Southington Boy Scout planning handicapped-accessible canoe launch near Mill Street dog park

Southington Boy Scout planning handicapped-accessible canoe launch near Mill Street dog park


SOUTHINGTON — A local Boy Scout hopes to build a handicapped-accessible canoe launch and pathway on the Quinnipiac River near the town’s Mill Street dog park.

Parker Arai, an Eagle Scout candidate, plans to construct an 8-foot-by-10-foot wooden landing and a stone walkway to help disabled people enjoy the river. His project is on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

David Lavallee, assistant town planner, said Arai’s work coupled with town improvements, such as handicap parking, will make the river more usable.

“The river is a great resource for all to enjoy. A parking space up to code for disabled individuals will also be incorporated into the plan,” he said. “Once the project is complete we can offer this site as well as the launch at Germania Street as official put-ins.”

A handicap space needs to be on a flat area with “appropriate signage and striping,” Lavallee said. There’s already a parking lot at the dog park at 64 Mill St.

Lavallee said he hopes the canoe launches will be available for use in the late spring.

Arai could not be reached for comment Monday.

Steve Theriault, Quinnipiac River Watershed Association board member, said his group is trying to increase access to the river and clear fallen trees to improve conditions for boaters.

“That’s a good thing. I’m really thrilled. We want open access,” he said of Arai’s project.

Theriault said people can canoe or kayak from the Mill Street area to the association’s canoe launch near Route 322. He said the group is always looking for volunteers and donations to help the effort to clear the river.

Mill Street is a good spot for a launch, he said, since it’s near the center of town and will be easy to advertise.

“There’s some parking and it’s easy to see it. People know about it,” Theriault said. 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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