Since its inception, the TRHP vision has been to engage the public in programming and events that promote heritage and culture. We have taken a giant step toward making this a reality by developing a formal agreement with the heritage and cultural sites and institutions in the Park to begin this work. Our agreement provides benefits to our Partner Sites such as promotion on our website, inclusion in our Map & Guide and in our social media, and the right to identify themselves as a TRHP Partner using our logo. It also calls for similar reciprocity by the Partner Sites to help promote the Park. A fundamental component to the agreement is the inclusion of the Partner Sites representatives to be directly involved in designing and implementing collaborative initiatives. We will soon be on our way to developing programming and events to improve the Park experience and building more awareness of all we have to offer.
Chap Hanley, Atlantic Broadband VP and General Manager, (center) was on hand to present New London Public Library with two Water Taxi Season Passes for library patrons to use. Shown from left Suzanne Mazursky, New London Public Library Director and Amy Perry, TRHP Executive Director. Through ABB’s generosity, and that of Poppy & Rye Bakery in Norwich and Groton Utilities, patrons of eight New London County libraries can sign out the passes and hop on the water taxi to visit the sites, dine, shop or just enjoy being on the water. The other libraries that have Water Taxi Season Passes include Waterford, East Lyme, Groton, Bill Memorial in Groton, Preston, Slater Library in Jewett City, and Otis Library in Norwich.
Our new Park Ambassador Program is just getting underway. Two students from STEM Magnet School in New London Gianna Rubino and Mia Dorcely, were chosen through an application process that was coordinated by our Park Ambassador Program partner New England Sailing and Science (NESS). The Program gives these students an opportunity to learn about our local history, answer passenger questions about the area, and assist the water taxi mates. As part of the Ambassador Program Mia and Gianna earned their Power Boating Certification through NESS.
In collaboration with Sea Grant and with support from The Day the Thames River Quest – the first undertaking of this kind for the Park – held Saturday, June 2nd was an outstanding success with approximately 150 participants enjoying three scavenger hunts located at each taxi landing site.
Friends and families put their heads together to follow the word clues leading to the final prize. Most, if not all, of the participants rode the water taxi, which was free between 10 am and noon, in search of another quest. Participants who sent in a photo showing they completed the quest or who made a journal entry at the final location were entered into a prize drawing. June’s prize – a TRHP custom ornament generously donated by Flavours of Life – went to Heidi DeCosta. The Quests are self-guided and can be easily followed by kids ten and older along with a supervising adult. You can download them here.
On Groton Bank Day, Saturday, June 9th, which coincided with the Annual Family Festival at Waterfront Park, over 850 people rode the water taxi courtesy of Electric Boat’s sponsorship. That number represents our boat filled to capacity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It was pretty exciting to witness.
Is summer ever going to arrive? I’m ready to hang up the fleece jacket and complain about the heat. Fortunately, the cool temps haven’t kept folks away from riding the water taxi and enjoying the wonderful sites in the Park. Over 1600 people have hopped on board to visit sites, have lunch or dinner, go to an event, or just enjoy some time on the water. To give you some perspective, last season we had just over 2,200 riders. Here we are still in June and approaching that number. People are obviously finding out how enjoyable the Thames River Heritage Park experience is. Those of you reading this who have taken a ride, I hope you’re holding onto your water taxi ticket to take advantage of all the great Ride & Save offers your water taxi ticket gets you. If you haven’t, the discounts alone make it worth it to buy another ticket. With all the added value they also make a great gift! We had dinner at On the Waterfront last week and got $5 off each of our meals by showing our season passes. That’s half the cost of a ticket right there. So, take ride, enjoy our little pocket of the world and enjoy some great deals along the way.