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Riverwalk to be dedicated on Friday

  • The Riverwalk park, located behind the Wilton Police Station, will be dedicated on Sept. 29. Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, September 28, 2017 10:37AM

The new Stony Brook Riverwalk will be completed by the end of the month.

“Downtown Wilton has been a drive-through, one-errand-experience for far too long,” said Jennifer Beck, Chair of the Wilton Economic Development Team.

The River Walk was approved by townsfolk during Town Meeting in March, and it aligns with one of the goals recently identified by Wilton residents just a charrette process completed with Plan NH earlier this summer: To create opportunities to expand the Wilton “village” beyond Main Street. 

“So far we’ve built a town that ignores our rivers,” said Beck. “This project was a small step, but a place to start and test public support to change that.”

This summer, the Wilton Economic Development Committee completed the walk, which they hope to eventually expand upon down the river, to include lighting and information about the town’s history as a mill area, and information about the local natural resources.

Both Stony Brook and the Souhegan River are protected waterways that are strongly connected to Wilton’s history as a mill town. The rivers converge at the downtown bridge. Future plans are to link the new Stony Brook walkway with the River View Mill, carving a walkway and overlooks all along the Souhegan through the Main Street Park and back along the shoreline to the artists’ mill. The pathway will bring visitors back onto Main Street proper inviting them to shop, eat and gather in more green spaces, then continue along the river’s edge to connect with more shops and art studios, and then bring visitors back onto Main Street.

Young shade trees have been planted along the riverside to encourage people to use the new walk as a resting spot where they can observe the river wildlife, which includes recent sightings of a great blue heron, shoreline birds, mink and otter.

The town will celebrate the new Stony Brook Riverwalk Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. when the new lights will be turned on, accompanied by music provided by the Temple Dance Band. The public is welcome to join the festivities which include free refreshments, music and a thank you to the first donors of granite benches along the river edge. The Wilton Heritage Commission is sponsoring the opening ceremonies along with the Sky Bridge Café and Double-D-Dogs.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.