Water Street River Park

Project Partners & Roles

Town of Northfield

The land is now owned by the Town, directed by the Town Manager. The Town has acquired and demolished properties damaged by the flooding, and is coordinating the work of the project partners to reduce flood risk to the neighborhood, create recreational amenities on the public land, and support the community in becoming more resilient to climate change.

The Town’s project manager is Michele Braun mbraun@northfield.vt.us

 

Friends of the Winooski River

FWR is taking the lead on the floodplain restoration element of the project, and they have numerous partners interested in that aspect.  Those partners include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Mad/Dog Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District. FWR has gotten several grants to support floodplain restoration and community outreach.

Ann Smith

 

Norwich University

Dave Westerman at Norwich University obtained a small grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to develop four curriculum modules for community-based learning at Norwich.  The professors chose to focus on the park.  The classes that worked on the project in the fall of 2015 were Intro to Geology, Environmental Engineering, Architectural Design, and Outdoor PE.  The students completed diverse projects that connect to the park, including designing an educational workstation to communicate effectively with the public about flooding, researching Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) practices that could be installed in the park, and designing a plan to teach global climate and river facts to Northfield children in the park.

Tara Kulkarni, Ph.D., P.E.

 

Milone & MacBroom

FWR hired Milone & MacBroom to conduct hydraulic modeling of the Dog River from the footbridge at the rugby field to the Cross Brothers dam. They tested dozens of combinations of potential restoration actions, and are finalizing a plan for floodplain restoration that will result in significant flood reduction in the Water Street neighborhood.

Jessica Louisos, P.E.

 

Northfield Conservation Commission

The Conservation Commission is interested in ensuring that the public land along the Dog River is planted in native riparian vegetation to support habitat and water quality values. They have been active in working as part of the committee on managing the plans for the River Park.

Christine Barnes

 

Northfield High School Class of 1957

With leadership from Sally Nadon Pedley, they have established a trust fund, under the umbrella of the Northfield Historical Society, and have been encouraging NHS alums to make their class gift to that fund.

Sally Nadon Pedley

 

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

VHCB helped the State fund the 25% match on the Hazard Mitigation Grants, to ensure that all homeowners received 100% of the value of their properties, and in exchange, it will oversee the management of some of the properties.)  The VHCB easement will require a management plan, including public access to the Dog River, and will make routine site visits to ensure that the property is being maintained according to the management plan.  

 

The State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

The Downtown Program of brought their "Vermont Downtown Action Team" (V-DAT) to Northfield in 2014. VDAT was a project of the Downtown Program to use US HUD Disaster Relief funds to target economic development activities in downtowns that were affected by Irene. They chose seven downtowns to work with, and then still had some money left, so added on Northfield (which is a Designated Village Center). The VDAT team did marketing, branding, some landscape design work, and then they did two focused projects: handicapped accessibility designs for all the Depot Square storefronts, and a Place-making Workshop and design for the Water Street river park.

Richard Amore

 

Northfield-Roxbury Long-Term Recovery Committee

The LTRC, originally chaired by Marsha Hoffman, now under CERV, helped area residents navigate the many post-flood hardships, including well-intentioned but challenging bureaucracy, to ensure that their needs were met. They provided substantial support to some of the homeowners who were going through the FEMA buyout process with the Town.

 

Norwich University, School of Art + Architecture

Professor Daniel Sagan’s fall 2011 class created three designs of potential parks to spark the imagination of the community to consider what an asset the post-buyout land could become.

 

Numerous other people have been very supportive: Mike Kline, Gretchen Alexander, and Rick Hopkins in the Rivers Program at DEC, Richard Amore and John Adams in the Downtown Program, Carl Bohlen at ACCD, Lauren Oates and Ben Rose at DEMHS, Bob Ennis (no longer there) and Kevin Geiger at Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission. Ed Miller, the Town's attorney for all of the buyouts. Vermont Legal Aid had two attorneys represent homeowners who had challenging circumstances. Tom Berry and Katherine Long in Senator Leahy's office also assisted with some sticky banking situations.