I am of that age where many of the memories of our son and daughter as young kids are, honestly, fading. That’s okay because the many memories still I still recall are precious ones. Plus we have two grandchildren and they are rapidly filling up the brain with new memories!
We’ve spent some wonderful times in all seasons in the glory of Hubbard Park with both our kids and grandkids. This 200 acre gem is literally in the middle of the city. I am fortunate to have walked literally hundreds of miles in the park in the past 45 years, mostly with a camera (or two) in hand. One of my most thrilling moments was getting lost up there—actually not knowing where I was and not at all anxious but actually thrilled to be lost in a Park I thought I knew inside and out!
When Europeans first settled the area in 1790 it was still cloaked with virgin soil so thickly laid over the bedrock that settlers could not find enough loose stone to build a chimney. By 1900 it was bare of nearly all trees as a result of sheep being pastured there. Several miles of stone walls from those times still form a tracery over much of the park. Today the park is a gorgeous mix of fertile hardwood and softwood forests with frequent outcroppings of bedrock.
The Vermont Statehouse is the only one in the country that has a backdrop of woods, a magical sight in the Fall. Trails and roads snake up the hill to the stone tower at the top making it very accessible to nearly all. Several years ago additional trails were formalized to link the main part of the park to a new addition called North Branch Park which opens to magnificent views of the mountains and North Branch valley. Literally hundreds of people are in this park every day—with dogs, without dogs, on food or fat tire bikes, on cross country skis or snowshoes, listening to spring peepers or watching birds or just enjoying the Fall foliage. The Park teams with the community to put on dozens of events too from music concerts to bird walks to the celebrated Enchanted Forest. This Park is a gift to all who use it.
We are now in the late stages of raising matching funds to acquire two more parcels of undeveloped land on the west side of the Park. This would add 88 more acres, including prominent wetlands, to our already wonderful Park. Whether you live in Montpelier, Vermont or not, whether you visit this park often or have yet to do so, whether your bank account overflows or is nearly empty, please consider making a gift of a size appropriate to your resources and desires and help us expand this Park for the grandchildren. More than $450,000 has already been raised in federal, state, and community grants, and $38,000 in pledges and are well on target to raising the last hundred thousand dollars needed by the years end. You can safely make your tax deductible contribution of any size AT THE CITY WEBSITE HERE via check, Paypal, or credit card.
To help nudge us to the finish, I’m donating a gorgeous color print (below) of one of my photographs, A Peaceful Moment in Hubbard Park. It really speaks to why I love this amazing place. If you want to be in the drawing for this photograph, just drop me a note saying “I made a contribution to Hubbard Park!” and you could be the lucky winner when I draw from all on December 31, 2021. Let’s do it for the kids and grandkids coming along next!