City of Burlington, Vermont

City of Burlington, Vermont

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Mayor Weinberger, Burlington Parks Foundation, UVM Medical Center, and Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Celebrate Completion of Phase 1 of the Bike Path Rehabilitation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2017
Contact: Katie Vane, Mayor’s Office, 802.734.0617
                Nina Safavi, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, 802.865.7248

Mayor Weinberger, Burlington Parks Foundation, UVM Medical Center, and Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Celebrate Completion of Phase 1 of the Bike Path Rehabilitation
Unveil Beginning of UVM Medical Center Fitness Trail; Boulder Commemorating Parks Foundation Donations, and Honor Parks Foundation Founding Board Member John Ewing 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today joined University of Vermont (UVM) Medical Center and Health Network CEO Dr. John Brumsted, Burlington Parks Foundation Founding Board Chair John Bossange, former Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director Jesse Bridges and Interim Director Nina Safavi, donors and members of the Burlington community to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the Bike Path Rehabilitation. The new phase includes three new installations of exercise equipment donated by UVM Medical Center, which represent the beginning of the UVM Medical Center Fitness Trail.

Bossange also unveiled a commemorative boulder dedicated to the generous donors who helped fund the rehabilitation of the Waterfront Bike Path, and Mayor Weinberger read a proclamation honoring Parks Foundation Founding Board Member John Ewing for his service to the community.

“We are making great progress in the critical effort to restore and improve the Burlington Bike Path,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “The Parks Foundation and UVM Medical Center have played key roles in both enhancing the path with new parks and equipment and in showing the community support necessary to leverage much broader public investment for the benefit of all our residents.”

The first phase of the multi-year effort to completely rebuild, expand, and enhance the entire eight-mile Burlington Bike Path broke ground in 2014 with Phase 1a, from Waterfront Park to Perkins Pier. Phase 1a included updating the path to current multi-use standards and enhancing the landscape from Perkins Pier to Penny Lane. The total construction cost was $830,000 and construction concluded in 2015.

At Wednesday’s event, representatives gathered at the third pause place park overlooking Lake Champlain, part of the Bike Path Phase 1b rehabilitation from Penny Lane to North Beach. Phase 1b construction began in summer 2016 and concluded in January 2017, and included the creation of three new pause place parks and accessible connectivity to the recently acquired Texaco Beach, the planting of over 120 trees, over 160 shrubs, plus thousands of perennials, as well as the first three installations of UVM Medical Center-donated fitness equipment. The total budget for Phase 1b was $2.4 million.

The Parks Foundation generously donated $350,000 of a total $1 million raised in 2016 toward Phase 1b. The remaining $650,000 will be used to create additional pause places and connections along the Waterfront Bike Path. UVM Medical Center contributed a total of $250,000 toward the fitness equipment project. Phase 1b was also funded by the Waterfront Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Improvement Program Support, Penny for Parks, and Bike Path Maintenance and Improvement Fund.

“Through the generosity of our donors, including the UVM Medical Center, combined with the dedication of staff, volunteers and the taxpayers of Burlington we have created an inclusive social space for future generations to enjoy,” said former Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director Jesse Bridges. “It is truly inspiring to see the community come together to support the combination of conservation, wellness and social equity.” 

Parks Foundation commemorates community generosity
The commemorative boulder, unveiled near the new overlook north of the Skate Park, celebrates the generous donations and pledges from over 250 residents and businesses that helped the Parks Foundation reach its goal in 2016 of raising $1 million for the Waterfront Bike Path rehabilitation.

"The Parks Foundation of Burlington represents the spirit of stewardship and philanthropy for our community's treasured parks and recreational assets for our residents and visitors,” said Burlington Parks Foundation Founding Board Chair John Bossange. “The funds we raised not only signify how much generosity there is in Burlington, but also show a deep understanding of the importance of preserving open natural areas for free, public access.  This new pause place park is the first of many projects to be funded by the Foundation not only along the bike path, but in other areas of the city as well.  We are most grateful to all our donors for their contributions and commitment to community and we look forward to steering exciting new initiatives in support of our treasured park lands."

John Bossange and Mayor Weinberger recognized the contributions of Parks Foundation Founding Board Member John Ewing, who was present at the event, with a proclamation declaring May 31 a day in his honor. The proclamation noted that John Ewing has been a committed and engaged resident of Burlington and Vermont for 60 years, and has served on countless boards and commissions, volunteering his time and expertise. It celebrated Ewing’s leadership as Commissioner and Chair of the Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Commission and as the Parks Foundation Board member in the effort to transform and improve the Burlington Waterfront, playgrounds, and open space areas.

UVM Medical Center unveils its “Fitness Trail”
One of the new features of Phase 1b of the rehabilitated bike path is fitness equipment installed in May 2017 at the three new pause places between Penny Lane and North Beach. These first installations make up the beginning of the UVM Medical Center Fitness Trail, which is planned to continue in other parks and pause places throughout the rehabilitation of the Path.

Clinicians at UVM Medical Center with expertise in orthopedics, wellness, physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation collaborated with experts from Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront to help select equipment that would appeal to all levels of fitness, would address multiple muscle groups in the body, and would include accessible and easy-to-understand instructions that could be easily followed to ensure proper usage.

“There is no better prescription for wellness than outdoor recreation, and so it is wonderful to see this first part of the renovated bike path come to fruition_ providing our patients and the public with a place to pause, exercise, reflect and enjoy the view of Lake Champlain,” said UVM Medical Center and Health Network CEO Dr. John Brumsted  “UVM Medical Center is thrilled to be a part of this effort  to renovate and enhance the Burlington bike path, which is such an asset to the people of our region."

Bike Path rehabilitation to continue with Phase 2
Parks, Recreation & Waterfront has led the effort to rehabilitate the entire eight mile bike path running through downtown Burlington and along the Lake Champlain Waterfront. Phase 1b brought the City one step closer to its five-year completion goal for the full eight miles, with a total projected cost of $13-$16 million.

Bids for Phase 2 of the Bike Path rehabilitation, which will span from North Beach to Colchester, came back on budget on May 12,, 2017. Construction will begin next week. Phase 2 construction is expected to conclude at the Winooski Bridge in December with landscape plantings scheduled for next spring.

Details, including a tentative schedule and detour information, will be announced in June. Visit https://enjoyburlington.com/burlington-greenway-phase-2/ for updates or to sign up for the Bike Path Construction newsletter.Next summer, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront will oversee the construction of new pause places at Leddy Park, North Shore and Starr Farm, with Leddy Park and Starr Farm to receive exercise equipment.

“This is just the beginning of our work to fully rehabilitate the Waterfront Bike Path, transforming it into a Burlington Greenway,” said Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Interim Director Nina Safavi. “We look forward to the installation of additional exercise trail stations, and to future improvements to the northern and southern portions of the Bike Path.”

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Press Release Date: 
05/31/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office