Riverfront Recapture, Inc.
Riverfront Recapture, a not-for-profit corporation, was created in 1981 to lead the effort to restore public access to the Connecticut River in Hartford and East Hartford in ways that would improve the quality of life and make the river a catalyst for revitalization. A master plan was adopted in 1982 and Riverfront Recapture began the process of implementing it, incrementally, on behalf of the two municipalities. Thirty-one years later, Riverfront Recapture has raised nearly $60 million for the design and construction of public improvements along the Riverfront. Most of these funds have come from federal and state sources, although Riverfront Recapture raised $4.3 million from private sources for a community boathouse in Hartford’s RiversidePark, a performance space on downtown Hartford’s Riverfront
Whille continuing to oversee design and construction of public improvements along the Riverfront, the organization took on management responsibilities for the completed portions of the park system in 1998. Under these agreements Riverfront Recapture is responsible for all of the programming in the parks – festivals, concerts, rowing lessons, youth programming, sporting events, etc. – and provides general liability insurance coverage for the parks. Riverfront Recapture also signed an agreement with the Metropolitan District Commission under which the MDC maintains the Riverfront parks with its own people and equipment – at its expense. The agreement relieves the City of day-to-day maintenance responsibilities and expenses. The MDC also provides funding to Riverfront Recapture for a Riverfront Rangers program which puts uniformed personnel in the parks to welcome visitors, answer questions, and provide an added level of security. This management plan has earned national recognition as a model for the operation of urban parks.
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