City Hall Park Improvements

Welcome to the BPRW City Hall Park Project Update Page!

BPRW will be posting all the latest information on City Hall Park right here to help inform you on upcoming plans and construction details of the project.

Plans for City Hall Park have been refined extensively since 2011 as a result of public and stakeholders’ input. First through the Imagine City Hall Park Process in the summer of 2011, and then as part of the Great Streets Initiative.

To address questions and comments we’ve heard to date, we’ve created an FAQs page. It’s full of information and we’ll continue to update it as more questions come in.

Click here to see the full-sized plans and read the FAQ’s

View or download the fact sheet: CityHallPark-Improvements-Handout


Mid-August Update

8/26 – 8/30 Saint Paul St. – South Winooski Avenue

To provide water supply to the splash pad and other utility infrastructure upgrades serving the new City Hall Park, contractors will close College Street from Monday 8/26 at 7am through the end of the day on Friday, 8/30.
Local traffic will be able to access College between South Winooski and the drive-through ATM just east of the Burton Store and other driveways. Excavation will occur at or near City Hardware and the road will be impassable.
There will be NO PARKING on College street west of Church St to allow for vehicle turnaround.
The sidewalk on the northern side of College St will remain open.
We are NOT expecting there to be any disruption of water service during this project. But be warned that water may be discolored, due to disturbances in the lines.
Additionally, DPW will be posting electronic message boards on College Street the week of the 19th to notify of the upcoming closure.
BPRW staff will be visiting affected businesses on Monday, August 19 in the late afternoon. If you are unable to connect with them in person, feel free to contact them via email or telephone.


All existing hardscape has been removed and salvageable materials moved off-site. The contractor is currently working on the management of urban soils, that will be buried under 6″ of clean topsoil when the park is complete. This process is overseen by a qualified environmental professional and done in accordance with a plan developed with and approved by the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
The City is making sure to remedy longstanding issues along the way, including the abandonment of a leaking water line that serviced the old fountain, and sealing the City Hall foundation that the pipe previously passed through.

You also may have noticed the fence expansion toward City Hall. This was done in preparation for work to begin on the southern concrete retaining wall. The City Hall ’emergency only’ exit has been moved to egress through the alley between the building and BCA.

Late July update


Contractors enclosed City Hall Park with construction fencing on July 10th in preparation for the major overhaul scheduled to be completed in 2020. Previous to that, staff from Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (BPRW) and Community & Economic Development Office(CEDO) reached out to businesses surrounding the park to inform of them of the impending construction start date. BPRW also worked with Howard Center Street Outreach Team and the Burlington Police Department to meet with the daily park users in order to facilitate their transition of out of the construction zone, and where appropriate, make them aware of facilities and programs in the City.

On Monday, July 15, the BPRW Trees & Greenways Team, led by City Arborist V.J. Comai, removed 20 existing trees, half of which were determined to be in poor or fair/poor condition in a 2018 assessment.  Remaining trees were pruned to remove deadwood to improve structure and health. The BPRW tree crew worked efficiently in two teams, finishing the work the following morning, saving the City over $10,000 by performing this work, while best insuring remaining trees and their root systems were not impacted. Comai reported that several of the trees removed had significant trunk decay and crown decline, and would have had to be removed as hazardous trees due to a high likelihood of structural failure. BPRW looks forward to the stewardship of a park planted with new trees that are more appropriate to urban conditions, have a more diverse array of species and age class, and are supported with an investment in underground infrastructure for healthy roots.


The general contractor followed with demolition of existing concrete and other masonry infrastructure, which will be crushed and recycled into structural sub-base for use in local projects. Valuable items, such as granite cobbles and clay brick, were salvaged and will be reused elsewhere. Historic elements, such as the fountain and monument, were all packaged and moved to another City facility for storage during the construction. The monument will be reinstalled in City Hall Park next spring, while the fountain will relocated elsewhere in the future.


Parking – Currently the contractor has kept the parking and sidewalk on St. Paul St open while work continues on St. Paul Street. This is subject to change as the project progresses. Limits of construction will eventually include approximately 30 parking spaces including the current blocked 3 spaces on College street near the fence gate, and another 3 on Main street near the south construction gate. For information about all the nearby available parking, please see the newly designed Park Burlington Map.

Sidewalks – There is complete sidewalk closure on the south side of College Street. Main street sidewalk will remain open, with minimal closures as needed to accommodate construction.

Construction Traffic – There will be increased trucks traveling around the park. They will predominately be using Main street and St. Paul street, but will occasionally use College street to access the site.

Find our more info about the project plans and history on our FAQ’s page!


Below is an estimate project schedule. Subject to change.

