The Town Council signs off on the latest addition to Middletown Valley Park, work that will be mostly covered by an $80,000 state Department of Environmental Management grant. #PassiveRecreation #Walking #LiveWorkPlay #MiddletownRI
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NEW TRAIL APPROVED FOR MIDDLETOWN VALLEY PARK
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (OCTOBER 4, 2021) – An additional walking trail is on the way to Middletown Valley Park.
At tonight’s meeting from Town Hall, the Town Council approved a contract for East Coast Construction to add another 1,075 feet of path in the popular community park on High Street behind the Aquidneck Centre shopping complex.
The layout of the new trail wasn’t finalized, but would generally go in on the southern end of the park and connect up with the existing 1.3-mile network currently in place.
A state Department of Environmental Management grant will pay for about 80 percent of the overall price tag of the project.
“I think it makes a lot of sense for the community,” Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown said.
Concerned about rumored residential development pressure, the Town purchased the close to 50-acre Middletown Valley parcel behind the Aquidneck Shopping Centre from the Kempenaar Family in 2004.
After mulling several options, the Town opened a 1.3-mile passive trail network there in 2017. The paths and park have been embraced by residents and others as a quiet, peaceful escape to walk and enjoy nature in the heart of the community.
Over the summer, the Town received an $80,000 state Department of Environmental Management “Recreational Trail Grant” to expand the Valley trails. All told, more than $2.2 million was awarded to 22 projects across the Ocean State.
Based on comments from the council, Town Engineer Warren Hall said he would redesign the new trail to make it as visually appealing and user friendly as possible.
Down the line, Town officials said they planned on seeking additional DEM or similar grant money to finish the remainder of the proposed Middletown Valley trail system. No new parking was included in the Town’s proposal to the state. An estimated start date for the trail work was not provided tonight.