Conny Update as of June 2023
CSI Secures State of Connecticut Funding
for the Preservation of Conny’s Tail
The State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic Development, with the help of Matt Ritter, Speaker of the House, has appropriated $38,000 for this next phase of the effort to secure the necessary permits and funds to install Conny’s tail on the Trout Brook Greenway.
"I want to thank the Cetacean Society International for being the driving force behind this project to keep CONNY's legacy alive and inspire generations to come," Speaker Ritter said. "I was proud to work with the West Hartford legislative delegation and DECD to ensure this funding made it to the finish line." These funds along with $12,000 raised from the GoFundMe started last year will cover most of the next phase of the project.
For over 40 years, CONNY has been a popular and inspiring monument that represents the beauty, history, and importance of protecting whales and our oceans. With the demolition of the current site coming to make room for new construction, Cetacean Society International, the Town of West Hartford, and the community have been working to find a new home for this beloved sculpture. Despite best efforts and intentions, moving a 100,000 pound sculpture proved to be an insurmountable challenge.
An alternate plan was developed to keep CONNY’s legacy alive by removing and preserving a portion of CONNY, the large 25-foot tail weighing, 5,000 pounds - which now sits safely in storage in West Hartford.
The next phase of CONNY’s journey includes securing the necessary permits to install CONNY’s tail as a sculpture and educational installation in the Greenway on Trout Brook Drive, which are in process. CSI has been working to fundraise to cover the costs of removing, storing and then placing CONNY’s tail at the new location.
CONNY is a reminder that although we may not always be able to win the battle for whale conservation, we can still make progress. This next stage of CONNY will remain a symbol of conservation, a beloved part West Hartford's history, and a symbol of the community's commitment to protecting wildlife and the environment.
CSI is 501(c)(3) all-volunteer, non-profit conservation, education, and research organization with headquarters in West Hartford. For over 4 decades, CSI has been working on behalf of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their marine environment. In 1976, the effort to construct CONNY was led by the Connecticut Cetacean Society (now named Cetacean Society International, CSI) along with 200 volunteers to help raise awareness about the plight of whales and the devastating impact of global commercial whaling - particularly to sperm whales, which had been hunted to the point of near extinction.
Conny Update as of April 2023
Thank you to all of you who donated to the Save Conny fund. As you can see, we are far from our goal. The original plan was to move the entire whale – a 20-ton ferro-cement life-size model of a sperm whale. After much work and consideration, we have determined that we will be unable to continue with the original plan.
So, we got creative! We will save the spirit of Conny! By removing the tail and installing it in a park, Conny will live on to freely swim and explore the oceans.
Pending approval of permits, we will install the tail in Greenway Park in West Hartford, across the street from its current location. Continental Properties, the new owners of the former Children’s Museum property, will cover all costs to remove and transport Conny’s tail to the West Hartford Public Works storage where it will remain until the permits are approved.
We also have a full 3D digital scan of Conny, and will use this to create an educational app that will “reveal” the rest of Conny under the surface.
You can be assured that your donations will continue to go toward preserving Conny, including the application, installation and ongoing maintenance for his new home. We all hoped to move the full whale but this is a great plan B to keep the spirit of Conny alive. If this new plan, which is a more feasible approach, is not aligned with your wishes, you can ask for your donation to be returned.
We will continue our fundraising effort, because we will need additional funds for the new plan. We have updated our GOFUNDME page with this new plan.
Again, We are so very grateful to all of you that have donated to our efforts to save Conny.