Manchester participated in VCRD’s Community Visit process in 2013. Once of the priorities that community members chose through the process was to “Redevelop the Riverside and Open a Riverwalk.” This article shares recent progress.
As seen in the Manchester Journal: https://www.manchesterjournal.com/news/local/manchester-riverwalk-receives-2-500-grant-to-help-complete-bridge/article_6d095836-4226-11eb-ad2f-af619feac54e.html
The Manchester Riverwalk Association has received a $2,500 grant that will help the group build a bridge over the West Branch of the Battenkill River, as part of its plans for a path connecting Factory Point Town Green and downtown Manchester Center.
The group announced it has received an “A Community Thrives” grant from USA Today Network and the Gannett Foundation. The Riverwalk was one of three Vermont recipients.
The funds will help build the Riverwalk Community Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that will span 110 feet over the river, connecting Factory Point Green with the Main Street Historic District. This bridge will offer views of the waterfall at the Mill Pond and will be accessible to all.
The Community Thrives Challenge was created to invest in community building initiatives nationwide. This year, the program engaged participants in 45 states.
“We are so grateful to Gannett, and all of our friends and community members who helped us raise over $36,000 during our recent fundraising challenge this fall,” Riverwalk President Margaret Donovan said.
Riverwalk’s success in that fundraiser made the group eligible for the grant, it competed against 573 organizations nationwide and was ranked 10th overall.
“Our goal is to connect these two sections of town in a way that allows everyone to enjoy the river and surrounding area from a unique vantage point,” Donovan said. “We would also like to send a special thank you to the Right Track Foundation for their matching grant of $10,000. It is through this kind of community support that we will achieve our goal.”
The Riverwalk Association has been working on permitting and engineering issues related to the bridge for several months.
“We have been working closely with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, an experienced multidisciplinary civil engineering firm, to put us on a path to having a completed design in place for a mid-2021 groundbreaking, if all things fall into place accordingly,” board member Board Member Stephen Drunsic said,
For more information on plans for the bridge, membership, or donations, see manchesterriverwalk.org or visit their Facebook page. Manchester Riverwalk is a 501c3 organization formed in 2013, resulting from the Vermont Council on Rural Development‘s Manchester 2020 Initiative.