Montpelier, Vermont – The Vermont River Conservancy (VRC) has been awarded a $1,500 grant from the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) through their Small Grants for Smart Growth Program. The grant will fund VRC’s expanded scope for their Feasibility Study & Conceptual Design of a Confluence River Park where the North Branch and main stem of the Winooski rivers join in downtown Montpelier.
The Confluence River Park holds incredible potential for a vibrant community green space, oriented to the river, in an area of town that is currently undergoing great change. “As the state’s capital city, Montpelier is primed to showcase how increasing green space and recreation opportunities along our rivers can transform communities’ relationships with our rivers, thereby promoting generations of citizens who care deeply about our waterways,” says Steve Libby, Executive Director of the Vermont River Conservancy.
VRC is confident that the Confluence River Park is only the beginning of a comprehensive plan that can jumpstart revitalization centered around our rivers, re-defining Montpelier as a community that truly faces its rivers. With examples of success throughout the country, VRC believes a river park will promote the health and vitality of Montpelier through economic growth and a closer relationship with the waters that flow through the city. With support from VNRC’s Small Grants for Smart Growth, VRC will complete a study that includes a thorough analysis of opportunities in river restoration work at the confluence site, as well as exploring the potential designs of an expanded park. These next steps are a critical part of the process of transforming the Confluence River Park in to a place for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.
“With the Small Grants for Smart Growth Program, VNRC seeks to provide seed money to projects that promote smart growth within Vermont’s communities. The Confluence River Park is exciting in that it addresses many smart growth principles, in particular with its potential to enhance the bike path, provide green space in our downtown, and provide access to the river,” says Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Programs Community Director at VNRC and the administrator of Small Grants for Smart Growth. To learn more about VNRC’s Small Grants for Smart Growth, visit tinyurl.com/small-grants-smart-growth.
The Vermont River Conservancy is a Montpelier-based non-profit that works to protect and preserve Vermont’s waters and shorelands. More information is available at www.vermontriverconservancy.org or by calling VRC at (802) 229-0820.
The Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) is a statewide environmental organization that protects and enhances Vermont’s natural resources and vibrant communities through research, education, collaboration, and advocacy.