We are the Stonington Village Improvement Association.
SVIA is one of the most active all-volunteer organizations in our area.
Enriching the quality of life in the village by encouraging and supporting activities that enhance our many cultural and recreational gifts for the benefit of all.
Stonington Borough lies on a small peninsula roughly a mile long and a quarter-mile wide just about midway between New York City and Boston on the Southeastern CT coast. A well-protected harbor adjoins the western shore. The Borough has never been a laid-back, unassuming town where nothing exciting happens. During the War of 1812, a British invasion was repulsed by a group of courageous citizens. Starting in the early 1800s and for a hundred years thereafter, Stonington was an important transfer port between the railroad and the steamers on the busy Boston-New York route. Hotels and other service businesses flourished along with shipbuilding and whaling. It was a thriving, hectic mini-city. In the early 1900s, many of the town's residents were employed at the Atwood factory, manufacturing and shipping textile machinery worldwide. Stonington was always self-contained, having stores and services of all kinds -- everything was here.
The SVIA was formed in 1899 by a small group of caring residents wishing to maintain the Borough as "a nice place to live and work." Contributions by residents and non-residents alike allow the present-day SVIA to maintain that tradition. Activities and signature programs include maintaining duBois Beach and the East Lawn at Stonington Point and Mathews Park; running a year-round weekly Farmers Market; maintaining the James Merrill House through the efforts of the James Merrill House Committee (who fundraise independently for programs, conservation, building maintenance, and a renown "Writer-in-Residence program"); and hosting the annual Holiday Stroll and the 4th of July Ice Cream Social. The SVIA initiates special projects around the Borough such installation of four Little Free Libraries, over twenty public benches, a bocce court in Mathews Park, a large spruce tree in Wadawanuck Square, and landscaping at Wayland's Wharf and the playground.
The SVIA collaborates with other local non-profits, the Borough, and the Town on a variety of other projects including the renovation of Cannon Square, funding for new playground and exercise equipment, installation of a public water-bottle filler, support for the La Grua Summer Concerts on the Green, and restoration of the COMO pond, to name a few.
SVIA is not a foundation and cannot make contributions or grants to other non-profit organizations. Read the SVIA Spending Policy to learn how to suggest a collaboration.
You can see that the Stonington Village Improvement Association is an active organization. There is always room for more volunteers, and certainly financial contributions. Both are most welcome. The SVIA is looking forward to seeing you around the Borough!