The Parade Path…a Journey Back in Time
The Redding Parade Path is a public garden, run by local volunteers and supported by donors, begun in 2003 on the periphery of Redding’s historic Town Green.
Three centuries ago, Redding’s founding fathers organized their local militia on what is now Redding Town Green. A Parade Ground, as it was known, was at the center of practically every colonial town. A portion of the original ten acre lot is still used as a town gathering place. The Parade Path was created on the neglected periphery of this space in 2003 in an effort to highlight this piece of Redding’s rich history.
Over the next few years the garden matured into a botanical walk into the past, with native and introduced plantings progressing back from the 1900s to the Revolutionary Era. Each variety of plant is identified by a botanical label which also gives the date of introduction of that plant to this part of New England. The Parade Path is used by the Redding schools for history and botany tours and is much admired at every Concert on the Green. It is recognized in the Garden Conservancy Open Days scheme as a public and historic garden. Although not a Redding Garden Club project, the Club was recently recognized by the Federated Garden Clubs of America for their contributions to the Parade Path. The many donated trees, benches and other named gifts in the garden honor those dedicated and selfless residents of Redding who have worked tirelessly to preserve the uniqueness of our town. There are also many personal dedications.
The Parade Path was created solely by volunteers and with donor funding and the intent is to maintain it in that same spirit. The design and ongoing supervision of the garden is the voluntary work of Redding landscape designer, Georgina Scholl.
The Parade Path is a community-building project to create and maintain a garden on a previously neglected space for the benefit of the local residents; to provide a shared public place for memorial donations for dedicated and loved community members; to respect and highlight the history of the town green; and to create a botanical and historical resource of 400 years of heirloom ornamental plants available as an educational inspiration to schools, colleges, garden clubs and master gardener programs. We practice and promote integrated pest management, use of organic gardening methods and materials and conservation of water use.
The 100 original contributors to the Parade Path showed both generosity and pioneering spirit in their willingness to support a project that was still a seed. Recently the organizers asked for their renewed support and for support from new donors. There are also many opportunities to make new named donations at the $300 plus level.
The Parade Path received a generous donation from Meadow Ridge Life Care Retirement Community in the form of a supporting grant for $2500. The plaque recognizing this donation has been placed on one of three native boulders installed in the lawn near the group of apple trees. In spring 2008 renewal of support and new gifts were received including a gift from a Benefactor of $5000 towards ongoing maintenance and addition of new plant material. All gifts will be gratefully acknowledged and permanently recorded at Town Hall in the beautiful “Book of Donors” with hand calligraphy by Sally Dimon of Meadow Ridge.
The national edition of The Garden Conservancy Open Days Directory is available for purchase (including listings for Redding’s Parade Path and Highstead Arboretum), plus gift cards and T-shirts are on sale at Town Hall and the Mark Twain Library, all to benefit the Parade Path.
Donations payable to “The Parade Path” can be mailed to:
Candy L. Wood, CPA, Treasurer, 51 Pheasant Ridge Road, Redding, CT 06896
Or you can make donations by credit card or through your PayPal account, just click below.Donate Here
Please consider becoming an annual Parade Path supporter or joining a team of volunteers to maintain this resource for the enjoyment of the community.
___$25-$50 Continental Soldier
___$250+ Guardian of Liberty
Named Gift Opportunities and Wish List:
Each of the following suggested gifts will be recognized with a personalized plaque. Please contact Georgina Scholl at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the wording for your plaque.
___$350 Witch hazel shrub, collection of shrub roses, or group of tree peonies
___$350 10 botanical marker stones – carved with dates and placed in the planting beds.
___$350 Collection of historic bulbs or bee attracting perennials or specimen sized shrub
___$450 Heritage apple tree, Serviceberry tree, Redbud tree, Florida dogwood or or Sargent Crabapple tree
___$500 Beautification grant -for materials, perennials, annuals etc.
___$500 Sprinkler irrigation system – already installed, needs a sponsor
___$1000 Garden Steward – location of plaque to be discussed
___$1500 Native large picnic rock with inset plaque
___$2500+ Supporting grant: large tree or stone item-to be mutually agreed upon
___$5000+ Benefactor: plaque on a stone boulder
Upcoming Events and Activities at the Parade Path
Please come any day for a self guided walk. The plants are labeled. Please help maintain the garden by removing dandelions or other obvious weeds from the beds and gravel paths. Guided tours of the Parade Path are given to Redding Elementary School children in May. Volunteer work sessions are held throughout the year for stone wall repair work plus weeding, mulching and planting spring and fall annuals and new herbs and bulbs. Please call or email to discuss good dates when you could join us. You will need to bring work gloves and your choice of tool or leaf bag for weeds, depending on your choice of activity.
Gift cards, T shirts, sweatshirts and copies of the Garden Conservancy Open Days Directory are available for sale in Town Hall, Selectman’s Office and some of the above are also available in the Mark Twain Library. Greeting cards and gift sets of botanical note cards are on sale at the Redding Pharmacy in Georgetown.