Middeleer firm selected for park designs

Middeleer Land Design, based in Bethel and led by Wilton native Geoffrey Middelleer, is the firm the Schenck’s Island-Merwin Meadows Study Committee has selected to design the improvements for the two parks.

Dan Berg, chairman of the committee, reported on the selection Aug. 6 to the Board of Selectmen.

He expected the contract to come in at around $18,000. Town officials are now reviewing the proposed contract.

“We’ve achieved the first big major milestone,” Berg told the selectmen at town hall.

He made a point of how Wilton Center is probably the only downtown area of any town in the region that is bookended by two public parks, and has a river flowing through it besides. The intention is to make the most of this natural advantage.

“It creates an incredible opportunity for the town center,” Berg said.

At Merwin, the committee is looking to keep it as it is, with recreational uses laid out as they are, only upgraded. Schenck’s Island, which lies in a floodway, will be kept as a natural recreation area with a meadow, but become a more natural and educational playspace for children, where community events can be hosted year-round, without building anything.

Fifteen design firms applied to the job.

“We selected one of them, Middleleer, because we liked their proposal and their understanding of what our vision was,” Berg said.

It is to be a multi-year project, and Berg said the committee has not addressed where funding would come from.

There will be public input sessions ahead, he said.