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Mills Riverside Park Driveway

Posted Thursday, September 7, 2023

Since the spring of 2020, Mills Riverside Park has experienced a significant increase in daily visitors, exceeding 30%. This surge in visitors is due to the popularity of the off-leash area, hiking trails, farmers’ markets, and playing fields. Consequently, the parking lot frequently reaches full capacity, leading visitors to park on the front lawn as overflow parking. Unfortunately, this has taken a toll on the field surrounding the existing parking area. Large sections of the field have been cordoned off for months because it was regularly used for overflow parking. This resulted in compaction and rutting, which led to pooling water issues.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2023 (ARPA) offered federal recovery funding opportunities for towns. Green spaces like Mills Riverside Park, which have experienced increased use, were eligible to apply for funding for upgrading to support the growing demand. Both the Towns of Jericho and Underhill, beneficiaries of ARPA funding, encouraged residents and town boards to propose projects for allocating this one-time federal funding.

The Jericho Underhill Park District (JUPD) board, representing both towns, submitted a proposal to the Select boards, as well as the ARPA committee in Underhill. This plan aimed to upgrade the park's driveway for additional parking as well as grading and drainage improvements. This will increase parking availability and reduce annual maintenance costs. Both towns share a strong partnership and a common vision for a thriving Mills Riverside Park, leading them to fully support the JUPD proposal.

To execute this proposal, JUPD secured ARPA funding along with internal funding. A formal bid process was initiated, which involved multiple meetings with contractors and revisions to bid deadlines. The VT State Division of Stormwater and town advisors guided the JUPD in narrowing the scope of the bids, resulting in the receipt of four competitive bids. After careful deliberation, Chris Poley of Terrain Tek Unlimited was awarded the project with a start date dependent on weather conditions, set for October 9th.

For more information on the project, you can visit the Mills Riverside Park website at or contact JUPD board member ctardie@