The Town and Village of Hyde Park, led by a Working Group made up of residents and officials, have kicked off a 14-month effort to develop an Action Plan that will provide the community with a “road map” to implementing infrastructure improvements, enhancing a sense of place and encouraging economic vitality. The project is seeking to take advantage of Hyde Park’s location and proximity to many recreational assets, including the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, as well as its existing base of local businesses. The Working Group hopes the project will build community excitement, create a safer walking and cycling environment, and increase economic vitality. Hyde Park has hired the DuBois and King (of Randolph, VT) planning group to provide technical assistance for the project.

“Hyde Park’s location in Lamoille County is a huge asset! Its proximity to so many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including the Rail Trail, provides residents and tourists with a number of things to do,” said Chris Sargent, Senior Planner for DuBois & King. “By identifying opportunities for streetscape investments that will make the village a more walkable place, The Town and Village will demonstrate they want to make the community more vibrant and energized. This project will provide the Village and Town with a realistic and achievable plan to connect those assets through infrastructure investments, marketing and community engagement.”

The Connect Hyde Park Project, as it has been named by the Working Group, will begin in earnest with significant public engagement activities that will take place on Saturday, September 15, at Hyde Park Home Day 2018 (located in the Village of Hyde Park). The Working Group is organizing a booth where people can stop to talk about the project and provide input as to what they love about the community and what they would like to see in the future. There will also be an organized “walk and talk” event that will tour the village, allowing people who regularly walk and bike in the village to share their experiences and identify areas that need improvement.

“This is the first of a number of opportunities for the community to be involved with this project,” Sargent explains. “Throughout this process, we will have several great community events that are designed to allow people to actively participate.” This project web site has been created to provide a place where citizens can find regular project updates, event announcements, reports, data and invitations to provide their thoughts during the project.

The Better Connections Program is a joint funding effort from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Agency of Transportation, which “seeks to align state and local investments to increase transportation options, build resilience, and strengthen economic vitality in Vermont’s community centers.” Hyde Park was able to apply for these funds with assistance from the Lamoille County Planning Commission.   Additional funding for the economic analysis component of the project is currently being sought from the Lamoille Economic Development Corp.

For more information about the Better Connections Program, go to http://vtrans.vermont.gov/planning/projects-programs/better-connections.

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