November 23, 2022
The temps have now turned chilly! But at BPRW Planning we enjoyed the warm and productive fall, or was it a second summer? We hope that you were able to join us for one of BPRW’s awesome Halloween events in late October and had a safe night of tricks and treats!
Read on for the latest updates on our active projects and those on the horizon.
Calahan Park Playground
Construction this past August replaced the 90’s-era steel and plastic structure with a nature-inspired series of springers, play-houses, and climbers constructed from black-locust timbers. We held a well-attended community work day to spread wood-fiber surfacing and opened the playground shortly after. With the playground itself now replaced, staff are identifying next steps to improve circulation and accessible connections to the playground and throughout Calahan Park generally.
Champlain Street Park Renovations
While we’re continuing to move through permitting for Champlain Street Parks’ final design, we hired a contractor to remove and replace the park’s fence. To comply with our City’s downtown form-based code, we’ve opted for an eye-catching 3-rail, black, ornamental steel and aluminum fence that varies between 3 to 6 feet-tall to keep views open into and out of the park, while clearly delineating the park’s boundaries.
With the vegetation removed and the new fence installed, the park is already starting to feel more open and inviting. Once we have our permits in hand, we’re hoping to get the rest of the park out to bid this winter so that we can wrap up the renovations next spring.
Dewey Park Refresh
In timing with the unveiling of the REIB/BCA Belonging and Embrace sculpture in time for Juneteenth 2023, BPRW is working towards a “refresh” of Spring Street plaza that was installed ahead of Open Streets in 2014. The refresh will include repainting a mural, adding in some seating and shade structures and sprucing up vegetation. BPRW tabled at the ONE Farmers’ Market in late October to gain public feedback on the refresh and attended a Ward 2/3 NPA meeting in November to continue the conversation. A public workshop will be held on December 5th, 2022 at 5pm at the Integrated Arts Academy, 6 Archibald Street, Burlington and all are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.
Leddy Park Comprehensive Plan
BPRW tabled at Beach Bites this summer to garner feedback on the playground, future pavilion, trail connections and circulation at the park. We also worked with consultants on an ecological assessment of the entire park which will help inform decision-making about any changes to circulation and additional services within the park.
Even though Leddy Park has an industrial history, there are areas of the park that were not impacted by the rail and rendering plant formerly on the site and natural communities are still thriving there today. Leddy Park conserves a rare community of sandplain forest and significant stands of large trees. One of our goals is to preserve these key areas while envisioning the future of Leddy Park. Presently, BPRW is wrapping up additional data collection and site analysis and, together with consultants from SE Group, will kick back into conceptual design later this fall. Stay tuned!
Oakledge Universally Accessible Playground Project
A soggy September start gave way to a solid, sunny & dry October and November ideal for construction at Oakledge.
After ten years of advocacy, organization, design, re-design, public charettes, stakeholder input, permits and approvals, fundraising and grant-writing, and tenacious shepherding by Oakledge for All and Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, ground was broken for the Oakledge Universally Accessible Playground in mid-September.
The (almost) $1M project, one piece of multiple accessibility-driven improvements at Oakledge that began with renovation of the Upper Pavilion restrooms in 2016, will be the largest and most innovative accessible playground in the region. Designed by award-winning landscape architecture firm Groundview Design, the play area stretches 350’ along the waterfront bike path and rises gently to a height of 9’ above the surrounding grade.
Topsoil salvaging and earthwork were completed in September, with accessible connections to and around Phase 1 to the recently completed bike path upgrades following. Substantial stormwater infrastructure, including extensive rain gardens and a dry swale, were completed next in advance of the significant building-up of the sculptural landform that serves as the foundation for the entire playground.
The unseasonably warm and dry fall months were very accommodating to the extensive and intricate network of concrete pathways and curbing that lace the site and unite the play circuit with the existing row of white cedar trees. Most recently, concrete foundations for equipment were installed, though equipment installation and safety surfacing will be some of the last tasks, scheduled for completion next spring or early summer. As our contractor has completed work from south to north, finish grading, topsoil, seed & mulching have been completed incrementally. In fact, much of the site is already covered in vegetation, helping to prevent erosion, minimizing the exposure of the site and maximizing time to establish cover before winter freeze-up.
Construction shut down occurred ahead of the first real cold snap and will resume again when conditions allow in the spring (likely in April 2023).
Roosevelt Comprehensive Plan
BPRW’s intern has been steadily working on compiling a site analysis of Roosevelt Park and spent time in the park observing circulation and use of the park. One of the focus areas is the connection between the Boys and Girls’ Club and Roosevelt Park. Our team will be working on rolling out different public outreach efforts later this fall to work into a comprehensive plan for the park.
Schifilliti Park Pathway
With the conceptual design completed, the design of the federal grant-funded pathway has now entered the extensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process, which assesses projects for archaeological and environmental impacts. We expect this 6-month-long review to wrap up in mid-January. While we await the NEPA determination, our City staff continue to work with the engineering consultant and State Project Coordinator to advance all of the project’s construction, grant, and bid documents so that we can hit the ground running and get the project out to bid as soon as possible.