Enjoying Nature in New Haven

October 11, 2012

S.M., 3L

For those of us who prefer suburbia or the country, living in a city for three years can be a little daunting. I remember staring at the rows of brownstones during Admit Weekend and sighing at the starkness of the “urban” feel. However, while New Haven will never be the countryside, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature during one’s time at YLS.

To start with, in the midst of a busy day, there is always the opportunity to study in the law school courtyard, a beautifully landscaped area at the center of the law school building. Just within steps of the Sterling Law Building is the courtyard of the Hall of Graduate Studies, which is a delightful place to relax in the breaks between classes. Across the street from the law school is Cross Campus, a large lawn just outside the Sterling Memorial Library and the Bass Library. Sporting shade from large trees and sturdy wood benches, it is an enjoyable place to do reading in the early fall and late spring. A few blocks down from the law school is the New Haven Green, which is a common resort of members of the Yale and New Haven communities. The Green is also the site for many social and cultural events.

Those who enjoy nature might also prefer living in East Rock, a neighborhood north of the law school. These apartments have a much more suburban feel and often have very well-kept grounds. A pleasant weekend activity can be taking a walk through the area and enjoying its quaint architecture and tastefully landscaped grounds. The highlight of the neighborhood is East Rock Park, a 425-acre park lying both in Hamden and New Haven, just a thirty-five minute walk north of the law school. The park is named after East Rock, a tall hill from which one can see across the Long Island Sound to New York.

Another park within driving distance is Edgerton Park, once the estate of Eli Whitney. This conservancy contains extensive grounds, greenhouses, and beautiful walks. For those willing to venture further into Connecticut, there are large farms and many areas of natural beauty within a short drive of New Haven. One pleasant fall activity is leaf peeping (hiking through fall foliage) in Sleeping Giant State Park in nearby Hamden.

In these ways, one can continue to experience nature during one’s time at YLS!