Survey says 'Yes' to Parks & Trails in Winooski

By Christine Souders |

Published 03/25 2014 06:54PM

Updated 03/25 2014 07:48PM

WINOOSKI, VT- A new dog park, and other projects to improve Winooski's parks and trails could soon become reality, and it's all because of feedback taken from a recent study.

Richard Lockwood and his pug, Topper are frequent visitors to Winooski's parks.

"We come here twice a day actually. I walk him in the morning, and then i walk him at night.," said Lockwood.

He adds having a place to let Topper run off the leash, would be even better.

"It's a little more convienent for owners to take their dogs off the leash and run around a little bit."

"They need that space. Time with their little doggy friends," said Kate Boerma, who works in Winnoski.

More than 250 people who participated in a recent survey said they'd like to see a dog park too, among other things.

"We've done a great job of keeping the grass mowed and the parks looking great, but we haven't thought a ton about how we are strategically leveraging those facilties and parks for fun and getting folks together," said Raymond Coffey, Winooski Community Service Director.

Some future projects include creating a new trail map, cleaning up the trails, more park events, an off leash dog park, and connecting bicylists, walkers and runners to other trails.

City planners said grant money should cover the costs.

Researchers from the University of Vermont did a study on making these kinds of improvements and say updating trails and green spaces in winooski will not only add to the quality of life here, but it will also be worth every penny.

In that 2009 study, the impact on the state from bicycle and pedestrian activities amounted to $1.6 million in additionaltax revenue.

And for businesses fitted for sports, like bicycling, running and walking, they made just over $30 million dollars in 2009.

Dr. Richard watts at uvm says vermont draws visitors looking for outdoor activities.

But it's also a good way to get people to stay, and make Vermont their home.

"Making these resources more attractive, makes a big difference to all of us.. to our quality of life, to our ability to our ability to get up and move around, which is good for our physical health," said Richard Watts, Ph.D.

And others agree.

"That would be awesome. Make it a little easier to get around," said Boerma.

Once the snow clears away, the city wants to moving forward on a couple of the items this spring.

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