To be a gathering place in Washington that invites friends and neighbors to relax, learn, play, and share all that our community offers.
For decades, Vinnie’s Texaco Station anchored the center of Washington Depot. When its owner closed the business, it sat empty as an abandoned lot, detracting from the beauty of this scenic community. In 2013, a small group of four local businesspeople, Michael Ackerman, Barbara Bouyea, Peter Talbot, and Denise Trevenen; and resident visionary John Millington, shared a dream: the purchase of the site of the garage and its transformation into a park, an events space and a vibrant community hub.
With the support of 40 donors, including substantial gifts from Rita and Gus Hauser and the Gould Foundation, the founders raised $650,000 and in August 2013 purchased the property. Together, they formed The Washington Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose goal was to refurbish the vacant gas station and transform the property into a landscaped park. In 2015, the founding Board of Directors, including Michael Ackerman, Barbara Bouyea, Peter Talbot and Denise Trevenen, announced its first capital campaign to fund the project.
With generous support from local residents, the Washington Park Foundation had raised nearly one-third of its goal, but still had a long way to go. Then, a local part-time resident of 30-years, Judy Black, stepped forward to offer a leadership gift that would enable the foundation to refurbish the building and create a beautiful town square framed by landscaped gardens. The park was renamed The Judy Black Park and Gardens to honor Ms. Black’s Leadership Gift. Upon her untimely death in late 2015, the park was renamed The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens.
On the occasion of the 2016 Dedication of the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, U.S. Senator Christopher S. Murphy wrote, ”Connecticut is fortunate to have generous advocates and local leaders like the Washington Park Foundation to help beautify our towns and bring livable, playable recreation spaces into the lives of children and families… Thanks to the memory and kindness of people like Judy Black, this park’s Leadership Gift donor, generations of Washington residents will have a safe place to further their health, happiness and wellbeing.”
President Emerita *
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens is located in the center of Washington Depot, CT and is easy to find using GPS.
1 Green Hill Road, Washington, Connecticut 06793, United States
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