‘Gil on the Go’: Live at the Barnes Memorial Nature Center in Bristol


BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8’s Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons is making his way to communities across the state this week for our Gil on the Go series!

On Thursday morning, Gil was live from the Barnes Memorial Nature Center in Bristol.

Bristol has been home to the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” ESPN since it launched in 1979. According to ESPN’s website, the company has approximately 4,000 employees working in Bristol (more than 6,500 worldwide), and ESPN Plaza includes nearly 1.2 million square feet in 18 buildings on 123 acres. 

Bristol is also home to Lake Compounce, the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in North America, dating back to 1846.

After a failed experiment with electricity in October of that year, property owner Gad Norton put a path around the lake, set up picnic tables, allowed public swimming and rowing on the lake, and built a gazebo for lakeside band concerts. Lake Compounce had officially opened to the public as a picturesque “picnic” park.

The city was known for its clock-making during the 19th Century and is home to the American Clock and Watch Museum.

Since 1962, Bristol has hosted the Bristol Mum Festival. In fact, it was once known as the “Mum City.” The Festival is a four-day event usually held near the end of September each year.

The Barnes Memorial Nature Center is a community center located at 175 Shrub Road in Bristol. The Nature Center was built in 1972 and additional property was acquired in 1974 increasing the property to its current 68 acres. It features exhibits, activities, and various animals, as well as hiking trails.

For details on the nature center, you can visit their website here.

There are two more places Gil will be visiting! Here’s where he will be next:

  • Friday, Sept. 11: Fulton Park in Waterbury
  • Monday, Sept. 14: New Britain Stadium

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