Case Mountain Recreation Center to receive $5,000 grant

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Dec. 6, 2012
The Case Pond entrance off Birch Mountain Road is one of several entry points into the Case Mountain Recreation Center. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
The Case Pond entrance off Birch Mountain Road is one of several entry points into the Case Mountain Recreation Center. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

A popular recreation center in Manchester is getting a boost to the tune of $5,000, made possible by a grant from the Alvord Family Fund. Administered through the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the grant has been awarded to the town of Manchester for “trail and summit clean-up and restoration of the new parcel from the Beach Family at the Case Mountain Recreational Area,” as stated in the award letter dated Nov. 26 to Manchester General Manager Scott Shanley.

According to George Chappell, communications officer at the Hartford Foundation, the Alvord Family Fund is a donor-advised fund formed at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving in 2001. It supports a range of charitable causes in the Manchester and Glastonbury areas, such as the Manchester Community College Foundation, the Manchester Police Activities League, the South Glastonbury Public Library Association, and Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury. It has awarded 27 grants worth slightly more than $200,000 total since it was founded. “The family has roots in those communities and likes to help in any way they can,” said Chappell.

The town owns most of the Case Mountain area. The Conservation Commission and volunteers from the Connecticut Forest & Park Association maintain the trail system in the recreation area, as well as the scenic summit area on Lookout Mountain. The exact project details that the grant will finance have yet to be fully determined.

“We would work with the Alvord Family Fund and the Hartford Foundation in identifying the projects they're interested in funding,” said Shanley. “It depends on what they want to accomplish.”

While the grant specifies that some funds be used to restore a new parcel from the Beach Family, the town does not own that area – yet. According to Mark Pelligrini, director of planning and economic development, the town has a purchase and sale agreement with the Beach Family Trust for an 8-acre parcel near Case Cabin, near Spring Street. Pelligrini points out that the town has not yet acquired the parcel. “We're waiting to find out if we're going to receive any state Open Space Acquisition Grant Funds,” he said.

If purchased, one of the Alvord Family Fund grant's intended uses – cleaning the new parcel – could go into effect, though according to Pelligrini, the parcel is mostly wooded and natural, and not much maintenance is needed for this particular spot. Pelligrini said that discussions with the Conservation Commission, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association and the Alvord family will be needed to determine the actual work funded by the grant.

For Pelligrini, the grant is an unexpected – though welcome – surprise. “I think we're all a little surprised that the grant came to us, but we're all very grateful for it,” he said.

According to the award letter, the Hartford Foundation will deliver the full payment on or about Dec. 15.

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