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Residents and community organizers met at Jarvis Rockwell's exhibit on Thursday evening to discuss the city's master plan projects.

One Mass in Motion project includes an urban walking route.

Local Organizers, Citizens Share North Adams Vision 2030 Ideas

By John Durkan
iBerkshires Staff
10:28AM / Saturday, March 02, 2013
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Judith Grinnell shows future plans of the Hoosic River Revival Coalition at the Vision 2030 open house on Thursday evening.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Community organizers met with citizens to share park-related ideas and hear comments about various projects related to open space and recreation in relation to the city's Vision 2030 at the Jarvis Rockwell Gallery on Thursday evening.

For one night only, posters about park plans and projects covered the gallery's walls with policy information, possible skate park sites, Hoosic River projects, bike path information and more.
 
"There are a lot of ideas and [this open house] helps find out what the community desires," said Mackenzie Greer, community planner for Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.
 
Mayor Richard Alcombright said after working on Vision 2030 for 18 months that the master plan is coming to its last couple of phases. 
 
To keep this project moving forward, Alcombright said the city will look for a permanent part-time planner to join for the final planning stages to become involved "fully into the process now" and then keep the project moving. Alcombright said he hopes this position, paid for by grants and administrative funds, will pay for itself with stimulated growth and will eventually evolve into a full-time position.
 
Residents kept flowing through the open-house style presentation, talking with Greer, Alcombright, Hoosic River Revival founder Judith Grinnell and Northern Berkshire Mass in Motion coordinator Amanda Chilson. At one point, about 30 people were in the gallery.
 

A lot of suggestions were left for Windsor Lake.

Of the different outdoor recreation facilities, Windsor Lake got the most attention. A handful of Post-Its and written comments left many requests, including tennis and volleyball courts, an updated playground, the restoration of the loop trail and no smoking. 
 
A couple of the projects attempt to encourage healthier transportation, including the North Adams extension of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. According to the draft of the plan, the trail has already been incorporated into the large-term plan for a Northeastern trail that would link bike paths from New York City to Montreal. In addition to extension plans, the trail is expected to be enhanced by the Scenic Railway and riverside parks in conjunction with the Hoosic River Revival. Other plans include adding garbage cans, dog bag dispensers and possibly public bathroom facilities.
 
Another corner of the gallery focused on the addition of a skate park. Opinions were sought on which of the five possible locations is best — Kemp Park, Avon/Alton streets, the Holden Street parking lot (behind Big Y), Houghton Street Playground or Noel Field Athletic Complex. One poster wrote a few priorities for the park is a central location to downtown and multiple features, including the possibility of a collaboration with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
 
The results of this forum will be posted within the next couple weeks on the North Adams website.

Tags: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail,   Berkshire Regional Planning Commission,   conservation & recreation,   Hoosic River Revival,   Mass in Motion,   master plan,   skate park,   Windsor Lake,   

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