Environment

Keney Park Meadow, ca. early 1900s
Keney Park Meadow, ca. early 1900s – City Park Collection, Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library

Connecticut’s natural environment—from its flora and fauna to its waterways, soil, and geological formations—has played a vital, if not always appreciated, role in state history. Shad migrations, for example, not only influenced indigenous and colonial cultures, they still inspire town celebrations and local foodways. Ore deposits determined where industries would rise, as was the case with the Salisbury Iron District, and abundant water power made the industrial heyday of the 1800s possible. Depletion, pollution, and other man-made tolls on the environment inspired conservation efforts, including the multi-state effort that led the Connecticut River to be designated an American Heritage River in 1997.

FEATURED

Roger Tory Peterson, European starlings

Artist Roger Tory Peterson, a Champion for the Natural World

"The philosophy that I have worked under most of my life is that the serious study of natural history is an activity which has far-reaching effects in every aspect of a person's life," said Roger Tory Peterson, an artist, author, and influential conservationist whose own life epitomized this belief.  …[more]

LEARN MORE

Websites

“Connecticut Endangered Species Maps - Database.” Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, 2012. Link.
“Connecticut State Parks and Forests - Database.” Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, 2012. Link.
“Connecticut’s Notable Trees,” 2014. Link.

Video

Connecticut. Deptartment of Environmental Protection. Earth Day 40 Connecticut’s Environment: Past, Present and Future. DVD, 2010. Link.

Places

“Connecticut Museum of Mining and Mineral Science,” 2012. Link.
“Connecticut State Museum of Natural History,” 2016. Link.
“Yale Peabody Museum,” 2016. Link.

Documents

“Connecticut State Parks: A Centennial Overview.” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: State Park Division, 2014. Link.

Books

Gannett, Henry, and Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey. A Geographic Dictionary of Connecticut. Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey 117. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1894. Link.
Griswold, Wick. A History of the Connecticut River. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2012.
Gordon, Robert. A Landscape Transformed: The Ironmaking District of Salisbury, Connecticut. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Leary, Joseph. A Shared Landscape: A Guide and History of Connecticut’s State Parks & Forests. Hartford, CT: Friends of Connecticut State Parks, 2004.
Cronon, William, and John Demos. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 2003.
“Connecticut State Parks: A Centennial Overview.” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: State Park Division, 2014. Link.
Hammerson, Geoffrey A. Connecticut Wildlife: Biodiversity, Natural History, and Conservation. Hanover: University Press of New England, 2004.
Virga, Vincent, Diana Ross McCain, and Library of Congress. Geography and Map Division. Connecticut, Mapping the Nutmeg State Through History: Rare and Unusual Maps from the Library of Congress. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2011.
Hawes, Austin F. History of Forestry in Connecticut. New Haven, CT: The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 2014. Link.
Zeilinga de Boer, Jelle, and John Wareham. New Haven’s Sentinels: The Art and Science of East Rock and West Rock. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2013.
Zeilinga de Boer, Jelle. Stories in Stone How Geology Influenced Connecticut History and Culture. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2011.
Bowen, Clarence Winthrop. The Boundary Disputes of Connecticut. Boston, MA: James R. Osgood and Company, 1882. Link.
Hard, Walter R., Douglas W. Gorsline, and Fitzgerald Rivers of America Collection (Library of Congress). The Connecticut. New York, NY: Rinehart & Company, 1947.
Delaney, Edmund T. The Connecticut River: New England’s Historic Waterway. Chester, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1983.
Bell, Michael. The Face of Connecticut: People, Geology, and the Land. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Society of Connecticut, 1988.
Alexopoulos, John. The Nineteenth Century Parks of Hartford: A Legacy of the Nation. Hartford, CT: Hartford Architecture Conservancy, 1983.
Wetherell, Diana V. Traprock Ridges of Connecticut: A Naturalist’s Guide. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection, 1997.
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