Chester begins first Master Plan projects Pocket park, small streetscaping projects under way

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Patrick Jarvis of Terrigenous motions where one of two benches (inset) will be placed in the School Street pocket park. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Some of the first, small projects envisioned in the extensive Village Center Master Plan are beginning to take shape around Chester with the installation of a small park, new streetscaping and beautification efforts on town land.

Landscape architect Scott Wunderle  and Patrick Jarvis of Terrigenous have begun laying out and excavating for a small “pocket park” at the end of School Street by the suspension bridge. When it’s finished, the park will have several new trees and bushes in addition to two benches and a granite floored area containing a table and chairs.

The idea behind the park was to provide a place where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the river. It was also thought that the park would be one of several spaces that would could attract visitors to walk around the downtown area.

Earlier this year, Chester voters approved up to $25,000 to build the School Street Pocket Park.

Three Halka honeylocust trees planted in front of Chester Hardware are the beginning of a larger streetscaping effort.

At the same time, the town is taking a few steps in “streetscaping” and “canopy management” with several plantings around town. Included in these are three Halka honeylocusts planted in front of Chester Hardware and several spruces to screen a trailer used as storage for the Recreation Department at the Pinnacle. There were also screen plantings along the boundaries of the recreation area with its neighbors to the south.

The Pinnacle work was included in the town’s annual capital plan while the downtown plantings are paid for from the town’s economic development fund. Earlier this year, the Select Board approved a plan to use 2 percent of the earnings of the fund as small grants and loans for beautification projects – including plantings – in the Village Center area.

On Tuesday, Executive Assistant Julie Hance noted that applications for matching grants and mini-loans are closed for this year, but that the application for next year can be found on the town’s website or by clicking here.

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