The Parks Commission is working to create 10-year management plans for all parks. The Commission started with Blanchard Park in 2021, and are creating management plans for both Hubbard Park and North Branch River Park for 2022. In order to shape these plans, Parks Commissioners have been listening to the public via multiple avenues. In spring and early summer 2022, Commissioners led 12 walks in the parks, invited public comment via an online survey, and held an open house style meeting.
The Parks Commission has also sought the guidance of ecologists and historians to review past land use and inform future plans. In partnership with the Montpelier Conservation Commission and North Branch Nature Center, UVM Field Naturalist student Erica Hample has conducted an ecological assessment of Hubbard and North Branch River Park. She mapped natural communities and analyzed their significance locally and statewide. Also, local historian Samantha Ford of Turn Stone Research compiled records of deeds, photographs, maps, and other documents, which recorded the history of the parks.
Based on the information gathered via public comment, ecological assessments, and historic documents, Parks Commissioners have been working to draft the management plan. This plan will include objectives, activities, and goals for each park. The draft management plan will be available for public review in early December, followed by opportunities for public comment, including via the Parks Commission's December 13th meeting (6:00pm via Zoom).