Pope Park

Engineers Without Borders was given the opportunity to help revitalize the quality of Pope Park in Hartford, CT; specifically the hill adjacent to the soccer field, which has been in decline over the years.



Colonel Albert Pope, the founder of the Pope Manufacturing Company, donated the land, which became Pope Park to the city of Hartford in 1895. Consisting of 90.5 acres, the land was designated “for park purposes only”, to be used by the people of Hartford for the enjoyment of outdoor activities. The last 50 years has seen a decline in the state of the park, where traffic and negligence have taken its toll on this neighborhood resource. In 1992 the City of Hartford prepared “The Hartford Master Parks Plan, meant to restore the city’s parks to their former state. While this did not specifically address Pope Park, the momentum created by the city allowed for the creation of the “Pope Park Master Plan” which tackles the improvements necessary to maintain this treasured resource. “Friends of Pope Park,” a group of neighborhood residents who volunteer their time to improve the park, have shared their vision of the park, and hope to make the plan a reality. Pope Park is located in Hartford, CT off of Interstate 84, exit 47.

The Problem

One aspect of the park that is still in disarray is the hill overlooking the soccer field. Some of the problems associated with the hill and the soccer field are: - Poor drainage - Erosion of the hill due to foot traffic and water runoff - Overgrowth of brush on hill - Lack of a seating area for fans of the soccer matches Large amounts of rain water collect at the bottom of the hill and in depressions on the soccer field, and are especially concentrated in the goalie boxes. Furthermore, the growth on the hill and the large amount of trash and litter upon it makes it an eyesore. It also creates a lack of viewable seating for the soccer matches, as the brush growth makes it difficult to sit on the hill.

Our Plans

Based on the wants of the people of Hartford, as well as the feasibility of the project, a design that will involve a structural change of the hill in question will be created, potentially involving the building of terraces that will act as stadium seating for soccer matches. UCONN EWB will partner with Friends of Pope Park in order to find a solution to the problems associated with the hill.
The current design is being re-evaluated with the new building material. This will allow a deliverable package to be created to present to the city of Hartford in order to attain funding and contractor estimates.


- Summer, 2012: A company volunteered their time and resources to clear most of the brush and overgrowth from the hill.
- Fall, 2012: The Pope Park team visited the park. While there, the hill was surveyed with the assistance of Dr. Ilya Yut, a UCONN processor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department.
- Winter, 2012: Pope Park Co-Chairs, Emily Pearl and John Winsor met with David Morin. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what the residents of the area wanted to see implemented in the solution.
- Spring, 2013: Welcomed many new members to the Pope Park team, as well as some new mentors to help with the execution of the project.
- Summer, 2014: Jason LeDoux of Fuss and O’Neill agreed to assist with the project design and provide guidance on creating a deliverable package.
- Fall, 2014: With guidance from Jason LeDoux, a concrete block material was considered to better meet city code and reduce cost.
- Spring, 2015: Finalized design plans, including retaining wall specifications and material selection.
- Fall, 2015: Drafted and revised a proof of concept document for Friends of Pope Park.
- Winter, 2015: Delivered the proof of concept to Friends of Pope Park.


The hills in Pope Park are overgrown and are dangerous to children playing around them.

Project Completion

Our goal was to provide a plan that will benefit the residents of the area and improve their quality of life.

During the Fall 2015 semester a proof of concept document was drafted and revised which presented the final design and material selection. The document also included a cost estimate based off of similar projects recently implemented. This proof of concept document was presented to Friends of Pope Park, who will now present it to the City of Hartford in order to maintain funding and get contractor estimates. Friends of Pope Park and the City of Hartford will be responsible for the approval and implementation of this design.