The Town and Village of Poultney are delighted to announce that Slate Quarry Park, located at 76 Main Street, 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 501c3 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 non-profits, 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, VT after an initial concept was rendered by Alan Benoit and Andrew Doyle of Sustainable Design of Dorset, VT. Construction was by Schinski Landscaping of Poultney, VT with Dave Fielder, Nantucket Dry Stonewall Company of Cornish, NH and Nantucket, MA. The slate stone used in the park hardscape 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.” 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, (3) 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; and Teagle’s Landing, Woodstock. More information on the Public Places Awards is online at: www.vtcommunityforestry.org.
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 VT Route 30 from Hubbardton to Manchester. More information about the Byway is available online at www. vermontvacation.com. Groups wishing to schedule an event at Slate Quarry Park should contact Sarah Pelkey at email@example.com.