May 17, 2023
We’ve enjoyed exploring ephemerals in Arms Forest, the blooms along the waterfront and new buds coming out on newly planted trees in our parks. We hope you have too!
Below are updates on several ongoing projects – please reach out with questions or for more information. To stay up-to-date on parks projects, please sign up for our newsletter!
Champlain Street Park Renovations
Having secured our local zoning permits this past fall, we are now finalizing construction details and preparing to put the park renovations out to bid in coming weeks. We plan to prioritize our available budget to replace the playground, install a new electric service and light fixture to improve nighttime visibility, and to add a connecting pathway to make the playground fully accessible. Any remaining budget will be allocated toward replacing the seating, landscaping and all the small things that make a park feel more welcoming.
Dewey Park Refresh and Next Steps
BPRW is working towards a “refresh” of the street mural that was installed for Open Streets in 2014. The refresh will include repainting the mural and sprucing up the sign. This work is planned to occur this spring.
With an eye towards determining the future of the Spring Street ‘plaza’ adjacent to Dewey Park, BPRW has engaged a surveyor to document the park and right-of-way boundaries. Once the survey is determined, BPRW will meet with the Department of Public Works to identify potential options for the future of the Spring Street Plaza.
Leddy Park Comprehensive Plan
The Leddy Park Comprehensive Plan kicked back into gear in January with an internal design charette with the design consultants on a conceptual plan for the park. Several rounds of feedback and revisions have ensued and we are now ready to share a draft with the public!
BPRW and the consultant team led by SE Group will be hosting a final public meeting on June 1, 2023 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Leddy Park. We’ll be presenting the final comprehensive plan for the park. Join us under the tent behind the arena if the weather is favorable, or in Leddy Arena if it is not.
Everyone is welcome to join us for burgers, ‘dogs, and vegetarian options at 4:30 p.m. A brief overview of the plan will be given by the consultants at 5:30 p.m., with time afterwards for folks to view the project information boards, provide feedback, and discuss the project informally with the team. There are plan options for weigh in and questions to answer about next steps and preferences for some key future projects.
Additional information about the project can be found on the project page.
Leddy Park Pause Place
Construction will be starting up on the final Greenway Pause Place at Leddy Park this May and continuing through to July.
The project will include renovated pathways between the Gordon H. Paquette Ice Arena and the parking area with a large concrete oval at the intersection with the Greenway to provide more space for people to navigate this busy area. A final fitness station will be added, along with bike racks, a bike tuning station, and new walkway lighting. A large bioswale will be constructed between the Greenway and the parking lot. The bioswale will be planted with native trees, shrubs, and perennials to beautify this stretch of the Greenway while infiltrating, filtering, and reducing runoff to Lake Champlain.
Updates on the project construction, schedule, and detour plan can be found on the Greenway Projects page.
Oakledge Universally Accessible Playground Project
Construction started up again early this spring on completing the City’s first Universally Accessible Playground at Oakledge Park. BPRW secured additional grants this winter to re-introduce elements that were previously paused due to a funding gap into the project. Work has been completed on all connecting paths and sidewalks, as well as on the new accessible parking spaces and EV charger along the playground side of the entrance road. These additional parking spaces will make accessing the playground, Greenway, restrooms and universal beach access easier for park-goers who will benefit from these parking spots and their direct routes to our amenities.
In mid-May, our contractors will have wrapped up what they can and the playground paths will be opened to the public. We urge everyone to stay on the paths, to avoid trampling the newly seeded banks that need time to establish and especially, to avoid wandering off into the sections of the playground that are not yet complete. We are (patiently) waiting for the custom family slide which is in production to be completed before the playground safety surfacing can be installed throughout the playground. Without the playground safety surfacing, this is not a play area!
Wondering where seating areas will be within the playground area? We’ll soon be launching a bench campaign to get those cozy spots funded – email Sophie if you want to know when the program is launched to be able to recognize a loved one within the playground! Details on our existing bench program can be found here.
After receiving no bids for the replacement of the tot-lot last season, we have been reevaluating options for updating and replacing the playground. In reaching out to contractors following the public bid, many stated that the small scale and dollar value of the project was just not enough for them to consider bidding with their schedules already over-full this past construction season.
As part of a city-wide evaluation of our playgrounds we realized that the other main playground components at Pomeroy are 25-years-old and also due for replacement. To create a better playground and a project that will be more enticing for bidders, we are pursuing additional funding and donations to plan for and replace the entire playground at Pomeroy, including improvements to pathways and safety surfacing for universal accessibility. We plan to begin outreach in coming months to better understand and incorporate community needs and vision for a new playground.
Roosevelt Comprehensive Plan
BPRW’s intern compiled 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. These observations were invaluable to start our analysis of the park and its use.
After a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, we have selected a talented team of consultants to take the lead on the comprehensive plan process at Rosie and anticipate our first public outreach to occur this summer. Please sign up to our newsletter or connect directly with us to be the first to know when they will be held!
Roosevelt Tennis Courts
Originally a Pennies for Parks Request to refurbish the tennis courts at Roosevelt Park, we have contracted for the full reconstruction of the courts. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected machinery malfunction and staffing challenges, the full reconstruction is now anticipated in the fall (2023) to avoid any interruptions with summer tennis programs and camps. Stay tuned!
Schifilliti Park Pathway
The Federal NEPA Review of the pathway design was received as expected in Mid-January. With this major milestone completed, the engineering consultant is finishing up the project design and advancing towards bidding the project for construction in the coming season. We expect the project to go out to bid in Late-Spring for construction in the coming Fall.
Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage
BPRW has been collaborating with the Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage for the past two years to design a memorial garden along the future connecting path between the Greenway and North Avenue/Kieslich Park. The plans have been well-received and circulated as part of the traveling exhibit on the history of St. Joseph’s Orphanage, presented by the St. Joseph’s Orphanage Restorative Inquiry and The Vermont Folklife Center.