Today is Thursday, June 4, 2020 – The Water Taxi is not running.  

Thames River Heritage Park

It’s not only the Water Taxi that’s embarking on a shakedown cruise . . .

The Communications Committee of the Transition Team met with Thames River Water Taxi Captain Jackie Dietrich last week, as we went over scheduling and pricing plans for the summer. The Water Taxi should be taking its “maiden voyage” on June 10th, and depending on passenger interest they’ll be adjusting their pick-up and drop-off schedule as the season progresses. But expect it to run from Friday to Sunday starting at 10AM and going till 9PM. One “loop” of the sites takes approximately an hour.

water taxi line drawing

Here’s a link to their schedule page.

One of the ways in which we hope that the public (that’s YOU), the heritage sites, and local businesses help us with as the summer progresses is by providing as much feedback as possible. This is the first Heritage Park in the state, and all of us are on a shakedown cruise—no one has done this before. We need your suggestions, comments, questions, concerns (praise is good too) on anything you can think of: park accessibility, hours of operation, water taxi issues, prices, signage, access to businesses, information services, transportation, lack of ice cream vendors . . . anything you can think of, let us know! We want to make this Heritage Park a success for everyone.

You can use the comments section of this blog, or visit our Facebook Page, or write write to us at info@thamesriverheritagepark.org.

Fort Trumbull Looking for Volunteers for Civil War Trust Park Day

“On Saturday, April 2, 2016, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America’s priceless battlefields, cemeteries and shrines. Park Day is the nationwide volunteer effort created by the Civil War Trust, underwritten with a grant from History™ and endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.” –The Hartford Courant

In New London, Fort Trumbull State Park and the Friends of Fort Trumbull will also be participating, and are hoping for lots of volunteers. Needs include cleanup, painting and minor repairs inside the fort and its grounds. For more information about Park Day at Fort Trumbull State Park, please contact Irving Moy by e-mail at irvingmoy@yahoo.com

WHEN:  April 2, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Fort Trumbull State Park, Visitors Center, 90 Walbach Street, New London, Connecticut

 

 

Report from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

TRHP Transition Team member and Communications Committee Chair Penny Parsekian, reporting from the “front lines” of the New London St. Patrick’s Day Parade today, where the water taxi float carried many members through the streets to greet its adoring public:

“Dave Crocker [of Crocker’s Boat Yard, where the water taxi is stored] did an awesome job bringing the boat to the parade. He has a motorized platform with little waves alongside, so we looked like a real float! Our boat was probably the largest thing in the parade, and riding high in the cockpit, we had a good view.

viewMarian [Galbraith], Chris [Cox], Brent [Eugenides] and his wife Robyn, Joe [Selinger], Deborah [Donovan], Mark Jalbert and I, and husband Geoff, plus some folks from Dave’s operation, made a good showing.

brentDave brought along hats and beads and foil wrapped chocolate coins to toss, so we all looked the part, though we refrained from tossing to follow the parade rules. Crowds lined Bank and State streets and cheered the water taxi. At the official reviewing stand, with the mayor and other officials, we were announced and praised for our good work.

DD

Marian got the water taxi signs from the Avery-Copp House, and they were secured to the sides and the back of the boat, so everyone knew who we were. We have now officially launched the marketing campaign!”

March 31 Forum will bring together Park site representatives and municipalities

The Thames River Heritage Park Transition Team will be holding an informational forum for key partners to discuss the new Heritage Park, the function of the Heritage Park Foundation, and how historic sites and municipalities can potentially benefit from the coordination and linkages that the new designation will provide.

The event, which is co-sponsored by the New London Day and Atlantic Broadband, will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 31 in the Oasis Room at the Garde Arts center in New London, and will feature Alan Plattus, director of the Yale Urban Design Workshop, who will present his blueprint for the park, and talk about the benefits of tying the various attraction together with a common theme, signage and programming.

Officials from the state departments of Energy and Environmental Protection, Transportation and Economic and Community Development have also been invited.

This Forum is a chance for representatives of the principal history/heritage organizations in the area as well as the staff and leadership of Groton Town, Groton City and New London, to become more aware of the program opportunities, current vision and progress as we establish together the Thames River Heritage Park.

As we expect that the Water Taxi will be in operation this summer, we believe the future growth and development of the Park will depend on the interests of its visitors, the programs and capacity of our area presenting institutions, and on the way we service our local and visiting audiences. Questions and answers will emerge; new ideas will come to light; some organizations will find new ways to attract larger audiences: we expect the Park will take several years to mature into a dynamic visitor experience.

We are confident that our collection of historical resources is excellent, and with the eventual addition of the Nautilus Museum and the Coast Guard Museum to the water shuttle service, and other likely additions, we are eager for our first year of operation.

Future forums and meetings with individual sites, arts and cultural organizations, and local businesses will follow throughout the coming months. It’s the goal of the Transition Team to have the Heritage Park be a collaborative effort with input and participation from all organizations and groups within the borderless park to help promote and encourage tourism, commerce, and preservation of the natural and historic resource that is the Thames River area.

The Yale Urban Design Study, by Alan Plattus, can be found here.

“This will be a chance to reacquaint people with the park and for them to hear from they who did the plan,” notes Transition Team Chair Chris Cox. “This will allow a wide variety of people to see this as an emerging, but real project; that we want their participation; and hope for imagination and strong partners going forward.”