Conservancy Improvements

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy is dedicated to improving Elizabeth Park and has a proven track record in the restoration and management of major projects in the Park, and in raising private funds and securing government and foundation grants for this purpose.

Conservancy Master Plan

In 2017, the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Park Conservancy adopted a Master Plan for Elizabeth Park. The Master Plan will guide development in the Park for the next five to seven years. The landscape architecture firm of Anne Penniman Associates LLC developed the Master Plan for the Conservancy. The Master Plan was funded by an Ignition Grant to the Conservancy from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, as well as supplemental grant funding from the Ethel F. Donaghue Trust for Elizabeth Park.

For a copy of the Master Plan, contact Christine Doty at

Anne Penniman and Associates has received recognition for their work on the Master Plan, including a 2018 Honor Award from the Connecticut Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects.

Notable recommendations (some of which the Conservancy has implemented) contained in the Master Plan include:

  • Restoration of the Park’s greenhouses is underway and slated for completion in spring 2023.
  • A new 75-car parking lot near the Visitor Center is now complete, with “street” lighting.
  • The first-ever Visitor Education and Welcome Center in Elizabeth Park opened in late September 2020, as a result of a successful fundraising campaign. The Garmany Visitor Center includes two informational kiosks, a welcome video, a variety of brochures, and a gift shop.
  • Construction of a new, permanent stage on the Rose Garden Lawn. The new stage has a roof, enabling us to bring in classical and jazz groups that cannot perform under the sun.
  • Construction of a pedestrian entrance at the Fern Street entrance, with an allée of flowering native trees along the path at a circle honoring the major donors.
  • Restoration of the pedestrian entranceway to the Park at the end of Wallbridge Road, completed in 2018.
  • Restoration of a walk along old-growth rhododendrons (the “Rhoady Walk”) in 2018.
  • Completion of the new Hosta Garden in 2018.
  • Uniform signage and pathways throughout the Park

First-ever Visitor Center in Elizabeth Park

The Elizabeth Park Conservancy has repurposed the Brownstone building off the main parking lot into a Visitor Center and is reconfiguring and adding to the parking areas near the Brownstone building.

The Brownstone building (now the Garmany Visitor Center in Elizabeth Park) was built in 1938. It is a historic building located next to the main parking lot. The architects began work in early February 2018, drawing up designs for the remodeling and repurposing of the Brownstone building and for the additional parking adjacent to the Center. Construction of the Center began in November 2019 and was completed in spring 2020.

The Garmany Visitor Center features information about Elizabeth Park and its history, a gift shop, and public restrooms.

If you are interested in supporting the Visitor Center, click here.

Other Projects in the Master Plan:

If you are interested in learning more about the Master Plan recommendations and/or think that you may wish to support a recommended project, please contact Christine Doty at 860-231-9443, ext. 102 or

Past Accomplishments: Restoration & Capital Projects

Capital improvement projects completed in the past are the following:

In 2015 through 2017:

  • Replacement of the completely worn-out irrigation system in the main Rose Garden
  • Completion, with a formal dedication ceremony in June, 2017, of the Heritage Rose Garden
  • Completion of the “Farmstead Project” in 2015, and complete restoration of the Conservancy’s “Putnam” greenhouse
  • Rebuilding of all the 100+ wooden benches in Elizabeth Park during 2014-2016
  • During 2015, three large fountains/aerators were installed in the pond
  • Refurbishing of the Julian and Edith Eddy Rock Garden

 Achievements prior to 2015 include the following:

  • Installation of the Perennial Garden Pavilion
  • Design and installation of the Perennial Garden
  • Renovation of Pond House Café & Banquet Hall
  • Renovation of the three Lord & Burnham Greenhouses
  • Relocation of the Conservancy’s “Putnam” Greenhouse
  • Renovation of the Rose Garden Gazebo
  • Replacement of the original 1904 Rose Garden Arches, Fences, Posts