Looking Back at Ice on Fire 2013...
Last Sunday (January 27, 2013), the community came out to partake in the winter celebration at North Branch Nature Center, Ice on Fire. The day was filled with sledding, snowshoeing, laughter, flying of kites, storytelling, ultimate frisbee, hot chocolate, and a spectacular bon fire that ran into the evening. We remember this year's events with laughter and memories, but look forward to Ice on Fire 2014!
For pictures from this year's Ice on Fire, like us on Facebook!
A Special Thank You...
Thank you to all of our volunteers who worked with our Park's staff to prepare for Ice on Fire this year. Several youth programs braved the cold temperatures to help build the igloo, snow tower, Christmas tree maze, the story telling circle, the snow sculpture of the bear, the archway, the snow chair, and the sledding hills. We applaud you for your hard work and will let you know that the community appreciates it as well! Thank you to: Norwich University Cadets, Community Connections, Barre Vo-Tech, and the VYCC.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
Fall 2012 Projects
This fall has been a record when it comes to trail work at Montpelier Parks. More than half to almost all of the trails in Hubbard Park had gravel and woodchips put down. The Old Shelter Pavilion retaining wall also received a face lift. This included hours of hard work from all of the Montpelier Parks Staff in bringing in new railroad ties and replacing all of the old ties. A hemlock cap was also installed on the ties making lovely sitting spaces for park users. Here are the projects to also look forward to this fall!
Invasive Plant Trail Sign Placement
There is a new trail under construction at the North Branch River Park! This trail is designed to help hikers learn about Vermont's invasive plant problems. New informational signs will be installed to help hikers identify and learn about the Who, Whats, When, Wheres and Whys of invasive plants. Tree transplanting will also be very active at this trail encouraging Vermont native plants to take over and to shade out and chase away the invasive plants on that trail. Look forward to the upcoming signs!
Street Trees on Downtown Vermont
This fall brought some great opportunities for transplanting street trees all over Montpelier. a total of 18 street trees have been planted in the past couple of weeks on Barre Street, Main Street, State Street and Stone Cutter's Way. Montpelier Parks believes that Montpelier should be beautiful and what better way to do that than by using nature? Street trees also increases healthy air and a generally healthier attitude. There are about 12 more trees that will be planted in the next couple of weeks! Tree transplanting is best to do in the fall because trees become dormant and transplanting them in their dormancy increases the chance of survival. Interested in volunteering to transplant trees? Call the Parks Office at (802)223-7335.
Montpelier Parks is very proud of their two community gardens (National Life Community Garden and Vermont College of Fine Arts Community Garden). This fall will bring great events to both of the gardens. We received a free Garden Shed a couple of weeks ago that will be donated to the National Life Garden. Some repairs are going to be needed in order to make this shed reliable and functional for the gardens. The Vermont College of Fine Arts Community Garden has been receiving some special attention this fall. The fence was fixed up and Stephanie Olsen, the new AmeriCorps *VISTA has been meeting with the gardeners in order to organize the garden to meet its full potential!
Spring Projects at the Park 2012
This spring (and summer) we have had many projects and people in motion. Our storm damage crew tackled North Branch Park and restored numerous culverts and the headers, tails and retaining wall around them, areas that were badly damaged by "Irene" last summer. Many trips to Frank Mitchell's Quarry of Plainfield were required to acquire the stone we needed for the culverts. In addition to the work at North Branch, the crew has been focused on the rejuvenation of the Peace Park.
Peace Park Recovery Culvert Repair : installing capstones/ storm damage repair
Groups from Union Elementary, Unitarian Church and Montpelier Tree Board volunteers helped out in Hubbard Park and the downtown area. Union Elementary helped us spread woodchips on trails, picked up trash and raked pine needles off the main road. The Tree Board spread compost on downtown trees. The Unitarian Church helped our staff with various trailwork.
Parks Director Geoff Beyer with Union Elementary School Group receiving instructions for their community service project.
Unitarian Church Group
In May, AmeriCorps service members from VYT, VYDC and SerVermont came to the Park to perform trailwork, tree transplanting and one crew installed fence posts at the new community garden on Northfield Street.
