The proposed Water Street River Park will be located between the Dog River and Water Street in Northfield, Vermont. The park, being planned for construction in 2017, will be located south of the Wall Street bridge, on public property between 347 Water Street and 491 Water Street. The area became town property through Hazard Mitigation Grant Program acquisition and demolition projects since the seven homes formerly on the site were substantially damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in late August 2011. The Town of Northfield continues to work with numerous project partners to conduct a floodplain restoration project on the site and to finish the site with landscaping and walking paths for community enjoyment.
A 2014 Watershed Grant facilitated design and site planning communication between the community and the Town to ensure the project met community goals for the site. This park site will provide public access to the Dog River at two points and approximately 4.5 acres of public gathering space, walking paths, and a mix of landscaped and natural areas for enjoyment of nature and casual recreation. Watershed Grant Program funds originate from the purchase of Vermont conservation license plates. Watershed Grant Program funds are cooperatively administered by the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Fish and Wildlife.
The floodplain restoration project will include a 50-foot vegetated buffer along approximately 750 feet of the Dog River streambank. The project will remove an existing berm to access 1.5 acres of floodplain, allowing the river greater width at 10-year flood levels. Floodplain access will reduce river flow velocities downstream as well as reduce sediment transport and associated nutrient transport. Trees will be planted along the bank of the river that will eventually provide shade for fish habitat.