunteers and contractors, as well as programs for visitors and management of the Pond House Café.
The city members of the DPW Park Division and the Conservancy meet quarterly to plan new projects, assess the past season, solve problems, and outline the park work for the next quarter. The city park supervisor and the Conservancy’s manager of gardens and grounds communicate on a daily basis for routine garden care, to address problems, and allocate city and Conservancy resources. As more of the park is restored and the cost of caring for it continues to grow, the teamwork of the City and the Conservancy is crucial to the success.