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  • The Narrative Project

Dwight Community Unites for Annual Spring Cleanup

Updated: May 1, 2021


April 26, 2021 Ashlee Niedospial


New Haven, CT – Members of the Dwight community came together Saturday for an annual spring clean up hosted by the Greater Dwight Development Corporation (GDDC) and this year in collaboration with The Community Builders (TCB), Dwight Central Management Team (DCMT), and a wide range of community organizations.

Throughout the day, more than 30 volunteers from GDDC, TCB, Fellowship Place and the broader Dwight community broke into groups to cover different sections of the neighborhood for the annual event aimed at community building and neighborhood beautification.

“COVID has been so isolating and a lot of our community hasn’t seen each other. The event this year was really about bringing our community together,” said Linda Townsend-Maier, executive director of the Greater Dwight Development Corporation. “I was very excited to be outside, see flowers blooming and be around community members I haven’t been able to see in a long time.”

“Dwight is a neighborhood with a rich and vibrant history, and deserves our investment, care, and time into ensuring that history is maintained.” said Kristin Anderson, a development project manager with The Community Builders. “Our annual participation in this cleanup is just one example of our ongoing commitment to be a visible and present community partner.”

GDDC and TCB staff began working on the cleanup over two weeks ago. After today’s event, both Townsend-Maier and Anderson shared that their respective organizations would continue the cleanup efforts to ensure all areas of the Dwight neighborhood were reached.

“It brings me a lot of joy to see everyone cleaning up the neighborhood,” said Carmen Serrano, a resident of TCB’s Kensington Square apartments.

The Community Builders, a nonprofit housing organization with properties in New Haven, Torrington, Vernon, and Hartford, have been active participants in the cleanup for the past four years. TCB is currently working to further support the revitalization of the Dwight neighborhood through the renovation of their Kensington Square apartments and construction of new, affordable housing on what is now the Kensington Playground. As part of the land-swap agreement for Kensington playground, TCB has committed funding toward improvements to Day Street park, as well as the creation of a new park at 16 Garden Street and parklette at 1335 Chapel. These upgrades are expected to bring current units up to 21st century standards and ensure access to green space that is functional and maintained for residents and community members.

Other groups and organizations that attended and contributed to the cleanup include The Connection, Amistad Academy Elementary, Hillhouse High School, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, City of New Haven Department of Public Works and Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking, Frontier Communications and New Haven Chapter of Firebirds.

TCB staff

Left - Anne Demchak, Board President, Greater Dwight Development Corporation, Right - Linda Townsend-Maier, Executive Director, Greater Dwight Development Corporation

Left - Delisa Tolson, Owner, Advance Childcare Center on Kensington Street, Right Kristin Anderson, Development Project Manager, The Community Builders

Fellowship Place volunteers arrive at GDDC’s offices, the starting location for the cleanup.

TCB staff beginning the cleanup next to Day Street Park.

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The Community Builders (TCB) is one of America's leading nonprofit housing organizations. Our mission is to build and sustain strong communities where all people can thrive. We realize our mission by developing, financing and operating residential communities, neighborhood amenities and resident opportunity programs. Since 1964, we have constructed or preserved hundreds of affordable and mixed-income housing developments and pioneered the Community Life (CL) model for resident success. Today, anchored by offices in Boston, Chicago, Columbus, New York and Washington, D.C., we own or manage 13,000 apartment homes in more than 14 states.

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