MIDDLEBURY – The simplistic design for the Town of Middlebury’s newest park is simply a means to end for the parks department.

“It’s going to be a little bit of an extension of (Riverbend Park) and potentially, a step to connecting Riverbend Park to the Pumpkinvine Trail,” Tom Enright, Middlebury Park Department Director, said.

The Olde Mill Park will feature 450 feet of boardwalk, a parking lot, kiosk and trail map for visitors, and sits just north of Riverbend Park in downtown Middlebury.

The two locations will be connected using a crosswalk at Warren Street, with the boardwalk in the wetlands and gravel path in other locations of Olde Mill Park to encourage exploring.

The total project is estimated at $180,000, however, 80 percent of the money earmarked for it came from the recently awarded Recreational Trails Program Grant. The Olde Mill Park land was purchased using a grant from the Elkhart County Community Foundation and held by the Friends of the Middlebury Parks until it was donated to the parks department for the project.

Construction began about a month ago on the boardwalk itself at the new Olde Mill Park, and about 10 percent is complete, Enright said. The boardwalk is expected to be finished in the next three weeks, with gravel trails and other park construction finished by late Spring 2018.

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