Parks & Recreation offers pen pal program

We live in an an electronic age. Getting a letter in the mail can be rare.

But New Milford Parks & Recreation is bringing back the art of letter writing.

The department is offering a pen pal program to bring residents of the community together during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I remember if I got a letter in the mail when I was younger,” reflected Laura Murphy, the department’s director of events and programs. “It was something to look forward to.”

“The idea of this club is to connect individuals in town safely,” she said.

Murphy has discussed the program with the senior center staff in hopes the program might reach across generations and/or connect some of the town’s elders.

The program runs for a month at a time, with the most recent session having started Monday and ending May 4.

The next session will run from May 11 through June 1.

Murphy said only a small number of individuals signed up for the first session. However, interested individuals can still contact Parks & Rec to participate.

Residents of all ages are invited to participate. Registration is available online at

The registration form includes basic information and questions, including the age preference for a pen pal, and the names of some of favorite things.

“They’re conversation starter questions,” Murphy said.

Once registration is received, Murphy will pair up residents.

To protect the identity of the pen pals, only the first names are shared, and letters are routed through Parks & Rec so no addresses are shared.

Pen pals are encouraged to write one letter per week.

Letters can be dropped at the drop box outside Parks & Rec at the John Pettibone Community Center at 2 Pickett District Road, or mailed to New Milford Parks & Rec, 2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776.

Murphy said all letters should be delivered to Parks & Rec each Monday so letters can be received by Friday.

All letters received will be screened and then mailed by staff to the appropriate pen pal.

Once the month’s program is over, an individual can re-register for the next and choose to keep the same pen pal or request another.