The Town of Wilna, located in the northern part of New York’s Tug Hill Region in Jefferson Country, has plans to add more public parks to its Hamlets. Two of these, Herrings and Natural Bridge, have been working with Saratoga Associates, an appointed committee, and members of the public in order to develop designs. Both parks are to incorporate historical, ecological and cultural themes, incorporate recreation and education, create a sense of place, and be fully accessible.
In the Hamlet of Herrings, the project site was previously a dry cleaning and laundry facility, and it is categorized as a superfund brownfield site. As part of the redevelopment process, the Town of Wilna intends to repurpose the land and create an additional park. The design takes a passive approach and provides open meadows, trails, and sheltered pavilions. The site is along the Black River and includes a new boat launch. An additional goal of the project is to optimize views of the river and its falls from the park. Parking was also added in the northwestern portion of the property, and it connects to the trail system meandering throughout the site.
The Natural Bridge site is an undeveloped parcel located behind the hamlet’s local post office as well as several homes. Parking is provided off of the residential street, and leads into the park. The proposed design provides several amenities for recreation, including a new ball field, a basketball court, trails, playground, and multiuse open field space. A picnic area has also been proposed for the new park.
The Town of Wilna plans on implementing both park projects in phases as their financial means allow them, so Saratoga Associates is identifying both short and long-term improvements. The designs are also accompanied by a feasibility study that will be used for future planning and grant funding for additional design and construction.