R1 Success Story: Ryan Park, Norwalk, CT
A site once contaminated by the chemicals from a former manufacturing complex, Ryan Park is now host to walking paths and open space along the banks of the Norwalk River in South Norwalk, Conn. fondly referred to as SoNo by residents. This beautifully restored park is close to downtown Norwalk, a community settled in 1649 and now in the New York metropolitan area. Historical maps indicate Ryan Park and the surrounding area were once mud flats and marsh lands associated with the nearby Norwalk Harbor until the area was filled and then developed sometime before 1884. A fur dress and hat manufacturing company previously resided on the site in 1922 along with other industrial occupants such as a rubber manufacturer, a machine shop, a chemical company and a junk yard. By the 1950s, most of the large industrial buildings were demolished, and only residential and commercial properties remained. By 1991, all former site buildings were removed, and the public park was created. Flooding frequently plagued the area, however, with the most severe damage associated with Super Storm Sandy in October of 2012. The desire to revitalize and enhance SoNo was developed out of a vision created by residents, local businesses and elected officials through a 2012 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative planning grant that focused on climate resiliency, improving the neighborhood, and meeting community needs.
Read the following Brownfields Success Story fact sheet for more information about Ryan Park, Norwalk, Connecticut.