A Message from the First Selectman
With a population of just over 5,500 people, Bethany is the best of what I’ve always imagined a small town to be. We are a town of neighbors in the best sense of the word. We are a town of volunteers. At a time when other towns are struggling to recruit and retain men and women for their volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps, Bethany’s volunteer force is growing. We have a town-wide Halloween Party, Carnival, Parades, Harvest Festival, Horse Shows, Dog Shows, Antique Car Shows, Craft Shows, Dances and Dinners, all sponsored by various volunteer organizations. We even have Mounted Cowboy Shootouts with real cowboys!
We’re a town of small businesses. Stop in at any of our local shops, stores, or farms and you’ll find friendly people who will remember your name the next time they see you. Bethany is the only rural town in New Haven County and rural is what makes Bethany unique. Over 58% of Bethany’s land is undeveloped, either protected open space or privately held undeveloped land. Be it farm, field or forest, that undeveloped land is the foundation of our rural landscape; relatively natural, not intensely managed or maintained. Nature still has a hand in the design of Bethany. The rush of the wind in the trees and the cry of peepers can still be heard over people-generated sounds. Our rural landscape is accessible and enticing; it tempts you to spend time outdoors enjoying it. The developed areas of Bethany are widely dispersed so that they punctuate the landscape without overwhelming it.
Rural evokes a sense of our agricultural past. Rural accepts and acknowledges some diversity in its natural and man-made surroundings. We are not a sleek and manicured town. We are rural and rural goes hand-in-hand with our sense of community and belonging.
Regionally, Bethany is situated within the most densely-populated region of the United States, the megalopolis that is the Washington D.C. to New York City-Boston corridor. Several international and regional airports are within a 1-2 hour drive. We can get to New York City in just over an hour and to Boston in just over 2. We are 10 – 20 minutes from New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport; and 40 minutes from Hartford. It’s great to be close to all that hustle and bustle – to have easy access to the very best of the arts, culture, sports and commerce and then to come home to our peaceful, quiet town.