Stowe Recreation Path

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The Stowe Recreation Path, also called the Stowe Bike Path, is a greenway located in Stowe, Vermont, United States The 5.3-mile (8.5 km) recreation trail was built in two phases, 1981–84 and 1986–89, at a total cost of US$680,000. The Stowe Recreation Path has received several awards and honors, and many people consider it a great improvement to the town.[1]

Beginnings[edit]

The planning for a recreation path in Stowe was initiated in 1964 to combat heavy traffic on the Mountain Road (Route 108). The Stowe Better Business Association voted in favor of constructing a walking path running parallel to the Mountain Road in an attempt to reduce traffic. The idea was forgotten until 13 years later.

In 1977, Claire Lintilhac commissioned the Vermont Highway Department to design a route along the Mountain Road. Plans were made, but nothing was done with them for four years. In 1981, a Bike Path Coordinator was hired, and funds and land were acquired.[1]

Construction and extension[edit]

Between 1981 and 1984, the first 2.7 miles (4.3 km) of the 8-foot (2.4 m) wide trail were paved and 16 bridges were constructed at a cost of $300,000. Easements across the 27 different parcels of land the path crossed were donated to the town.[2]

A 2.6-mile (4.2 km) extension to the path was constructed between 1986 to 1989 at a cost of $380,000. In addition to the fundraising techniques used for the first leg, $120,000 was solicited from the town's tax funds. Due to the popularity of the first leg, the funds were granted.[2] This second leg crossed land owned by 4 people, mostly agricultural land and included the construction of 4 bridges. When finished, the Bike Path was 5.3 miles (8.5 km) long, and had been completed at a cost of $680,000.[1]

Funding[edit]

The 680,000 dollars to build the path came from many sources. $186,000 came from private sources, $178,000 came from the Land and Water Conservation Funds, $134,000 came from the Lintilhac Foundation, which was started by Claire Lintilhac, $120,000 was set aside from local taxes, and $62,000 came from Revenue Sharing Funds.

The majority of the 186,000 dollars raised privately was acquired by selling pieces of the path: an inch cost $2, a foot was $15, and a yard was $45. Many people bought these sections, and a good deal of money was raised[3] though the Bike Path is maintained using tax money.

Awards[edit]

The Stowe Recreation Path has received several awards.[1]

"The Town of Stowe is to be commended both for this highly successful project as well as for their leadership in helping other communities develop similar greenways."
"Out of 540 nominations from 48 states 208 finalists were chosen by the Blue Ribbon Panel of Judges. Stowe was one of two to receive this National honor for Vermont."
"The project was truly a community effort: the Town of Stowe was the developer; the property owners were the planners; townspeople and visitors were members of the advisory committee."[4][5]
"The President today named the community of Stowe, Vermont as the 119th 'Daily Point of Light.' The Stowe Community united to preserve and enhance its environment by creating the Stowe Recreation Path and Town Greenway."
"Initiated at home, supported by State and Federal programs, and winner of numerous awards, the Stowe Recreation Path helps visitors and residents alike enjoy one of New England's - and the Nation's - most beautiful valleys."

The Recreation Path today[edit]

The Stowe Recreation Path draws many tourist, both from in-state and out-of-state. The residents of Stowe and surrounding areas cooperated to fund and build the Recreation Path, and their pride in it is very evident. The path starts behind the Community Church and ends a little ways away behind Topnotch.[3]

It is open 365 days a year and popular activities on the path are biking, inline skating, and walking in the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "History of the Stowe Recreation Path", Town of Stowe
  2. ^ a b Lusk, Anne (November/December 1989). "Stowe, Vermont, Builds a Greenway: A Multi-purpose Path Rejuvenates Community Life" in Small Town, pp 14-21.
  3. ^ a b "The Stowe Recreation Path - Stowe, VT", Vermont Living
  4. ^ [1] Accessed February 26, 2007
  5. ^ "Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence". Bruner Foundation. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Stowe Recreation Path", Trails.com
  7. ^ [2] Accessed February 26, 2007