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Riverside Park Plan To Be Presented On Wednesday

Recommendations, including sketch of layout for future use of New London park, will be introduced at forum

Landscape architects will present their recommendations for the future of Riverside Park next week.

Peter Miniutti and Madeline Schade of UConn’s Community Research & Design Collaborative and Brian Kent of Kent & Frost Landscape Architects will discuss their findings, including preliminary sketches for the layout of the park. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Winthrop School.

The event is part of the “Beyond the Bridges” series hosted by New London Landmarks. The study has been facilitated by UConn’s Community Research and Design Collaborative and aims to determine the most logical use for a space based on natural and cultural features and community-based methodology to create a land use plan that balances conservation, preservation, and sustainable development.

At a prior workshop, Miniutti said a survey identified tree trimming to open up views of the Thames River and the establishment of a playground as top priorities in park improvements. Park advocates have expressed differing ideas on a proposal to move a Cedar Grove Ave. playscape to the park.

New London Landmarks and the non-profit group Riverside Park Conservancy have worked toward promoting, improving, and using the park during and after a 2010 referendum vote on whether to sell about half of the park to the Coast Guard Academy. The sale was narrowly defeated.

The workshops have looked at Riverside Park improvements as well as revitalization of the Hodges Square neighborhood. In 2012 the park’s activities included a Yale-Harvard Regatta viewing party and Creative Placemaking arts activities.

The Riverside Park Conservancy says on its website that its planned activities in 2013 include completing renovation of the restrooms, continuing to host community events and clean-ups, expanding the use of plein air painting, improving stormwater management and play equipment, controlling invasive species, expanding flower gardens onto Stanners Streets, and using a trap-neuter-release program to stabilize a feral cat population.

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