On Thursday, August 4, the Vermont River Conservancy and Moretown celebrated the planting of the new Arthur Buck River Access Park and they dedicated the conserved land to the late Craig Elwell. The park is located on the Winooski River on Route 2 across from Lover’s Lane.
Residents of Moretown who knew Elwell gathered at the new park on Thursday evening to share stories and celebrate his life. Elwell served as Moretown’s road foreman from 1988 until 2010, when he passed away unexpectedly. Elwell was 61 years old and had lived in Moretown and the surrounding area his entire life.
The 4.25-acre lot is named for Arthur Buck, who maintained the land during the 1900s, and is now dedicated to Elwell.
The Vermont River Conservancy (VRC), along with volunteers, has planted more than 200 trees and shrubs at the park and there are mowed paths that travel throughout the property. They also improved access to the river and will be installing an overlook bench.
The VRC also received a Vermont Watershed Grant from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation Urban and Community Forestry Program gave them a Community Caring for Canopy grant.
The project started after the reconstruction of the bridge on Route 2, when Jonathan Larsen donated the land to the VRC in order to preserve public access to the river. The VRC has donated the land to Moretown with an easement that protects public access, nonmotorized recreation and undeveloped river land.
Caleb Deane has been looking over the land while the work has been done. Deane said that he heard of plans to turn the land into a park and he wanted to ensure that the space did not lose its natural beauty.
People come to this space because they love the nature and the environment, Deane said. It does not need to be overdone in order for a lot of people to come and enjoy the river, he added.
Work on the park will continue, with the installment of the overlook bench and improved river access, but the park is open and the VRC encourages people to go and enjoy the Winooski River.