  • Mid-July 2019 – salvage and demolition
  • Summer through Fall 2019 – soil remediation, deep utility work (electric, irrigation, fountain plumbing etc)
  • Winter 2019 – site will closed and secured
  • Early Spring through late Summer 2020 – work to resume on completing earthwork, raingardens, lighting, walkways, fountain, final landscaping and tree planting etc
  • Fall 2020 – park to reopen, with lawn closed to pedestrians


General Inquiries and Feedback: Diana Wood

Business Related Concerns: Jon Adams-Kollitz

UPDATE 7/11/19

Crews putting up fencing to prepare for work on improvements to City Hall Park

On July 10th, crews began putting up construction fencing at City Hall Park to prepare for construction of park improvements. The park will be closed to the public starting today, with a goal of re-opening in fall of 2020. With this work, the City will be embarking on the first substantial improvement to the park in years.

Construction Period Impacts

Sidewalks – The construction will require complete sidewalk closure on the east side of St. Paul Street and the south side of College Street. The sidewalk on Main Street will remain open, with construction entrances that cross the sidewalk and minimal closures as needed to accommodate construction.

Parking – Construction will result in the temporary closure of some parking spaces adjacent to the park, beginning with the east side of St. Paul Street and College Street near the north side of the park. The City is working with the contractor to minimize space closures until public parking is re-opened on the blocks of St. Paul Street that are currently under construction, and the public should be aware of signs and meter bags that will indicate which parking spaces are available. Three spaces on Main Street near City Hall will also be impacted by a construction gate. For information about all the nearby available parking, please see the newly designed Park Burlington Map.

The park sits quiet, awaiting its restoration.

Construction Hours
SD Ireland may be on-site at any time between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, and between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm on Saturdays . If the contractor needs to work outside of these hours notification will be posted on the projects website.

Summary of City Hall Park Improvements

The City Hall Park improvement project is designed to reinvigorate this vital public space in the heart of Burlington’s downtown. When work is complete, City Hall Park will be home to 48 healthy trees with room to grow (compared with 51 trees today, more than half of which are in declining health), more than 1,500 new perennials and grasses, two new rain gardens to mitigate stormwater runoff and soil erosion, pervious pavers that help increase accessibility and focus foot traffic away from lawns, realigned park paths that allow for greater accessibility and healthier trees, better accommodations for the Farmers Market on busy summer Saturdays, a multi-functional fountain, new public art, and double the amount of seating within the park. The City Hall Park improvements will create a park that is greener, more accessible, and better suited to its use in the center of the city.

This project is the culmination of a revitalization effort that began with more than 500 Burlingtonians participating in the Reimagine City Hall Park planning process in 2011, and continuing through more than 20 public meetings that spanned 2016-2018. For a full history of the project and more information, see:


Public Outreach

Previous to any specific announcements about construction starting, staff from BPRW, DPW and CEDO spent time speaking with local business surrounding the parks. We did door-to-door outreach, scheduled two public meetings, and presented at the Burlington Business Association, informing everyone about the proposed timeline and impacts to the vicinity. This presentation: 20190612 CHP June Business Meeting – updated for DAG 071219


To find information about ALL of the construction projects and improvements happening in Burlington, check out the City’s Construction Portal

3 thoughts on “City Hall Park Improvements

  1. Is there a coffee kiosk in the updated plan? Why?
    And, the plan states that the Farmers Market will be moved to the outside of the park. What is there to protect the greenbelt, the berm, between the sidewalk and the street? Is there any way to only use the pavement for the Farmers Market and it’s users?

  2. Ellen, the FAQ page addresses some of your questions specifically:

    Q: Why is there a café proposed within the park?

    A: The small kiosk, and seating areas that can be utilized for temporary food carts, are intended to provide a range of activities within the park on a more regular basis. Along with more frequent, small performances and more seating the park, these can help draw people into the park for day-to-day activities.

    Q: Why is the park being designed for the Farmer’s Market? Isn’t there somewhere else it could go?

    A: In recent years, the Farmer’s and Artist’s Markets have become central features of the park, recognized by many Burlingtonian’s as something they love about the park today. The popularity of this event is among the uses of the park contributing to some of the challenges with the park’s infrastructure. That said, the park is not being designed for the market.

    One of the fundamental changes in the plan is that the market vendors will be organized around the park’s four edges, on hardscaped areas which can support this use, rather than on the pathways in the center of the park. This arrangement will allow for more utilization of the park’s open spaces for seating and passive uses on market days, and reduce future impacts to the grass and soil conditions due to foot traffic in the park. Additionally, there are fewer vendors accommodated in this plan than the market currently features today.

    Also mentioned in the FAQ’s:
    The flexible spaces organized along these pathways accommodate a variety of activities such as small performances, a wide range of seating types, the artist market, and a central gathering area with an interactive fountain. This allows for infrastructure, which supports these activities to be condensed and incorporated into hardscape areas, retaining maximum un-programmed space and limiting future soil compaction from these activities encroaching on the lawn.

    The plans call for a retaining wall at the southern end and fencing at the northern side to delineate pedestrian traffic between the sidewalks and the park landscaping.

    I hope that answers your questions. but please reach out if you would like more information.

  3. This looks terrific! Reminds me of a smaller version of Washington Park in Cincinnati, one of my favourite urban parks in the world. Can’t wait to see this come to fruition!

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