Land donations add links to Mullet’s chain of beauty

TWO LAND DONATIONS WILL add greatly to the Mullet River corridor through the heart of the city.

The City Council last week voted to accept the donation of an island in the middle of the river just above the Mill Pond and dam from the now-defunct Plymouth Kiwanis Club.

Meanwhile, a donation of a parcel on the north side of Collins Street, along the bank of the Mullet River, from owner Teresa Jones has received approval from the Plan Commission and requires only the approval of the Parks Committee and the council to become city land.

Plymouth is blessed to have a scenic river running through it, from one end of the city to the other, forming a vital heart of the community.

Many cities, both Plymouth’s size and larger, throughout the state and the nation have made rivers running through them a centerpiece and a showcase.

Plymouth has done much in the past to do the same and is taking great strides to make that even more so in the future.

While some of the landmarks along the river are gone, like the historic ski jump that once graced the east bank of the river on the city’s north side, more have been saved and preserved.

A pristine stretch of the river still flows through the Meyer Scenic Nature Park on the city’s south side. The Mill Pond and dam still create a beautiful and welcoming entrance to downtown and should remain so into the future thanks to the joint efforts of the Plymouth Mill Pond Lake Association and the city.

Now the city is in the midst of a major effort to turn the north bank of the Mullet River south of Mill Street in downtown into a signature park and community center area, in partnership with the Plymouth Lions Club, the Stayer family and many other private groups and supporters.

And the city has taken the lead in developing a river walk along the opposite bank of the river. That path crosses the parcel being donated to the city by Jones and it is not clear whether the city ever obtained an easement for the path where it crosses what is private land.

But with Jones’ generous donation, that will become a moot point. The path will now be entirely on city property Huson Park, which the walkway passes through at the base of Yankee Hill, will be an entire riverfront parkand will continue to be preserved in its natural state.

Meanwhile, the island above the Mill Pond will be preserved by the city as well.

The quit claim deed approved by the council includes a provision that “the property is to be used for a public purpose, including but not limited to a Boy Scout camp or other youth project.”

That is a welcome restriction in keeping with the pristine nature of the island and its historic past. Known to many as Scout Island, the island was used for years by local Boy Scout troops for camping outings.

Whether it is ever used for that again, or is put to some other use – perhaps as a stopping point for kayakers, canoers and others enjoying the scenic Mullet River – the donation ensures that the city can protect and preserve the island in the future.

All in all, the donations add to what is already a vibrant, attractive and pristine heart of the city – the beautiful Mullet River.

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Edward Jones