History of East End Park

Current Stewardship and Management of East End Park

When the park was completed in early 2021, Sustainable Woodstock transferred long-term stewardship of the East End Park Project to the Woodstock Community Trust as part of that organization’s mission to improve the quality of life in Woodstock.

For more information visit www.woodstockcommunitytrust.com.
EVENT APPLICATION: Download the application form from the Village of Woodstock to hold an event at East End Park. Completed applications must be emailed to: nnourse@townofwoodstock.org.
History of the East End Project and Creation of East End Park

Beginning with the gestation of the East End Project (2009) and continuing through the construction of the East End Park (2018-2020), Sustainable Woodstock’s East End Action Group (EEAG), staff and partners transformed Woodstock’s primary public access to the Ottauquechee River into a valuable recreational facility for local residents and visitors alike.

Park visitors looking north are now treated to expansive views of Billings Farm and Museum, Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park and the distant hills—bucolic landscapes that evoke the conservation stewardship and agricultural legacies of George Perkins Marsh and Frederick Billings. The adjoining 3-mile Ottauquechee River Trail enhances the outdoor experience, enabling park visitors to become immersed in the natural beauty of this riparian environment.

East End Park cleanup in 2013.

East End Park snow dump in 2012. 

Photo courtesy of VT Agency of Natural Resource.

The East End Park Project partnered with the Town, Village and State to move the old snow dump to an environmentally secure location, clean up the site, plant native flowers and edible plants and design and rehabilitate a badly deteriorated parcel of prime riverside land, thus improving water quality in the Ottauquechee River. The project restored a floodplain and riparian buffer seriously damaged by Tropical Storm Irene—using native vegetation to increase soil stability, prevent erosion, filter runoff and reduce the volume and velocity of the river during flooding events in order to protect downstream properties.
Other partners who made the park possible by their collaboration and support include many incredibly generous donors, community partners, the Town and Village of Woodstock, Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources and Dept. of Buildings and General Services, Connecticut River Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Boy Scout Troop 220 of Woodstock and numerous other organizations and individuals. EPA funding from Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission was used for initial brownfields assessment at the East End site, and Rita Seto, TRORC Senior Planner, helped the Town obtain and manage the funding for moving the snow dump.

Rain garden planting in 2017.

Amphitheater, pergola, and Joby Thompson labyrinth in 2020.

Slide, rock scramble, and stone sculpture in 2020.
By force of sheer dedication, tireless efforts, creativity, resourcefulness and fortitude, EEAG volunteers took a disused and overgrown brownfield site and reimagined it into a shining new recreation area for all to enjoy. The East End Park could not have been created without the perseverance of a core group of passionate and dedicated volunteer leaders led by Barbara Barry, Mary MacVey, Jack Rossi and Joby Thompson. These individuals inspired others to surmount every obstacle that was encountered.
Components of the park include a permaculture garden and apple trees, slide, rock scramble, the Joby Thompson Labyrinth and a magnificent amphitheater and pergola. The total investment has been $683,785 (plus innumerable hours donated by volunteers, partners and Sustainable Woodstock staff). This figure includes generous funding from private donors and the Town of Woodstock, as well as grants from the State of Vermont, the federal government, foundations and other sources.
The East End Action Group’s vision—coupled with the inspiring generosity of private donors and foundations during a successful capital campaign—are why the park exists today. We cannot say enough how grateful and moved we are by the way in which supporters shared their ideas, passion and resources to transform a vision into a vibrant space for nature and humankind to comingle.

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