Thanks to all who helped out and continue to help make Montpelier Parks beautiful!
Work on Hubbard Park-North Branch Connector Path and Nature Center Trail
Big Thanks to Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) for coming to Hubbard Park. In early December, with a crew of 10 people, VYCC worked a combined 160 hours. They helped us reconstruct a damaged retaining wall along the Statehouse path. A large portion of their efforts were geared toward trail maintenance in Hubbard Park, improving the drainage by digging swales and installing culverts. Some brave souls took on the tedious task of wire-brushing bridges and removing slippery material, making them safer to walk across.
Late summer Park Storm Damage Report
Trees across tower road. Silt covering Peace Park Greg White, VISTA member, removing silt
Except for the peace park, most damage to the parks from the recent storm was in the form of fallen trees blown over by the combination of significant rain and then wind. We have so far removed well over 25 trees that had fallen across trails and roads. Major additional damage was averted in Hubbard and North Branch Parks by staff using advance notice about the storm's strength to clean out debris from swales, culverts and ditches along trails and roads before the storm. In addition, on Sunday during the storm staff also patrolled park roads and trails and cleaned out drainage on the verge of overflowing as a result of debris. Only three culverts had significant new damage. The peace park suffered significant damage as it was apparently under at least four feet of water. The peace park area and labyrinth are under another several inches of silt, with some new river bank damage, additionally two picnic tables and a wooden bench were swept away. River bank damage was kept limited by staff and volunteers having planted numerous shrubs in the river bank this summer.
Please report trail problems and/or fallen trees to email@example.com. Volunteer help is always appreciated!
Summer 2011 Volunteers For Peace (VFP)
Work Completed: This year's International Volunteers For Peace group has done a tremendous amount of work:
- Storm damage restoration work on the Peace Park, reset labyrinth bricks four inches higher to match new level created by silt; repaired and refinished benches, cleared out silt from the flower beds; and invasive management.
- Trail restoration work on Riverside Trail in the North Branch River Park and on the main trail that connects with East Montpelier as well as restoration work on the trail that goes through the natural area in the center of Hubbard Park.
- Landscaping improvements at entrance by Hubbard Park drive, improving drainage issues and aesthetics.
The Volunteers: This year's VFP crew includes
- Lisa Beneke (Germany),
- Gary Hutton (Ireland),
- Hyunwoo Park(South Korea),
- Undine Kaeppel (Germany),
- Minjoo Lee (South Korea),
- Zoe Sierens (Belgium),
- Antoine Simon (France),
- Aleksej David Tilman (Italy),
- Abdelghani Zaari (Morocco)
Right: VFP at the Tree Nursery.
New Composting Toilets Fall 2010
Replacement of the aging outhouses has begun with the building of three new composting toilets at the New Shelter, the tower area and at "Seven Fireplaces". These toilets are being built and designed by Will Eberle a local eco-builder, the parks AmeriCorps service member Eric Clifford and Parks Director Geoff Beyer. The Alternative Graduation Program from U32 and Montpelier High School provided students and helpful funding for this cooperative effort. Will is providing his skill and knowledge to build beautiful post and beam structures as well as education for the students involved. The structures are being built with traditional mortise and tenon construction. To find out more about mortise and tenon construction click here
A composting toilet is different from an outhouse. This composting toilet design has two large chambers where human waste will be composted into soil. One chambers stays in use while the other is able to take years to let the composting do its magic. It is a clean efficient way to deal with waste. Three new composting toilets were finished and put into service in the fall of 2010.
Above clockwise from upper left: Eric Clifford, Will Eberle showing proper sharpening techniques for the hand tools, the first assembly of the structure, Adam Megrath holding up the frame while Will adjusts the sill, Mindy Holzapfel shaving a peg, the pegs used to assemble the frame, Will putting the finishing touches on a mortise, the first composting toilet frame finished and disassembled.
Gould Hill Trail bridge replacement video completed 11/10/09
Hubbard Park Tower Restoration