Ribbon cut on downtown Norwich's East and West Parks   View the Photo Gallery

NORWICH – Following nearly a decade of preparation, planning and – ultimately – extensive construction, the city’s Business Improvement District and Friends of the Park celebrated the completion of East and West Park’s historic renovation Tuesday.

Approximately 150 volunteers, donors, community leaders and supporters of the project were on hand last night, gathering in East Park for refreshments, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and performances by the Perkins School of Dance and the Norwich City Band.

After so much time and effort, said Marylou Stewart, one of 10 individuals known collectively as the Friends of the Park, the end result looks fabulous.

“Once again, we did what we said we were going to do and we did it well, and within budget,” said Stewart, who’s been involved with the BID since its inception in 1986. “I am so proud and so pleased, number one by our volunteers. They did a wonderful job and, once again, they rose to the challenge.”

Fellow Friend of the Park Pegi LoPresti, who took over as director of the BID in March of 2002, said one of the first things to come across her desk was the preliminary master plan for the parks’ renovation. Nine-and-a-half years later, following numerous delays and setbacks, that vision has become a reality.

“I just can’t help but look at these parks and be proud of this community, our donors and volunteers, and all of the people that made this happen. It really makes me proud to call Norwich my home,” she added.

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