In 2011, hundreds of Burlington residents took part in a reimagining of City Hall Park. The work led to a major restoration that was celebrated in October.
“It was neglected, unused,” Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said. “Certainly a lot of people didn’t feel comfortable walking through the park. And for decades the community wanted to change that.”
And they did. The restoration, which involved a half-dozen city department, made the park greener, more accessible and more versatile. This week, the effort was recognized with a Public Spaces Honor Award. Weinberger says the award was given by a number of design groups that recognize great public places.
“During the pandemic and now coming out of it, there’s been a need for great public places more than ever before,” said Weinberger.
On Wednesday, Marc Heinzer was among the park goers enjoying the scene downtown.
“I mean, when it opened up last fall, it was amazing,” he said. “All of the sudden in the evening there were families here.”
For one mother, Wednesday was her first time at the park.
“With everything we’ve been through this year, it’s really nice to see all the kids coming together, face masks coming off, children gathering, enjoying themselves,” she said.
Others kids enjoy making use of the park’s fountains, grassy areas, and other features. One loves the ambiance.
“It’s really well designed with the fountain and everything and the grassy areas. The overall atmosphere is just amazing,” said Julian Lyons.
Despite a long planning and construction process, Weinberger says he takes pride in the park.
“Looking around and seeing all the joy here right now makes me very grateful for colleagues on the city council and the hundreds of members of the community that kept working on it, kept believing it, and worked to make sure we got to today,” he said.