NORWALK, Conn. – Highlighting unique views of Norwalk Harbor and the river that runs parallel to nearby West Avenue, Norwalk’s Oyster Shell Park was opened officially Tuesday as its renovations were unveiled.
Oyster Shell Park is one of the first in the nation to receive designation under the Sustainable SITES Initiative , which seeks to rate green landscape design, maintenance and other criteria. The 25-acre park is on the site of a former landfill near Matthews Park, the Stepping Stones Museum for Children and the former location of the Norwalk Police Department.
With the help of grants and other funding, the city hopes to ultimately renovate the park and some of the adjacent acreage to the tune of nearly $5 million to include a performance stage and a host of other improvements.
“None of this would have happened but for the funding assistance from the Department of Economic & Community Development and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,” Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia said in a statement. “Success of the state funding support is thanks in large measure to the active work by Norwalk’s elected representatives to the State Legislature, which is especially appreciated.”
On Tuesday, Moccia and several city officials, including the project’s manager, Susan Sweitzer of the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, held a brief ceremony to open the park.
“The collaborative effort between city departments in overseeing the design and construction of the park demonstrates again the quality of Norwalk’s public employee workforce,” said Moccia.
The park’s award-winning Master Plan design was crafted by Glastonbury-based BSC Group and was put into place by LaRosa Building Group of Meriden. In addition to the Redevelopment Agency, the project also benefited from the work of Norwalk’s Recreation & Parks and Public Works departments.
“The transformation of what once was an eyesore into one of the most beautiful landscapes in Norwalk is testament to the collaborative work of State and local agencies,” said state Sen. Bob Duff, D-25th District. “The value of Norwalk’s riverside environment will benefit for generations to come thanks to this important project.”
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