Preserving the Coginchaug River

The photograph above is a view of my favorite little river, the Coginchaug, as it flows near my home in Middletown’s West End. The riverbed and banks are fairly clean in my neighborhood although I have noticed quite a few cans and bottles and even one abandoned shopping cart. Conditions deteriorate rapidly, I have learned, at the area known as the city’s North End peninsula near the confluence of the Coginchaug and the Mattabesset. Here debris has accumulated, carelessly discarded by campers, boaters and others. Fortunately, a group called Jonah Center for Earth and Art has put forth an ambitious plan to clean up the area and develop it as an innovative center for ecological study and community activity. A boat launch is planned.

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art wants to transform the neck of land at the confluence of the Mattabesett and Coginchaug Rivers (the “North End Peninsula”) in Middletown, CT into an innovative educational facility and a major tourist destination. This property, which now appears to be urban industrial blight, is rich in educational and recreational possibilities.

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art wants to teach — by means of a truly living, evolving facility — how energy from the sun is captured and then circulated through the ecosystem, from plants to microbes to complex human culture. This learning center will be integrated with the present recycling center and evolve into a multi-faceted science and cultural center that will eventually include space for performing arts, planetarium shows, and more.


Here is an aerial view of the area from the group’s web pages:The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Reprinted from Right of Middle 

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