Benches were installed over the winter at Middletown Valley Park to provide another amenity to the beloved community park behind Aquidneck Centre and off High Street. #WhereAmI #MiddletownRI
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“WHERE AM I?” ANSWER — MAY 2022
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (MAY 6, 2022) – When Middletown bought the Kempenaar Valley property, there was talk of transforming it the community’s version of “Central Park.”
Looking at the parcel behind Aquidneck Centre today, it’s not too far off.
Sure, there isn’t a carousel, Strawberry Fields or the Great Lawn, but Middletown Valley Park has evolved into an oasis, just like its better known relative in the heart of New York City.
No matter the weather or time of day, it’s not uncommon to see people walking the packed gravel trails, enjoying the quiet park on High Street and O’Neil Boulevard. Thanks to the work of the Town’s volunteer Tree Commission, a variety of trees now grow there, providing refuge for the birds and small animals that call the park home.
Over the winter, the Town’s Department of Public Works installed new benches in the park, a low-key addition to make the park that much more attractive.
Tree Commission Chairwoman Karen Day said the benches were welcome amenities at the park and have drawn positive reviews.
“The locations were considered for the distance from the entrances and the view provided,” Day said. “It now gives walkers an opportunity to rest and enjoy the park at different intervals along the way.”
As for the park itself, Day said it’s been embraced by those in the surrounding neighborhoods — as well as the community itself.
“The park continues to be a popular walking destination,” Day said. “We look forward to extending the walkways into the southern area of the park which the Town has acquired. Hopefully this will be done in the near future, after the plans are reviewed by the necessary agencies.”
Town Planner Ronald M. Wolanski said the cost of the benches was paid for through a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation. As for the new trails, Wolanski said ideally construction would start before the end of the year. That way, there would be even more for people to enjoy at Middletown Valley Park.
“The park offers an opportunity for passive outdoor recreation and to experience nature in a densely developed part of town,” Wolanski said.
Document Link: https://www.middletownri.com/DocumentCenter/View/4639/WAI-Answer-May-2022