KIM SMITH DEDAM
WILMINGTON — Heritage Park in the center of Wilmington is nearing completion.
Started this summer, the new public space encompasses town property surrounding the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau. The East Branch of the Ausable River tumbles behind it.
At the park’s center is the new town clock, set, as construction is underway, at 12 o’clock.
Town of Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston pointed to the new gazebo picnic area above the river, the paved visitor parking area and its proximity to the four-corners crossroads in Wilmington.
Preston said the next step here is landscaping and a new sidewalk, along with new lighting in the parking area.
“This was funded as part of a Department of State local waterfront grant. We received $251,000 to complete this along with other work being done at the town beach on Lake Everest.”
At the beach, just a few miles downriver, Wilmington town crews are installing a handicapped-accessible fishing dock and nature trails along the waterfront forest area.
MORE TO COME
Michelle Burns is operations manager for the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau. Her offices adjoin the new Heritage Park.
She has watched the project take shape since August.
“I think that having the center of town look more attractive will bring more tourists to this office,” she said of the park-renewal effort.
“Then I can send them to some of the other gems in town that they might not know about.”
Gems include the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway, just a few miles down the road, and Whiteface Mountain, a little further down Route 86.
Area hotels, Adirondack Chocolate’s chocolate factory, the A&W restaurant, Santa’s Workshop and many restaurants and other shops are within a short distance of the Visitor’s Center.
“There is more to come,” Burns said, eyeing progress on the new town park.
Along with lights and signage, there will be a new row of bike racks to accommodate travelers on two wheels, a growing trend in Wilmington.
“The new sign will be really nice. We’re starting to brand Wilmington so all of the banners throughout the town and the town’s public areas will match,” Burns said.
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