On May 24, 2023

Slate Quarry Park wins Public Places Honor Award

 

Slate Quarry Park,  located at 76 Main Street in Poultney, has received a 2023 Vermont Public Places Honor Award  as one of Vermont’s exemplary public places. 

Slate Quarry Park is a pocket park sited in a central location on Poultney’s Main Street. It was constructed in 2021-2022 and is built of varying hues of local slate. The land for the park was donated to the Town of Poultney by the Slate Quarry Park Group — a non-profit formed in 2016 with the purpose of building a park that  honors the slate industry and its workers. The non-profit also raised the funds to  pay for the park’s design and construction. Numerous donations were made by  residents, past and present, area civic organizations, and nonprofits, and multiple local and state grants were awarded. The largest source of funding was from the land and water conservation fund. Slate production has been a vital part of the  economy, culture, and history of the area for centuries and the new park pays  significant homage to the industry. 

The final design of Slate Quarry Park was the work of Brian Post of Standing Stone  Landscape Architecture LLC of Chester after an initial concept was rendered by  Alan Benoit and Andrew Doyle of Sustainable Design of Dorset. Construction was by Schinski Landscaping of Poultney with Dave Fielder, Nantucket Dry Stonewall Company of Cornish, New Hampshire and Nantucket, Massachusetts. The slate stone used in the  park’s landscape was donated by eleven different quarries. Notable contributions of  stone were from Camara Slate, Rupe Slate, Taran Brothers Slate and Brown  Quarried Slate, Inc., and Sheldon Slate sandblasted the plaques. 

“It was a pleasure to work on a design with the central focus of slate, a stone that is  one of my favorites to include in my projects. The Slate Quarry Park Group’s  dedication to making this happen was tremendous. I am proud to have been able to be  a part of,” said  Brian Post, Standing Stone LLC.

Key features of the park include the colors of slate, which includes all of the hues  quarried in Slate Valley, the slate walkway patterns which mirror the slate roof  patterns found in area homes and churches, large slate monoliths with  sandblasted plaques mounted on them detailing the formation of slate and the  history of the slate industry, a hand-carved entry sign by local stone artist Kerry O. Furlani, a slate nautilus, curvilinear slate benches and fine details of masonry  throughout the park. The shrubs and trees are all native plants found in Vermont. 

The Vermont Public Places awards are co-sponsored by the American Institute of  Architects Vermont, Vermont Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Vermont Planners Association and the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program The biennial awards program is “designed to shine a  spotlight on public places and spaces” and “honors projects that promote positive  public uses and benefits by creating, preserving or enhancing exterior or interior  public space, green corridors and networks of spaces.” Recipients of the Public Places  awards are selected by a jury of prominent Vermont planners, landscape architects  and community and urban forestry professionals. 

Honor awards are presented to projects that are “enriched by planning or design or  that increase awareness of the benefits of creating public spaces and/or connecting  downtowns, village centers or city neighborhoods to natural areas devoted to  conservation, recreation and working lands” and have a significant feature or stand  out as being exceptional overall. The Slate Quarry Park was one of six projects in the state to receive the 2023 honor award. Other recipients include: Kingdom Trails Network Capacity Study, East Burke; Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail Marketing, Branding & Wayfinding, Northwestern Vermont; Swinging Bridge Pocket Park, Chester andTeagle’s Landing, Woodstock.  

Slate Quarry Park is open from April – October, dawn to dusk, and free to all. Free  parking is available on Main Street in Poultney. In addition, Slate Quarry Park is the  newest location on the Stone Valley Byway which runs along Route 30 from Hubbardton to Manchester. 

For more information visit:  vermontvacation.com. 

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