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2022 Lecture Series

Past and Present Visions of the Thames

Thames River Heritage Park Foundation relies on members like you and donations from people like you to bridge the gap between grants, sponsorships, and ticket sales to present rich and stimulating programming and to support the authentic navy utility boats that connect the heritage sites on both sides of the Thames River. Your donation to support the lecture series and other programs in support of Thames River Heritage Park keeps these programs alive and is greatly appreciated. Admission – FREE

 

Research, Stewardship, and Opportunities …
National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) on the Thames
Jamie Vaudrey; Marine Ecosystems Ecologist and Modeler, Lead for the NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve in Connecticut, and Assistant Research Professor UConn Marine Sciences Dept.
Kevin O’Brien, Supervising Environmental Analyst, State of Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection
Thursday, 6/16/2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Conference Room at Fort Trumbull State Park

“Estuaries are among the nation’s most biologically rich and economically important ecosystems. These unique transition zones form where rivers meet the sea and Great Lakes. They provide social, economic, and environmental benefits for the entire country. These benefits, however, are dependent upon healthy, well-functioning estuarine habitats. This strong correlation between the health of estuaries and society’s economic and social well-being means that coastal conservation is driven by both ecological and societal needs.” Jamie Vaudrey, PhD – Department of Marine Sciences at University of Connecticut and Kevin O’Brien from the State of Connecticut’s Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection, discuss how NERR will advance estuary and coastal watershed management by delivering cutting-edge research, data, and tools to decision-makers along with an overview of the historic and current uses of and opportunities to “advance estuary and coastal watershed management by delivering cutting-edge research, data, and tools to increase education, stewardship, and protection of this valuable resource”.

COVID PrecautionsTo accommodate social distancing seating is limited and registration is required. At the current time, masks will be required inside, as well as proof of full vaccination. Unvaccinated participants must provide documented proof negative PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the session or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of the start of the program. Thank you for your cooperation.

* Thames River Heritage Park Foundation events via Zoom can accommodate up to 100 individual devices. If you plan on attending the virtual opening with others in your household, we recommend you do so from one device. Those unable to join the live opening due to the device capacity limit can email Cara Brennan, marketing & communications coordinator, at [email protected] to request the link to the recording on YouTube.

Strength, Resilience and Accomplishment …
Celebrating Black Heritage on the Thames
Nicole Thomas, Hempsted Houses
Tom Schuch, retired nonprofit executive and avid history researcher
Thursday, 2/24/2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

New London’s Black Heritage Trail celebrates three centuries of Black strength, resilience, and accomplishment. Some of the trail’s fifteen sites explore nationally known people or incidents. Others honor people who have been nearly forgotten. Nearly all describe the determination with which New London’s Black community overcame obstacles through personal courage and by founding institutions to meet its social, political, economic and spiritual needs. Together, the sites tell a story about Black life in New London while tying into larger stories about enslavement, the Great Migration and the struggle for civil rights. Nicole Thomas, director of the Hempsted Houses / CT Landmarks, will introduce New London’s new Black Heritage Trail and discuss the complex and, until recently, the practically buried history of enslaved and free Black citizens in the area. 

*Location changed from Fort Trumbull to virtual presentation via Zoom.

COVID Precautions: To accommodate social distancing seating is limited and registration is required. At the current time, masks will be required inside, as well as proof of full vaccination. Unvaccinated participants must provide documented proof negative PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the session or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of the start of the program. Thank you for your cooperation.

Céad Míle Fáilte or Need Not Apply … 
Remembering Irish & Exploring Present Day Immigration on the Thames
Leslie Evans, Executive Director, Avery-Copp House Museum
Thursday, 3/17/2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

“The refugees seeking haven in America were poor and disease-ridden. They threatened to take jobs away from Americans and strain welfare budgets. They practiced an alien religion and pledged allegiance to a foreign leader. They were bringing with them crime. They were accused of being rapists. And, worst of all, these undesirables were Irish.” Leslie Evans, executive director of the Avery Copp House, will provide an engaging look at young Irish immigrants who came to the USA in the mid-19th century, the challenges and discrimination they faced and will be joined by a guest speaker to look at recent refugee populations to the region and how their welcome has differed.

*  Location changed from Fort Trumbull to a virtual presentation via Zoom.

COVID Precautions: To accommodate social distancing seating is limited and registration is required. At the current time, masks will be required inside, as well as proof of full vaccination. Unvaccinated participants must provide documented proof negative PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the session or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of the start of the program. Thank you for your cooperation.

Media and Society Past and Present …
Journalism on the Thames
Greg Stone, Journalist and Author
Thursday, 4/21/2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Conference Room at Fort Trumbull State Park

“I believe a newspaper should be more than a business enterprise. It should also be the champion and protector of the public interest and defender of the people’s rights.” Theodore Bodenwein. A small panel of local journalists, led by Greg Stone (author of The Day Paper: The Story of One of America’s Last Independent Newspapers) will discuss the role of the media in the region’s history from the time of multiple (clearly partisan) newspapers, to today and the implications for our society and our democracy as the profession of journalism and The Day itself is threatened by uncensored and unrestricted news via social media and cable.

COVID Precautions: To accommodate social distancing seating is limited and registration is required. At the current time, masks will be required inside, as well as proof of full vaccination. Unvaccinated participants must provide documented proof negative PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the session or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of the start of the program. Thank you for your cooperation.

State Pier on the Thames …
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Brian Rogers, Research Librarian, Custom House
Thursday, 5/19/2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Conference Room at Fort Trumbull State Park

The building up of NL/Groton as a major port was long a vision of its founders and later generations. The rather checkered history of the building of State Pier, told by Custom House Research Library Brian Rogers, will look at this history as it developed.

State Pier Presentation Link

COVID Precautions: To accommodate social distancing seating is limited and registration is required. At the current time, masks will be required inside, as well as proof of full vaccination. Unvaccinated participants must provide documented proof negative PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the session or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of the start of the program. Thank you for your cooperation.

LECTURES FROM THE PAST

A Vision from the Past …
a “new London” on the Thames
by Walter William Woodward, Connecticut State Historian
Thursday, 1/27/2022 |  7:00 PM – 8:30 PM | via Zoom*

John Winthrop Jr. was one of the most important figures in seventeenth-century English America. Town founder, political leader, industrial projector, physician, and first colonial member of England’s Royal Society, Winthrop envisioned a “new London” in the heart of New England. Connecticut State Historian, Walter William Woodward, tells how Winthrop’s progressive (for his time) view of spiritual and scientific reform influenced New England culture and his vision for a “new London.”

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