For decades, Mill River in Stamford, Connecticut was dammed and channelized, choked with pollution and silt buildup, leading to greater flood risk for the surrounding downtown. When the Army Corps of Engineers called for the removal of the dam and channel walls, OLIN was brought in to create a master plan for the newly naturalized waterfront. The plan envisioned the river as an amenity and connector, anchored by a park to the north and with a multimodal greenway stretching down to Stamford Harbor. The first phase of the plan, Mill River Park, was implemented directly out of OLIN’s master plan. The park embraces the newly naturalized banks with a design that includes passive meadows, pedestrian and bicycle trails, lawn areas for play and events, and—for the first time in decades—access points down to the water’s edge. The park also incorporates an existing cherry tree grove, a beloved landmark in Stamford that was a gift to the city in 1957 by Junzo Nojima, a Japanese immigrant. Future phases of the park development include a fountain/ice rink and additional permanent visitor amenities, as well as trail connections extending beyond the park to Stamford Harbor.
Mill River Park Collaborative
2015, ASLA Design Honor Award