Next in our series, KNOX Executive Director Patrick Doyle.
PATRICK DOYLE: After growing up in the Washington, DC area, I’ve always been drawn to what cities have to offer. When I moved to Connecticut about 15 years ago, I started working in Hartford and immediately loved it. There’s just so much going for the city. I love being able to connect to great people, live music and events, as well as the beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. I really feel at home in Hartford.
HOW HAVE YOU BECOME A PART OF HARTFORD?
PATRICK: I think the way you become a part of any area—and how I’ve become a part of Hartford—is by investing in it, whether it’s through volunteering or through what you do for work. I’ve always found it necessary to be involved in the community and invested in everyone working together to make the space we share a better space for everyone.
I’m in Hartford to work, but I also come here to listen to music, attend events, volunteer, and enjoy local sporting events. So, it’s important to me that I feel connected to Hartford by getting to know people in the community and learning the different ways we can collaborate.
HOW HAS HARTFORD BECOME A PART OF YOU?
PATRICK: Hartford is a place I really care about. I’m in the city almost every day. It’s become a happy place for me to spend time and work toward making it even better for folks.
It’s become a part of me from a standpoint of meeting amazing people here and all the good things happening in the city—and the potential to be a part of even better things coming down the line.
WHAT MAKES HARTFORD UNIQUELY HARTFORD?
PATRICK: The first thing I would say in response to that question is: It’s not proximity. I think too often people talk about Hartford being an awesome place because it’s close to Boston and to New York, but I think that sells us short. Hartford is its own awesome place—and it’s not awesome because it’s close to other points.
All the wonderful things happening here are because of Hartford’s history and the contributions of people living here now. It’s a very accessible, walkable city. I think it has all the best that cities have to offer without a lot of the hassle you get in other places.
HOW DO WE TELL THE STORY OF HARTFORD?
PATRICK: There are so many ways to tell the story of Hartford because there are so many different people here who have a story to share. What’s most important is to let those stories stand on their own.
For example, here at KNOX, we’re doing great things to restore the urban tree canopy, build community gardens, and educate the next generation about the environment. But that’s just one of the many stories of Hartford.
What’s really wonderful about Hartford, in my experience, is that it’s always been a place where there is space for all of those different stories and people to come together. So, I think the story of Hartford is one about lots of great things going on and lots of amazing people contributing to that from their own unique perspective.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF HARTFORD?
PATRICK: I think the sooner people in Hartford embrace the city and embrace the potential here, there’s no telling where we can go.
I see a lot of good efforts around creating a greener, more vibrant city—a city where we’re planting trees at school so kids have cleaner air to breathe, where people are pulling fresh food out of the ground and sharing that with their friends and neighbors and selling it at farmers markets. A city where everyone has a chance to succeed.
Many of these efforts are already happening and people are starting to connect the dots in a way that’s really exciting. So, in five to 10 years, I see more of those efforts coming together and, when that happens, Hartford and the people living and working in Hartford will be even stronger.
Learn more about KNOX in our feature story: Knox Beautifies Hartford, Strengthens Communities