Saxtons River is a vibrant Vermont village, but its only central public space was left contaminated by historic mills and businesses and is difficult to access.
Over the decades, sure-footed villagers and visitors have enjoyed the water and the falls, but now there is an opportunity to address the contamination and create a safe, green, welcoming space that will bring new vitality to the Village.
A park at the crossroads will enhance the Village as a whole.
Already famous for its Fourth of July celebration, the Village could develop new signature events to attract families, artists, and nature lovers—residents and tourists alike. School groups and families could explore the site’s natural features and historic remains. Seniors and persons with disabilities would find safe walkways and resting spots. Local businesses and nonprofits are likely to see increased interest in their offerings as people discover an attractive public space in which to linger. Crossing the street to chat with friends after stopping at the post office could become a daily habit.
We have already come a long way.
The land assembly began in 1979 when the Village acquired the Frey mill site and ended with the 2011 addition of the Sandri property where a derelict gas station long stood. Preliminary action plans for the site cleanup and redevelopment were completed in 2012.
The vision of a safe, welcoming park in the heart of Saxtons River is within our reach.
A 2014 brownfields cleanup grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will cover the costs of dealing with the contamination, documenting archaeological features, and creating a final design that meets the Village’s needs.
The trustees have selected a professional team—including Julie Moir Messervy and Jana Bryan of JMMDS, right here on Main Street—to move the plans forward. The revised, lower cost design was unveiled at the annual Village meeting on April 13, 2015. The simplified, amphitheater design reduced the cost significantly. Take a look at the park drawings!
Meanwhile, the Park Planning Committee is exploring ways to secure the additional funds needed to complete the project. As ever, we welcome your involvement. The Park Planning Committee reports regularly to the Village Board of Trustees. Committee members are happy to talk about plans, progress, and your participation. Like us on Facebook (Saxtons River Park Project) to learn about updates.
It’s your park; be part of it!