West Rock Nature Center

Contact Information Email
West Rock Nature Center
Wintergreen Avenue
New Haven, CT
Phone: 203-946-6559
Ranger Joe Milone:
 Map of park  


Get Directions >



Park Hours  Daily, Sunrise to Sunset
Parking  There are ample free parking areas in the lower lot,
upper lot open by appointment. 
 Outdoor Adventure Coordinator  Martin Torresquintero: 203-946-6768


The Birth of the Center
In 1946 Tony Cosenza was asked by the New Haven Board of Park Commissioners to run Scout camping on the current Nature Center site. He accepts, but asks that the land also be designated for a nature oriented sanctuary. The Park Commission agrees, and The West Rock Nature Center is born. The Center is believed to be the first urban nature center in the country.

From 1946 until his retirement in 1977, Tony Cosenza and his wife Virginia worked tirelessly to marshal the resources of local teenagers, college students and community lenders to energize The Center as a focus for outdoor learning. Tony Cosenza passed away in July, 1998.

On June 4, 2003 the West Rock Nature Center was listed on the State Register of Historic Places by The Connecticut Historical Commission.

Center Amenities
The Center consists of 43 acres of upland woods and fields at the northern base of West Rock Ridge. The property contains in excess of 300 different plant species, many of which can be observed along interpretive trails that have been strategically located.

  • Wintergreen Brook meanders along the property. The waterfall and gorge are of particular interest. The stream and pooling areas assist students and their teachers involved with aquatic investigations.
  • Enjoy the woodsy setting at The Centers picnic grove, which will accommodate birthday parties and other special occasions for groups of up to 25.
  • There are ten acres of open fields adjacent to the more heavily wooded portions of the land. This interfacing of trees, berry laden brushy plants and open fields provide ideal habitat support for birding.