Mill River Park
|Mill River Park|
|Operated by||Mill River Collaborative|
The $8 million restoration of the Mill River, $5 million of which was federally funded, began in 2009. It was followed by second $12-million phase, which consisted primarily of installing infrastructure such as lighting, benches and plantings.
Mill River Park was 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 was to pay for removing the Mill River dam and dredging.
The project included narrowing the width of the river to less than half of its then-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. As of 2013, the master plan for Mill River Park is projected to cost $60 million and encompass 28 acres.
Notable flora and fauna
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.
- Kim, Elizabeth (May 2, 2013). "New Mill River Park unveiled". Greenwich Time. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
- Porstner, Donna, "Stamford to get $7M from feds", The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, December 20, 2007, Stamford edition, page 1
- Deka, Christina, special correspondent, "On Arbor Day, city will honor deep roots: Event will mark 50 years of Mill River cherry trees", news article in The Advocate (Stamford) of Stamford, Connecticut, page A11