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Parks Master Plan is About More Than Leashes

In the interest of trail-sharing, the Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association (MAMBA) has been working with Onion River Outdoors to provide “free-to-use” snowshoes at the trailheads of routes used by fat bike riders in the winter. Photo by J. Gregory Gerdel.
Although the issue of whether leashing of dogs on certain trails in Hubbard Park should be required continues to frequent public forums, the current draft management plan for Hubbard and North Branch parks addresses a host of other concerns — and visions — for the future of these popular recreational and environmental resources.

Moreover, the draft plan provides a wealth of context about the parks’ history, development, wildlife habitat, watershed, erosion problems, community events, and the conflicts around multi-use trails. The report includes the results of public surveys conducted in 2021 reflecting the perspectives of park users ranging from those who like active recreation — hiking, running, skiing, or mountain biking, for instance — to those seeking solitude and quiet in the woods. 

Parks Commission chair Kassia Randzio emphasized that the draft is the culmination of more than a year of community outreach and engagement about the parks. “Because the two parks are both physically and environmentally connected, the commission believes that comprehensive planning for both is essential,” she said.

Although finalizing the plan is close, the commission is continuing its commitment to hearing public concerns, Randzio said. The next regular meeting of the Parks Commission is Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m. in city hall. To join the meeting remotely, go to montpelier-vt.org/129/Agendas-Minutes and click the “Parks Commission.” The Zoom link is at the top of the agenda. 

Randzio also noted that the commission will be meeting on Thursday Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. for final approval of the Master Plan.