What has been an intangible dream is becoming a tangible reality with Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony to launch the construction of a kayak surf wave in the Winnipesaukee River and stadium seating in Trestle View Park.
Marty Parichand, executive director of the nonprofit Mill City Park at Franklin Falls, told the roughly 100 people attending the ceremony that he was happy to be there talking about the tangibles — the whitewater park and other features that are being developed along a segment of the Winnipesaukee River — but, he said, “the intangibles are even better.”
“Everything we’ve done up to this point is intangible. It’s an idea. It’s a concept. It’s a relationship. It’s working really hard so that someday the future is going to be brighter,” he said.
Forging public-private relationships with the city launched a revitalization that has made it to main street — or, in Franklin’s case, Central Street.
“Over the past year,” Parichand said, “looking forward to the next four years, about $75 million is going to be spent on Central Street. It’s in the process right now, based off an idea based off an improvement of quality of life, for both residents and businesses. So although tangibly I’m very excited to serve so my arms fall off inside of a whitewater park, the intangible aspects, the growth that we’re seeing, the benefits to our community, and certainly the relationships I’ve been able to form with many of you are more important.”
Jeremy Laucks, owner of Blackfly Canoes in New Hampton, who serves on the Mill City Park board, admitted, “to be honest, when I first heard Marty’s idea for building a whitewater park here, like everybody else, I was pretty skeptical. It was a good idea, but I was not really sure we could actually do it.”
Pictured: Local businessman Bob Grevior, right, receives a kayak paddle from Mill City Park’s executive director, Marty Parichand, during a ceremony at Franklin’s Trestle View Park on July 12. Using paddles for the groundbreaking are, from left, Franklin City Manager Judie Milner; Jim Aberg of the Franklin Business and Industrial Development Corporation; Scott Crowder of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development; Kerry Holmes of Sen. Hassan’s Office; Congressman Ann Kuster; Mill City Park’s Jeremy Laucks; Michele Cota of Sen. Shaheen’s Office; Parichand; and Grevior. (Thomas Caldwell Photo)