In Rye, NH on June 7th, the Mill City Park project was awarded the NH Planners Association 2019 Project of the Year. In a state with so many incredible projects and happenings, this is a tremendous honor. A diverse project team of the City Manager, Mayor, City Councilors, Directors, and Mill City Park Board Members were present to receive.

City Manager Milner received the award with remarks of transformation and hard work, over the 4 year period that individuals have been working on this project. The Executive Director Parichand then followed reinforcing her comments and discussing the tangible and intangibles of this project.

Thank you, Judie. 

 Our project is creating New England’s first outdoor park that spans dirt and water. The primary activities there will be to Surf, Mountain Bike, Paddle Whitewater, which will be possible 365 days a year. This park is not like Acadia National Park or Bear Brook State Park. It is a place of significant history in our community with remnants from the old dams and mills that were once there. The park will enable exploration of the historical remnants that have been taken back by Mother Nature.

 The economic impact of such a place, has been estimated by the State as leading to 160,000 visitors who will spend $6.8M each year. 

 Our story began as a project initially financed by PermaCityLife, a local nonprofit represented here today, by their President, Sam Durfee. With many signature events, a strong partnership with the city, and a hundred volunteers we have been able to raise just shy of $2M, making this idea into a reality. 

The foundation of this story is adaptability, creativity, teamwork and grit. The people standing with us today are but a fraction of those residents, businesses and organizations that are invested.

Building a park is like building anything once a plan is in place. It becomes a very tangible project. A finite project. Or goal has finite components that much is true.

However, our greatest accomplishments will be because of our success in building a community not a park. 

All of us are extremely grateful for this nomination, award and to be here with you today. Thank you, NH Planners Association for recognizing a tangible project playing an infinite game.