Keep the Park Green is a grassroots organization dedicated to stopping the destruction of over half of the beautiful, mature trees in Burlington, VT City Hall Park.
We fought the good fight to do what we thought was right - for our planet, for climate change, for our community, for the historic character of our park, and for the trees. We did not prevail tonight: It was a tie vote and we didn’t win a majority. The City will be going forward with their plan to cut over 40% of the remaining trees and pave a third of the park.
These councilors voted to put the CHP question on the ballot:
These councilors voted to NOT put the CHP question on the ballot:
Thank you for all your efforts: for the meetings you attended, emails you wrote, posts you shared, signs you made, and money you donated. Thank you for standing in the cold and rain to collect signatures and for designing and hanging flyers. We should feel good that we struggled together for a worthwhile cause. Perhaps we shall struggle again for another one!
Till we meet again!
Donna, Monique, Wayne, Jimmy, Amanda, David, Lynn, Mathew, Rik, Kathleen, Charlie, Charles, Kirsten, Edward, Mary, Maxine, Lea, Deb, Bob, Jennifer, Sandy, Caryn, Nicole, Anita, Rob, Becky, Susan, Maxine, Charlotte, Barbara, Robert, Barbara, Mary, Martha, Phil, Hope, Johanna, Beth, Mike, Ron, Sally and the many others who fought the good fight!
None of the news media quote Keep the Park Green on the root of the problem with the City Hall Park plan.
Here's what Donna Walters had to say:
"Let's cut to the chase: The root of the problem stems from the nepotism. Nepotism is corruption. It's when those with power and influence steer jobs to their relatives and friends. This plan was conceived by Burlington City Arts, a city department. In 2011, BCA got a $50K FEDERAL NEA GRANT to begin "imagining" City Hall Park. Right out of the gate they hired Keith Wagner as the landscape designer. He got a $20K no-bid contract. What they didn't mention was that he is the husband of Sara Katz, BCA Assistant Director. And since Katz and Wagner don't have the same last name, who would know? And how did Wagner get around another no bid contract for $500K? The city hired Suisman Urban Design, a Californian firm, then subcontracted Wagner's firm. What a coincidence!"
Keep The Park Green's press conference speaks truth to power in the fight to let taxpayers vote to save historic City Hall Park, located in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Opposition to a city development plan that would cut 41% of the mature trees and pave over a third of the park has swelled in recent weeks, with over 3,300 people signing the petition to PUT IT ON THE BALLOT & LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!
Kathleen is a respected Landscape Architect,
a former member of the Burlington Design
Advisory Committee and the Burlington
Planning Commission. Hear what she has to
"City Hall Park was placed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1983. Its status
and beauty lies in the classic formal design
and symmetry of its walks and focal points
that have been in place for 150 years - a style
that emerged from 17th century garden planning.
I have lived in Burlington since 1975. I remember the park as a well-loved green oasis, well used by
office workers on benches having lunch, people attending noontime events, kids coming with their
teachers in long daycare strollers. Even in the winter I recall water in the fountain forming beautiful
icicles that people used to form into little sculptures.
When the Farmers Market started, the park slid downhill fast to its current sorry state. Predictably,
safety issues emerged. Of course, now the citizens of Burlington want to see change but ripping up
the park and its history is not necessary.
All the improvements to infrastructure, erosion and soil repair can be accomplished within the current
layout. Moving the Farmers Market to the street will solve most of the issues. The fountain can be
replaced, and a basin designed to be cleaner and kid friendly.
In this long design and approval process, was an alternative plan that respected the parks history
ever presented? I never saw one.
Once this important part of Burlington’s cultural history is forfeited, it can never be regained, and the
namesake of this National Register Historic Place will be gone. I find that a crushing thought."
Mayor Weinberger seems intent on trying to crush Keep the Park Green’s momentum, but that’s nothing new. What is new is that Keep the Park Green is getting an opportunity to respond and inform readers of the who, when, and why surrounding the fight to stop City Hall Park from being turned into a hot paved plaza -- at taxpayers' expense. Read KTPG's response to the Mayor by clicking this link:
By Wayne Senville
Wayne Senville, former chair and 11-year member of the Burlington Planning Commission, and past Vermont Citizen Planner of the Year, lays out a very compelling case in his letter to the Mayor and City Council: why they should honor the City Hall Park petition and let the people vote.
BURLINGTON CITY HALL PARK
You don't know what you've got till it's gone. Don't let them pave paradise and put up a plaza.
Get the scoop here:
Email the Mayor and City Council NOW (and copy us, too)! Tell them to put the City Hall Park question on the ballot, with the language on the petition that 3,200+ people signed, and let the people vote!
"I assume that of course you will honor the process no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, to let voters have a say in the decision about the park plan. I would be shocked if you determined otherwise. I suppose that would be the Trump effect, filtering down to Burlington where we have otherwise felt ourselves to be somewhat protected in our profound commitment to democracy."