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PR: Reconnecting to the Waterfront: Mill Island Park Development Plan, A Vision for Fairfield’s Downtown, Approved for Implementation by Fairfield Town Council

March 6, 2024

80-page Plan Provides the Town of Fairfield with an Implementation Plan for Future Waterfront Development Initiatives

Fairfield, ME 3/6/2024 – The Mill Island Park Development Plan was successfully approved by the Fairfield Town Council on December 13, 2023, marking a significant milestone for the town’s economic and recreational future. After an extensive multi-year planning process facilitated by the Fairfield Economic and Community Development Committee (FECDC) and participated in by engaged residents and various community stakeholders, initiatives to support recreational and waterfront development will be enacted in phases. 

“The Mill Island Park Development Plan is a testament to the power of community engagement and collaboration,” said FECDC Chairwoman and Fairfield Town Council Member Stephanie Thibodeau. “We are excited about the positive impact this plan will have on Fairfield’s waterfront, and we look forward to seeing the vision come to life.”

Future planning map for Mill Island Park, highlighting areas for investment such as trail enhancements and expansion. 

The comprehensive community visioning process focused on Mill Island Park’s recreational, historical, and educational needs while emphasizing both preservation and restoration of the Park’s existing assets. Necklaced by the Kennebec River and covering 5.5 acres to the east of Fairfield’s downtown, Mill Island Park is uniquely positioned to attract tourists, residents, and local visitors to its location. “Over the past 2 years, which included over 23 public meetings and several public planning exercises, thoughtful insights and feedback have been instrumental in shaping a vision that not only enhances the recreational, historical, and economic aspects of Mill Island Park but also plays a pivotal role in developing a comprehensive vision that aligns seamlessly with the broader goal of fostering growth in Fairfield’s downtown corridor,” adds Central Maine Growth Council Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development Garvan Donegan. “The success of this waterfront plan is a testament to the power of public input, showcasing how collective wisdom paves the way for a more vibrant and economically thriving Fairfield.”

The plan includes specific strategies for implementation, ranging from expanding a regional hub-and-spoke looping trail system, enhancing downtown connection opportunities, preserving historical existing infrastructure, addressing parking and traffic concerns, and incorporating sustainable maintenance practices along the eastern and western waterfronts of Mill Island Park. The Plan recognizes the significance of continued community involvement and engagement, ensuring that the collective vision becomes a reality through ongoing collaboration with the residents and relevant local and state authorities. 

“The active engagement of our residents and stakeholders has been instrumental in shaping a transformative vision and plan for this unique community park; the public’s input not only reflects the diverse perspectives within our community but also underscores our collective commitment to creating a dynamic, inclusive, and economically vibrant downtown waterfront,” states Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling. “This collaborative effort stands as a testament to the strength of our community spirit and the shared vision we have for a downtown corridor that is both revitalized and thriving.”

Copies of the printed plan are available in the Fairfield Town Office. 

About the Fairfield Economic and Community Development Committee (FECDC):
The Economic and Community Development Advisory Committee is a “citizens” committee with open membership to all Fairfield residents, business owners, and educators who have a vested interest in community development. Meetings are open to the public, and the committee typically meets monthly at the Fairfield Community Center; go to Fairfield’s online calendar of events for a meeting schedule.

Last modified: March 5, 2024

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