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Thames River Heritage Park proposal coming together

Groton - The public will get a chance to learn about and comment on the blueprint for connecting existing independent historic sites on the river into a new state park in a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 1.

At the meeting, which would take place at city hall, representatives of the Yale Urban Design Workshop will present the 100-page report they created as the instruction manual for turning plans for the Thames River Heritage Park into a reality. They will also answer the public's questions about the park, said Penny Parsekian, consultant to the group working on the project.

The steering committee for the park set the date for the meeting on Wednesday.

The steering committee voted unanimously to recommend to the board of the Avery-Copp House, which commissioned the report, that its members approve it at their meeting next week. The plan is considered a draft until it receives that approval.

By the time of the public meeting, Parsekian said, the steering committee hopes to have made progress in securing support from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office to establish the park, which would comprise four anchor sites and a dozen smaller ones. The anchor sites would be Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park and the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, and Fort Trumbull State Park and the proposed National Coast Guard Museum in New London, all connected by water taxi service across the Thames.

Groton City Mayor Marian Galbraith, a member of the steering committee, said she hopes a meeting she has requested with the governor will take place in the next few weeks.

The Yale Urban Design report can be found online at http://bit.ly/17jadjj.

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