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Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643, making it the fourth largest city in the state and the eighth largest city in New England. Stamford is in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro area which is a part of the Greater New York metropolitan area.

Attractions

Parks and recreation sites

Cummings Park, a public beach, was once a popular spot for shellfishing. The park, developed in 1906, previously was known as Halloween Park because Mayor Homer Cummings cast the deciding vote to create it on Halloween Night.

The 83-acre (340,000 m2) Cove Island Park, once a farm and then an enormous factory site, offers visitors a choice of beaches as well as picnic grounds and bluffs. It has a small wildlife sanctuary in the southwest corner that might be interesting for bird watchers. SoundWaters Community Center for Environmental Education is located at the northeast part of the park.

Terry Connors Ice Rink shares a parking lot with Cove Island Park. It offers public ice skating for all ages and ability levels, group lessons and ice hockey. It is the home of the Stamford Youth Hockey Association .

Scalzi Park on Bridge Street has a playground, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, bocce courts, basketball courts, roller hockey courts, and a baseball stadium named "Cubeta Stadium." Stamford baseball leagues play baseball there. J.M. Wright Technical High School is next to the park. A skate park was opened at Scalzi in July 2007. The city sought input from users in planning the $309,850, concrete skate park and hired Grindline Skateparks Inc. of Seattle, Washington to provide a unique design and build it.

Stamford boasts two municipal golf courses. Sterling Farms Golf Course opened in May 1972 and is the more popular of the two courses.[19] The facility also has a driving range, restaurant, and six tennis courts. In the fall of 2005, Sterling Farms began Phase 1 of an extensive renovation project which will result in improvements to the entire golf course and adjacent facilities. Each fall and spring since 2005, 3 to 4 different holes have been renovated resulting in new tees, bunkers and cart paths. At this point, the entire front 9 has been completed and the back 9 is well underway. All is expected to be completed in the fall of 2010. E. Gaynor Brennan Golf Course, referred to locally as Hubbard Heights, opened for play in 1922 as a private course and was purchased by the city in 1949. A long range Master Plan is currently being designed by Stephen Kay - Doug Smith Golf Course Design and renovation work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2010.

Mill River Park - This park is located in the center of downtown but its ancient grist mill (present when George Washington traveled through Stamford) was modernized in the 1920s. The result was interference with the seasonal changes in the riverflow, chronic backup of silt, a loss of wildlife and an accumulation of debris. Demolition of the dam to re-establish the natural flow of the river and create a park designed by Olin Associates (the same firm that designed Bryant Park in New York) is currently underway.

Arts, science and cultural attractions

Science and nature

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center on a 118-acre (0.48 km2) site in the northern end of town, has a collection of works by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, who was a Stamford resident for a decade.
The Fairfield County Astronomical Society was started up in 1954 runs the Stamford Observatory, which has a 22-inch (560 mm) telescope.
Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens is a 91-acre (370,000 m2) botanical gardens and science education center boasting over 850 specimen trees and plants from around the world. It is also home to several Champion Trees; the largest of their species within Connecticut.
SoundWaters Community Center for Environmental Education is located in Cove Island Park.

Theatre and film

Stamford Center for the Arts: The Palace Theatre, originally opened as a vaudeville house in 1927, reopened as a nonprofit theater in 1983. It was joined in 1992 by the Rich Forum, another downtown venue. Both have been run by the Stamford Center for the Arts. The Rich Forum is now being rented by NBC Universal as a television studio.
Curtain Call Inc. presents plays and other entertainment at the Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Ave.
Bow Tie Cinemas has two first-run movie houses in Stamford with a total of 15 movie screens: Landmark 9 and Majestic 6. On February 13, 2004, the Avon Theatre Film Center, a nonprofit movie house focusing on classic, alternative and art films, opened in the former Avon Theatre on Bedford Street. In Springdale, the two-screen State Cinema, run by Garden Homes Cinemas of Stamford, has second-run films. The Ferguson Library also shows films.

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