Discussion of a future park at Six Lakes was on the agenda at the first of two community listening sessions held by our Six Lakes Park Coalition partner CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New CT) last Thursday. The 102-acre property in southern Hamden, CT is owned by the Olin Corporation, which has been under a DEEP consent decree since 1986 to clean up pollution there stemming from munitions testing, gunpowder storage, and the dumping of industrial waste. Little of that cleanup has been accomplished in the 37 years since. In November, Hamden’s legislative council passed a resolution calling for conversion of Six Lakes into “a public space consistent with the community’s vision” and restorative justice for southern Hamden, where neighbors have already lived through a two-decade cleanup of Olin pollution in residential areas. That resolution was later signed by Mayor Lauren Garrett and shared with DEEP. A second meeting to introduce neighbors to the property’s history and hear their initial responses is scheduled for March 8 at 6 p.m. at the Brundage Branch Library.
Most people who live in Hamden, Connecticut haven’t seen the wide paths that meander through an old-growth forest or the placid ponds that are home to ducks and swans at Six Lakes. Many aren’t even aware that this 102-acre parcel exists, hidden in plain sight between two of the town’s busiest commercial roadways. That’s because the Six Lakes area, known for decades as Olin Powder Farm, is a former industrial site once used for gunpowder storage and munitions testing, and later as a dumping ground for battery waste, solvents, and other materials. Its polluted past makes it a public hazard, and a chain link fence blocks entry even to those who know it’s there.
(Jan. 14, 1986) STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Olin Corp. has agreed to pay about $1.5 million to clean up a former Olin dump site in Hamden where industrial solvents, organic chemicals and thousands of flashlight batteries are buried.