Monday, May 1, 2017

A Public Open House to help craft the vision for Vermont's newest State Park

Muckross State Park was established in July, 2016 when the estate of the late State Senator Edgar May donated his former home property to the State of Vermont.

Muckross State Park was established in July, 2016 when the estate of the late State Senator Edgar May donated his former home property to the State of Vermont. Mr. May, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and local politician, made Muckross his home for over 50 years. It was his desire to see his home become a state park open to all for recreation and learning. In keeping with Mr. May's wishes, planning is underway to incorporate nature education and dispersed recreation on the property.

The newly established Muckross State Park opens up tremendous opportunities to the State of Vermont and the local comrnunity and we want your input at the outset of the planning process to help envision the future of the park. A Public Open House and Site Tour is scheduled for 10AM-2PM on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Light refreshments and transpprtation to and from the park will be provided.
The first part of the meeting—the Open House—will occur at the Community Room in the Springfield Police Station at 201 Clinton Street in Springfield from 10AM to 12PM. This will be an open house meeting format where participants can 'drop in.' anytime throughout the 10AM to 12PM session, learn about the project, and provide comments and input. The focus of this meeting is to explore the community's vision, desires and needs with respect to the new park.

The second part of the meeting—the Site Tour—will depart via shuttle bus from the Springfield Police Department at 12PM and will return participants to the Police Departrnent around 2PM. Since this is a new state park, there is not yet onsite parking. Residents who wish to participate, but cannot make the 12PM shuttle time must park at the Toonerville Trail (railhead parking area, or at the Exit 7 Park Ride and walk to the site.

Agenda for the day:
• 10 AM-12 PM: Open House Meeting at the Springfield Police Department

• 12 PM: Shuttle Departs from the Springfield Police Department to Muckross State Park

• 12:15 PM-1:45 PM: Facilitated Site Tour of Muckross State Park

• 1:45 PM: Shuttle Departs from Muckross State Park to the Springfield Police Department

• 2 PM: Meeting ends at the Springfield Police Department

The 204 acre Muckross State Park property is part of a once-larger estate constructed by local industrialist W.D. Woolson in the early 20th century. At one time, the estate included nearly 1,000 acres of land, two trout ponds. an expansive compound of buildings including a main lodge and several cottages. It purportedly is named after Muckross House in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland.

The Muckross State Park Master Plan process will develop an integrated and cohesive plan for the park facilities, exploring design options that minimize impact, have a small ecological footprint, and encourage use through accessibility, design and function. The plan presents an opportunity to create a model for sustainable state park development that protects and celebrates the unique natural resources and historic buildings at this park, while establishing a strong connection to the local community. In order for this to happen, however, we need your input!

The Muckross State Park Master Plan project is being completed for The State of Vermont Department of Forests, Parks 8 Recreation by SE Group, a multi-disciplinary planning and design firm based in Burlington, VT. The project was awarded through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2018.

Ethan Phelps, Parks Regional Manager
Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
100 Mineral Street, Suite 304
Springfield, VT 05156-3168

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Animation of the Vt. State Song, "These Green Mountains," by Gallery at the VAULT Summer Art Camp, Springfield, VT, 2016.

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