Water Street River Park

Welcome to Northfield, Vermont's Water Street River Park project information site

It has been nearly five years since flooding from Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Water Street neighborhood of Northfield, Vermont. In that time, the Town has completed fourteen property acquisitions through a combination of Hazard Mitigation Grants and Community Development Block Grants from the State of Vermont, as well as support from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. Nine of these property acquisitions, or "buyouts" were in one half-moon-shaped area of land between the Dog River and Water Street, between the Wall Street bridge and the Norwich University rugby field.


Focus on Floodplain Restoration

  • Friends of the Winooski River is leading this phase of the project, and has hired Milone & MacBroom to run hydraulic models of different options, and selected the option that reduces water levels in the neighborhood the most
  • Floodplain restoration work will make the Water Street neighborhood safer, by reducing water levels in typical flood events
  • Floodplain restoration comes first, because it affects the contours of the land
  • The work involves excavating the land to give the Dog River more space to spread out over grass instead of into basements and homes


Focus on Community Involvement

  • Norwich University put a small grant toward developing curriculum related to the park in four course areas
  • Watershed grant allowed the Town to invite 100 neighbors to meetings to discuss their needs, and to develop a new design for public review at Northfield Night Out 2016
  • The Northfield News printed a series of articles over the summer of 2016 related to Irene recovery, climate change, river science, and the park
  • Friends of the Winooski River and the Town led site tours in connection with Labor Day festivities and recognition of the fifth anniversary of Irene