Downtown Stamford - Mill River Park

Mill River Park

Mill River Park, which separates Downtown from the West Side, is to be expanded in an $8.5 million project, including $4 million in federal funding earmarked in 2007, with the city government financing the rest of the cost. The federal funding is to pay for removing the Mill River dam and dredging. That part of the project is the first step in the long-planned renovation of the park.

The project plans call for narrowing the width of the river to less than half of its current expanse, which would expand the park's area and provide space for more amenities. The master plan provides for a carousel, fountain, ice rink and network of trails connecting a greenway with the Kosciuszko, Southfield and Scalzi parks. Removing the dam will also allow fish to swim up from Long Island Sound. As of 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had spent $800,000 on preliminary studies, planning and design.

The cherry trees in Mill River Park were presented to the city on April 27, 1957 by Junzo Nojima, a native of Japan who had settled in the city in 1926 and in 1932 became the first Japanese man to own a restaurant in the state (K&J Three Decker Restaurant on Atlantic Street). Nojima gave the city 120 trees, and for three years he watered each one until they took root. He gave the city instructions on how to care for them, but when they were overlooked, he began tending the trees himself. On Arbor Day, April 27, 2007, the city celebrated the 50th anniversary of the gift with a ceremony at the park.

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Famous quotes containing the words park, mill and/or river:

    Is a park any better than a coal mine? What’s a mountain got that a slag pile hasn’t? What would you rather have in your garden—an almond tree or an oil well?
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    At sundown, leaving the river road awhile for shortness, we went by way of Enfield, where we stopped for the night. This, like most of the localities bearing names on this road, was a place to name which, in the midst of the unnamed and unincorporated wilderness, was to make a distinction without a difference, it seemed to me.
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