New Housatonic riverfront park in New Milford considered
NEW MILFORD — Town officials might look into creating a park on 16 acres of land along the Housatonic River.
The town has owned the the land, an overgrown stretch along a cove on the river called Hidden Treasure, since 1977. Officials have previously considered making the land a park in 1999, a dog park in 2008, and Mayor David Gronbach said now is the time to get something done.
“Why not?” Gronbach said. “It’s a beautiful piece of land that sits vacant.”
The 16 acres house several decrepit buildings and wild overgrowth, but could become a “jewel” by the river if turned into a park, Gronbach said.
The mayor said he doesn’t know why the 1999 plan failed.
The land is adjacent to an inlet that holds West Cove Marina and already has nature trails. Residents already launch kayaks and canoes from the property, Gronbach said.
The Town Council will discuss Monday the creation of a special committee to get started.
A new park on the river plays into the town’s plans to revitalize its riverfront, Gronbach said. In late September, the town council awarded the Public Works Department $350,000 to beautify a trail area from Bridge Street to Patriots Way along the Housatonic while it cleaned and fixed the waterfront with a $180,000 federal grant.
“I want to keep that momentum going,” Gronbach said.
The trail project, which should be done by spring, will include paved trails, plants, picnic tables, bike racks and fishing docks, Public Works Director Michael Zarba has said.
“(Hidden Treasures) is consistent with what New Milford has wanted to do for many years,” Gronbach said. “It’s already being used, I just want to make it a place that people could actually fish from — just enjoy this particular part of the river.”
If the Town Council votes to create the Hidden Treasures Park Committee, a new riverfront park could take shape in the near future.
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