New Haven is spending some green to spruce up its Green.
Many of the upgrades are ready just in time for the kick-off of the 2016 International Festival of Arts and Ideas.
The City is investing half $500,000 from its budget, plus a $1 million grant from the state to make the New Haven Green safer, brighter at night and better equipped to host events.
“Lot of the upgrades are underground, you won’t see them,” City Engineer Giovanni Zinn said.
A new 12 inch tunnel for electrical wires to power performance sound systems has been installed in recent weeks, Zinn said.
“They can run cables up to the stage,” he said, “so the cables no longer will have to go over the ground.”
“We focused our first round of funding on safety,” said Rebecca Bombero, New Haven’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Trees.
The most visible upgrades are brighter and more energy efficient LED lights on the pathway around the Green, allowing visitors to enjoy this historical landmark even later at night.
“Starting to get shiny there right at the top, that’s the new fixture,” Zinn said, “now you come here you know these paths are extremely well lit.”
The addition of six new Elm Trees is preserving the shade of the Green’s canopy during the day, Bombero said.
“We’ll plant more again next Spring,” she said. “The goals of the project are to maintain the historic character of the Green, but also making it more user friendly for our visitors, our festivals and to keep it clean and green.”
Other upgrades include new water and sewer hook-ups for bathrooms, artist trailers and an EMS tent, according to Zinn.