Like many of you, we have been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and we support the guidance of our mayor and city staff to keep us all safe and well We also know how important nature and the outdoors are to our well-being and want to let you know how we are doing our part.
Gather New Haven has suspended all group programming and closed the office at 817 Grand Avenue indefinitely. Our staff are working from home and in the farms and gardens, moving forward with seedlings and crop plans in preparation for an active growing season. In all our work, we are following CDC recommendations regarding social distancing and sanitizing of surfaces and following the CDC as well as the Connecticut Department of Health for updates and directives.
We greatly appreciate the expressions of support from our many friends and supporters in this difficult time. We are currently looking for additional ways we can both engage and contribute to our community to mitigate the impact of the virus and the associated social isolation and economic dislocation.
Our number one priority will always be the health and safety of our program participants, community gardeners, visitors and staff. We invite you to join us in keeping us all safe and engaged during this difficult time.
We will be following these guidelines for an indefinite period:
- All group activities including public and school programs are suspended until further notice.
- Community Gardens. Because access to fresh food and to outdoor activities will be important at this time, the community gardens will remain accessible to gardeners as an important community activity in these times under strict social distancing and health guidelines that will be posted in each garden.
- Our nature preserves remain open for visitors. We are encouraging families and individuals to visit our wonderful preserves for outdoor time while maintaining recommended social distance of at least 6 feet from other people at all times and refraining from touching gates, interpretive signs or other features. For directions to our preserves and learning resources, go to this page. We are developing additional resources and online programming based on our preserves for families, teachers and students to use for on-line learning in the coming weeks. Watch for these new resources and programming soon!
- Schooner Camp: While registration is open for Schooner Camp, we do not know yet when or if we will be allowed to run the camp this summer. We will keep in touch with all registrants and provide refunds in the event we need to postpone or cancel sessions that people signed up for.
- Farm-Based Wellness Program: All in person meetings of program participants and Community Health Ambassadors (CHAs) are suspended indefinitely until conditions change. We will continue to process referrals for this summer’s programs and will work with our CHAs to support participants and inform our communities. Decisions about the new program scheduled to start at the end of May will be made closer to the start date.
- Growing Entrepreneurs: We have suspended group meetings of these 16 high school students engaged as Growing Entrepreneurs, but will continue to engage them in work sessions in our farms and gardens, practicing rigorous social distancing and sanitization rules, and at-home activities.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this crisis together.
Please share with us your ideas about how our organization can be helpful in responding to the many disruptions and dislocations. Contact us at email@example.com or leave a message at 203-562-6655.
Thank you, and be careful out there.
Jim Farnam, Interim Executive Director; Tyra Pendergrass, President of the Board and all the staff and board of the New Haven Land Trust/New Haven Farms