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Elevated walkway with tower envisioned for West Brook park

Officials approve park plans

Plans for the new park on the former Gaslight Village property, unveiled last week, include an elevated walkway over West Brook and the roadways that straddle it. The bridge-like structure is envisioned to include an observation platform reminiscent of an Adirondack fire tower.

Plans for the new park on the former Gaslight Village property, unveiled last week, include an elevated walkway over West Brook and the roadways that straddle it. The bridge-like structure is envisioned to include an observation platform reminiscent of an Adirondack fire tower.

— For more than a decade, plans for West Brook Environmental Park have been described in concepts crafted in words.

The park, grounded in a mission to purify stormwater with engineered wetlands, has been hailed as providing a new natural gateway to the Adirondacks.

This last week, the visions morphed into reality, as representatives of Elan Planning & Design presented drawings of the park to Warren County leaders.

Depicting meandering waterways and a curved, elevated walkway over West Brook complete with an observation tower, the plans received unanimous conceptual approval from the county Board of Supervisors.

The 2.5-acre festival space would be anchored by a portable stage at one end, balanced off by a stone-faced entranceway resembling a historic depot on the other side.

On the eastern side of the park, a children’s adventure play area — not a standard playground — would invite youngsters to interact with nature. A nearby “council ring” would provide a pleasant outdoor classroom — in sync with nature — for both adults and youth, the planners said.

A skateboard park with geometric forms would complement the setting, as well as provide a destination for enthusiasts of the sport.

Various nooks in the park along meandering pathways would provide people with sites for either contemplating nature, or for quiet meditation.

Elsewhere, creative spray fountains punctuated with boulders and other natural features, would engage children in fun-filled play in an attractive setting.

Overlooks would provide visitors with insights on ecology while they enjoy a healthful walk through wetlands containing a myriad of plants that are naturally cleaning up groundwater while providing habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Jere Tatich and Lisa Nagle, principals of Elan Planning, unveiled the drawings and plans, based on a dozen or more recent interactive sessions with the public, plus interviews with various individuals and groups.

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