Update: River park nears funding goal

Wednesday November 21, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- West River Park, Brattleboro’s new $1 million recreation area, is nearing completion as the final phases of its construction are being planned.

The initial phase of the project concluded with earthwork, erosion control management, storm drainage, and access for parking. The softball and soccer fields were put to use this fall with the soccer season wrapping up in late October. Other completed constructions include entrance gates, water service, and leach field.

The next and final phase of the project will see the addition of a backstop (netting) for the softball field, lacrosse goals, team benches, bleachers, poles and fences, lights, a concession stand, a play and picnic area, and sanitation service.

The space is used primarily for youth sporting events, but other activities like kayaking, canoeing, and hiking are offered around the park. The West River Trail lies directly parallel to the park across the water, and mountain bikers and hikers can be seen making their way back and forth under the I-91 bridge as they traverse this popular scenic path.

The town purchased the 10.7 acre parcel of land on Route 30 from Cersosimo Industries in October 2010.

The funds to finalize the project have been coming in, but lately donations have slowed, according to Carol Lolatte, Brattleboro Recreation & Parks director. "We’re just trying to get over the hump," she said. "But we are very pleased so far. The park compliments the town so well."

When Lolatte’s not on the field officiating games (like she did at the recent Division 2 field hockey final in Middlebury) she’s at work sourcing funds for town projects through grant writing campaigns and the assistance of state, local business, and public and private donation. Pledge totals for the West River project have surpassed $700,000.

Those interested in assisting in the effort can contact Lolatte at 802-254-5808 or westriverpark@brattleboro.org.

David Aquino can be reached at daquino@reformer.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.


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