East Rock Park, Farnam Drive overlooking the reservoir
June 22, 2019
12:00 PM



Liz Hanna


Animals + Birds + Insects, Plants, Trees, Waste

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Event Inspiration

East Rock Park has been a haven of beauty and spiritual grounding for me since moving to New Haven in 2016. Throughout many ambling walks along its winding trails, I have noticed one spot in particular that is almost constantly the recipient of trash people have thrown over the guard rail from Farnam Road. On many occasions I have picked up garbage there, sometimes carrying out as much as I could physically carry, and still there is more.

For me this is about more than just the beauty of the park being marred by trash. This is about how people are treating this place, and what disregard they carry in themselves as they do so. That relationship affects both land (and all its living associates) and human alike. I came to New Haven to attend divinity school, focusing in religion and ecology; for me, East Rock has been probably the most spiritually significant place I have known here, and I have learned and received so much in its faithful, ever-changing companionship. Walking on the trails has been a series of exercises in listening deeply, in cultivating trust, and in discernment; most deeply, I have received lessons in relationship. So I feel, keenly, the jarring difference between that kind of approach — one of love and openness, as of coming to a dear friend’s home to hear what stories they have to tell — and the one I imagine the drivers of these litter-bearing cars experiencing, which I can only surmise must be one of distraction, lack of awareness, and insensitivity to the sadness and disappointment and anger aroused by their actions.

I can’t ever find those people and make them stop throwing trash over the guard rail, or control their actions — I know the Park Service continues to try — all I can do is love the places I have come to know, serve them when and how I can, and try to let that love change me however it will. On this day of Global Earth Exchange, I am seeking to make a statement of appreciation for this place, for the wisdom, space, and possibility it has shown me; and to express that appreciation visibly with an offering of beauty and audibly with a verbal and/or sung accounting of those experiences. I would gladly welcome anyone who wants to join, share their experiences, and offer a gesture of love for this place and all the lives and relationships it supports.





Near a known address






This is a Public event.

Special Notes & Instructions

There are many ways to get to the location I have in mind, which is at the sharp bend in Farnum Road just across the water from the museum, overlooking the reservoir area. At that point there is a turn-off with boulders blocking it — I’ll wait there for a few minutes before beginning to walk down the bit of trail where the trash is thrown, below the road to the south/southwest. This area can be reached on trails from many points of entry; the park entrances on Whitney Ave and East Rock Road are the closest ones.

Wear clothes you’d be comfortable to wear walking in the woods (it’s been rainy so consider footwear for potentially muddy areas; insect repellent is up to you). You don’t need to bring anything with you, but you are welcome to bring trash bags and gloves if you want to do any trash pick-up afterwards.