Concept plans for parks are available around Wilton
What recreational features would you like to see at Schenck’s Island and Merwin Meadows?
Town officials are circulating draft concept plans to see what items interest the public for passive recreation on Schenck’s Island and the renovation of Merwin Meadows.
The idea for Schenck’s Island is to preserve and enhance the habitat; remove invasive plants; promote access, connectivity, and views; improve space for community events and groups; develop year-round uses and appeal.
Ideas for Merwin Meadows include: reinvigorating and updating the park; improving appeal of the pond and beach; expanding other recreational opportunities; enhancing connectivity; protecting river and forested areas.
The draft plans were presented at two recent public meetings and boards containing the plans will be available throughout the month of May for viewing and commentary at various locations around Wilton including: outside the Annual Town Meeting adjourned vote on Saturday, May 11 (weather permitting), Comstock Community Center, Wilton Town Hall, and the Wilton Library.
There are blank boards for people to write their comments.
Boards will also be available on the town website, wiltonct.org, under Schenck’s Island/Merwin Meadows Committee (SIMM). Comments can be sent to Mike.Conklin@wiltonct.org.
The boards contain a Plan A and Plan B for both Schenck’s Island and Merwin Meadows, showing possible elements for each site. It is not an “either/or” situation.
For Schenck’s Island, the goal is to add more educational and cultural ideas.
Plans for Schenck’s Island Plan A include:
- Redesign of parking lot and park entry.
- Picnic pavilion and accessible path connecting Old Ridgefield Road.
- Create nature-themed free play area.
- Manage meadow area.
- Add education shed and interactive exhibit stations.
- Add river restoration plantings.
- Manage successional forest.
- Create off-leash dog run.
- Enhance River Road gateway.
- Provide river access to better link Chess Park and picnic area.
- Improve river access along the Norwalk River.
- Improve entrance and parking.
- Create stage and amphitheater space.
- Scatter artistic and playful elements made of natural materials.
- Add ecology and education features such as boardwalks.
- Manage the meadow for invasive plants.
- Establish trails to access water at specific locations.
- Maintain picnic grove.
- Establish changing art exhibitions and installations.
- Make edge planting denser at Metro-North edge.
- Improve entrance and pathway to River Road footbridge.
Ideas for Merwin Meadows are focused on renovating existing amenities, adding natural water play features, updating the playground, and improving picnic facilities.
Merwin Meadows Plan A includes:
- Improve parking lot and park entry.
- Guardhouse improvements.
- Create pond deck/performance space built into a hillside.
- Make pond improvements.
- Create interactive water play area.
- Update playground.
- Update picnic pavilion.
- Expand picnic perimeter berm.
- Create paved court space.
- Construct previously designed pedestrian bridge from Wilton Train Station.
- Add lighting and artwork to Route 33 overpass.
Merwin Meadows Plan B includes:
- Improve vehicular access and parking.
- Relocate playground, construct rain garden.
- Improve waterfront amenities.
- Create naturalized bank and berm.
- Add trees for a streamside shaded grove.
- Reconstruct multipurpose field.
- Reroute Norwalk River Valley Trail.
- Improve Ridgefield Road access point.
- Add signage at Metro-North parking access point.
Residents have inquired about the possible installation of a pool, however, both locations are floodways where pools are prohibited, according to town officials.
The plans were designed by Milone and MacBroom engineers who will consolidate the latest round of feedback to develop and present a final master plan to the Schenck’s Island and Merwin Meadows (SIMM) Committee for its review.
If approved, the SIMM Committee will present the plan to the Board of Selectmen for approval.
It is anticipated the master plan would be implemented over five to eight years with funding through private donations, not taxpayer dollars, with the town providing labor similar to the development of the Chess Park, according to Sarah Gioffre, Wilton’s coordinator of community affairs.