The Learning Corridor is an effort to build community through placemaking and recreation in a low-income community in New Haven, CT. Once a thriving working-class community, the loss of the area’s major employer (Winchester Repeating Arms) during the 1980s set the neighborhood into economic distress, which was exacerbated by the housing collapse in 2008. In Newhallville, 90% of children qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and residents suffer from disproportionate levels of obesity, type-2 diabetes, asthma, and other chronic diseases. Our work focuses primarily on activating a three-block section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway as a thriving public space. Until recently this section was a blighted area known as “The Mudhole” that was notorious for illicit activities. We have transformed it into “The Learning Corridor,” a vibrant space for community-building, family-friendly festivals and events – a space where we are able to utilize the Greenway as a unique recreational asset promoting fitness, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for all ages and ethnic backgrounds. We organize volunteers to be active stewards of the Learning Corridor, caring for and beautifying the space. We also facilitate outdoor education activities about ecology and environmental sustainability.
Summary of Projects
This group received a 2019 grow grant to organize residents to organize and run their own Farmers Market for their neighborhood.
In spring 2017, the Learning Corridor Council received a Grow grant to support the development of a neighborhood bike program to engage youth and adults in exploring the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway.