project leader
Colin M
183 Windsor Ave
(North End of Hartford)
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the project

The Tree Spa uses maple syrup equipment to power a participatory maple steam room. This public art and sustainable design project invites reflection on land, food, climate, culture, and Indigenous stewardship in Connecticut. This project has received so much volunteer support already and we just need one more push to sustain the project for the future. The Keney Park Sustainability Project has hosted the Hartford Maple Syrup Club operations at the Keney Park Urban Agriculture Education Site located in the Windsor section of Keney Park. The Tree Spa is mobile, built on trailers, and we want to be able to move it around easily for events across the Hartford region. We have partnered with KNOX, Inc. to provide environmental education workshops with students, teaching them about Indigenous sovereignty, stewardship, and climate change through the medium of maple sap, steam and syrup. We want to expand this program, showing students and families the entire maple process in urban neighborhoods.

We are also excited to be able to bring the project to a wider audience through partnering with the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, where we are doing educational programming with schools, teens, and the public. To make all of this happen sustainably going forward, we need to do some safety maintenance work on the trailers, finish the siding on the steamroom, and upgrade the steam ductwork connection. We also need to handle insurance coverage for our equipment and volunteers, and be able to pay people for at least some of the time they are putting into this labor of love. Please consider supporting this community-based project as you are able! Any amount helps! We are hoping to still hold our annual pancake breakfast on April 11, and building towards expanding programming for the future.

the steps

This spring we are upgrading the steamroom connection and doing the safety maintenance on the trailers, as we tap the maple trees in Keney Park, drink the sap, process it into syrup, and engage students and folks around Hartford and Ridgefield in our environmental art education programming and Tree Spa healing work. 

why we're doing it

This project brings people together in Keney Park to reconnect with the natural world in an urban setting, while learning about Indigenous stewardship practices and exploring the magical medium of maple sap, syrup and steam as a healing essence of the forest. We aim to build sustainable community solutions to climate change and to the social divisions that keep us separated from each other and from the land. 

Partners and Supporters: Keney Park Sustainability Project, Hartford Maple Syrup Club, Knox Parks, Macktez, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, Real Art Ways, and many more. Originally commissioned by Artspace, Inc., for City-Wide Open Studios with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. 



Disbursed budget (1.14.21):

Steamroom exterior siding: $400

Steamroom interior finish $300

Ductwork for steamroom connection: $200

Maple collecting/boiling labor $548

Environmental Education $600

Liability Insurance $256

TOTAL RAISED = $2,304.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $35.61


Original budget:

Trailer safety maintenance: $2000

Truck rental: $800

Steamroom exterior siding: $400

Steamroom interior finish: $500

Ductwork for steam room connection: $1000

Maple collecting/boiling labor: $2250

Keney Park Tree Spa/Pancake Breakfast Event Costs: $1000

Environmental Education: $1550

Liability Insurance: $500


ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,188
Please note: ioby fees are estimated and will be calculated based on totals at the end of the campaign.  


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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  • Patrick e.
  • Sandra J.
  • Daniel B.
  • Jeremy W.
  • Jane Cook & Chip Gough
  • gene g.
  • Milam S.
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  • Patrick
  • Lisa Nisenson
  • Mark Sheridan
  • Alice Rubin
  • Sherry Buckberrough