Burlington has received a $500,000 grant to establish a new waterfront park.
The money will be used to assist the city in acquiring 12 acres of land to develop a park on the shores of Lake Champlain. The park will occupy a portion of the land formerly owned by Burlington College. Future plans are to establish a trail connecting two other park properties, and the addition of other recreational amenities.
The funding comes from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership, a competitive program run by the National Park Service. Vermont’s congressional delegation announced the grant Wednesday.
Burlington was one of 22 cities in seven states to receive a slice of the total $13.3 million in grants awarded by the program, which targets underserved communities. The legacy partnership is also funded by the Department of the Interior’s Land and Wildlife Conservation Fund.
In a joint statement, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said parks are an important part of the social and economic infrastructure of a community.
“Having a healthy urban environment with a well-designed and maintained network of city parks is a vibrant component of any city’s civic foundation,” the congressmen said.
Vermont Land Trust President Gil Livingston said the grant was the final critical piece in creating a high quality recreational facility.
“The new park is now home to community gardens, a beautiful sand beach, a wooded bluff affording beautiful views of Lake Champlain, and an historic stone house to be available for a variety of public uses,” Livingston said in a statement.