The development of Willimantic Whitewater Park, having appeared dormant for months, now shows signs of activity as recent activity on this waterfront gem moves more public. The developing park, on Bridge Street in Willimantic, CT, was the site of a gas station and later an oil delivery depot, and the cleanup of the remains of those businesses is now moving forward earnestly. In addition, because of years of lack of use, the property has been overgrown with weeds, and recent cutting and maintenance has opened the visual river view.
Purchased and now owned by Willimantic Whitewater Partnership and initially motivated by the vision and leadership of Dan Mullins, Willimantic Whitewater Park has the potential to serve the city of Willimantic as one of its gateways. The park is situated only a few feet from the corner of Main and Bridge Streets. Across the street is the entrance to Eastern Connecticut Railroad Museum. In addition, of interest to bicyclists, the park sits at a crossroads of the Airline Trail, which runs east and west out of Willimantic and will also be part of the Florida-To-Maine East Coast Greenway.
Besides being a park designed for passive or relaxed uses such as sitting, reading, and fishing, its main recreational focus will be for kayakers and other white water enthusiasts. The park is also part of the Town of Windham's initiative to open up its waterfront views and riversides. Possible plans include removal of dams along the Willimantic River and put-in and take-out locations for kayakers and other types of self-propelled water craft.
In the past, the park has hosted white water activities that have drawn throngs of canoeists, kayak adventurers, and river view fans. More recently, as behind-the-scenes work became more challenging, activity was less visible. However, with a state grant in place and dumpsters ready to be filled, the park is again humming with progress.
To read more about Willimantic Whitewater Park, including how its plans blend with Windham's Plan of Development, the web address is www.willimanticwhitewater.org. (Again, as a point of clarification, Willimantic is the urban center that is a part of the Town of Windham.)
I am Peter Leeds, a recreation supporter and walker and bicycle rider around Willimantic, Windham, and many other places in eastern Connecticut. For any other information about this park or other matters to do with Windham or Willimantic, I can be reached at 860-377-4433 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.