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Park Project Gets $500K Award

A $500,000 grant for the Mill River Collaborative takes Stamford a step closer to a spring groundbreaking in its efforts to establish a family-centered recreational park. The award is from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

"This grant brings the funding raised through the collaborative's campaign for Mill River Park to $3 million. It puts us closer to breaking ground in the spring with sufficient resources to complete the basic park infrastructure," Mill River Collaborative Executive Director Milton Puryear said in a statement.

The city has contracted with the collaborative to develop and manage the planned park and greenway. The grant will pay for the construction of rain gardens and pipes that will catch and direct storm water before it hits the river. This includes storm water from streets, which can include such contaminants as petrochemicals from cars. The new infrastructure will break down such chemicals so that they're no longer harmful.

"The Mill River Project is an inspiration for towns and watersheds all along the Long Island Sound," said Mark Tedesco, director of the Long Island Sound Study . "We are delighted to be able to help move the project forward to its next phase."

The Sound Study, which oversees the Futures Fund, was launched in 1985 to control water pollution and address ecosystem needs in the Sound. The Sound study's partners include the federal Environmental Protection Agency and organizations, groups, agencies and individuals in Connecticut and New York. Various Sound study committees hold meetings throughout the year in both states. The next meeting of its Citizens Advisory Committee will take place Dec. 9 at UConn-Stamford.

The grant was the largest of several awards totaling $2.4 million in awards announced Friday by the Long Island Sound Futures Fund.

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