Thames River Heritage Park Plan

Groton and New London
Avery Copp House
Faculty Director: 
Alan Plattus
Project Manager: 
Andrei Harwell
Project Team: 
Jack Wolfe
Project Type: 

The Thames River Heritage Park Plan, prepared by the Yale Urban Design Workshop in 2015, presents a new, innovative, streamlined strategy to establish Connecticut’s first state heritage park. Now being developed in the Thames River estuary, the park was first envisioned by planners more than 50 years ago to celebrate the rich historical and contemporary engagement between Groton, New London and the Thames River. Today plans for the park are moving forward with community support and enthusiasm, and with the YUDW plan providing the blueprint.

Unlike a conventional state park, the Thames River Heritage Park will tie together independent heritage institutions, existing state parks, historic districts, local businesses and educational partners. Minimal new physical infrastructure, including signage, graphics, and a water taxi system will connect sites and define the park as a unified experience. Through its management structure, the park will provide a platform for collaborative programming, events and coordinated schedules, while information and interpretation for visitors and locals will be provided via internet. With partners, the park will develop educational curricula for area schools and universities, and provide unique opportunities for learning through internship programs.

The Thames River Heritage Park has the potential to make the Thames region as a whole greater than the sum of its individual parts. While enriching each local partner by making it part of a larger network, the park will help define the region’s cultural identity, encourage sustainable tourism, and with minimal investment produce a substantial regional economic impact.

Visit the Thames River Heritage Park official website at

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