Manchester Journal Article, 2016

Bridges and art coming to Manchester Riverwalk

MANCHESTER- The Manchester Riverwalk Association hosted a community gathering on Sunday to spread awareness of the nonprofit’s mission.

In two to five years, the group of more than 80 volunteers plans to build two pedestrian bridges to connect the north and south existing passages along the Depot Street corridor and Battenkill waterway.The plans also include construction for five gateway entrances.

Head of the association Bill Laberge said the progress has not been fast but the group is steadfast.

“We’ve presented plans to the select board and they’re excited about it,” he said.

Land associated with the Riverwalk is private land, Laberge said. When people utilize the space, they’re doing so at their own risk.

In October, Laberge told The Journal that the design behind the natural beauty byway will cost $500,000 “to get things rolling” and another $250,000 to finish.

Laberge said he hopes construction on the bridges will start next year.

Moose Crossing performed at the community event in Manchester on Sunday at the Helmholz Fine Art gallery. Left, Johnny Reiter on bass, right, Zak Hampton on tenor sax. Not shown, Tim Duch on piano. (Moose Crossing performed at the community event in Manchester on Sunday at the Helmholz Fine Art gallery. Left, Johnny Reiter on bass, right, Zak Hampton on tenor sax. Not shown, Tim Duch on piano. MAKAYLA-COURTNEY MCGEENEY - BENNINGTON BANNER)

Moose Crossing performed at the community event in Manchester on Sunday at the Helmholz Fine Art gallery. Left, Johnny Reiter on bass, right, Zak Hampton on tenor sax. Not shown, Tim Duch on piano.
(Photo: MAKAYLA-COURTNEY MCGEENEY – BENNINGTON BANNER)

“We really want to incorporate an art element to this,” he said. “We want to have painting and live music down there, and that’s already happening.”

The event was held at the Helmholz Fine Art gallery and featured music by Moose Crossing from Poultney.

The Manchester Riverwalk Association evolved out of the group `Transition Town’ and the Manchester 2020 initiative.

“It’s a good event to highlight the Riverwalk,” said Carol Berry, member of Transition Town. “I hope [the Riverwalk] will bring people closer to the natural world, where they can unwind in the town and have a greater appreciation for it.”

Cathy Stewart is the treasurer of the association and said she hopes people will become more aware of the initiative and volunteer.

“It’s a beautiful pathway along the Battenkill,” she said.

Reach staff writer Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471 or @MC_McGeeney.

http://www.manchesterjournal.com/stories/community-gathering-event-updates-public-on-riverwalk-progress,489726

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