There was a time when Waterbury residents were so proud of their Green that they mailed post cards of the Green around the world.

   Times have changed.

   Dutch Elm Disease trashed the Elms forming the Green’s iconic canopy, and now the beating heart of the city is besieged by buses, commuters, the homeless and the drunk. There are bright spots – a seasonal farmer’s market, concerts sponsored by Main Street Waterbury, revivals, civic gatherings, and sporadic festivals.

   A decade long effort to move the buses off the Green to a centralized transportation center is back on the table, but what does Waterbury want and expect from it’s communal gathering space?

   A public meeting at the Mattatuck Museum, tonight, January 25th, begins a community dialogue on that central question.

   As part of its Vibrant Communities Initiative, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Waterbury a $50,000 grant to create a Master Plan for the downtown Green.  Now, the public has the opportunity to offer ideas to redesign the Green, to make it a real vibrant center to be used by the public.  Some of the things the community has a chance to look at is the actual design and layout of the Green, landscaping, art, safety, transportation, parking, monument conservation, benches, seating, electric needs, WiFi etc. Decisions will also be made about what kind of events and activities would make the Green a lively and attractive place.

   The community meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 25th, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Mattatuck Museum, 144 West Main St.  The meeting is open to the public.  Contact Saranda Belica at for more information.