Info session to share conceptual design for Buckland’s bike-themed pocket park

The conceptual design for a bicycle-themed pocket park on Conway Street in Buckland that was developed by Walter Cudnohufsky Associates Inc.

The conceptual design for a bicycle-themed pocket park on Conway Street in Buckland that was developed by Walter Cudnohufsky Associates Inc. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

By VIRGINIA RAY

For the Recorder

Published: 04-09-2024 11:50 AM

BUCKLAND — The committee that’s working to create a bicycle-themed pocket park on Conway Street is holding a public information session to share the architectural plan developed by Walter Cudnohufsky Associates Inc.

The meeting will be held Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Once the conceptual design for Buckland Riverview Park is presented to the community, it will go to the Selectboard for approval.

The Franklin County Community Development Corporation is serving as the project’s fiscal sponsor, holding and managing all grants and money received. The Franklin County CDC has taken this role for several projects of the Shelburne Falls Initiative.

First that group worked with artist Cynthia Fisher to create the riverwalk from the Bridge of Flowers to The Mill at Shelburne Falls with her mosaics, then the pocket park committee was formed to create this bike-themed park.

In 2023, the group was funded by MassDevelopment with a matching $50,000 grant.

“Basically, we’ve been able to work with the town to get this done,” said grant author and fundraiser Whit Sanford.

With ongoing infrastructure upgrades in that neighborhood having started this week, the plan is to also install a system that will help the town remedy drainage problems from Depot Street to Conway Street. As the town has started to make the needed repairs, Sanford said, it has been possible to create the first landing to the park, which will include a fully accessible pavilion and a fix-it station for bicyclists.

The goal this year, according to Sanford, is to start the first phase of construction that will include the ramp, pavilion, and a space to sit and view the river. The second phase will be a spiral staircase to Depot Street and a fully accessible viewing station.

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“You get to see Shelburne Falls,” Sanford said. “It’s really quite exciting, and it’s just people wanting to do something for their community.”

Sanford added she hopes to soon hear from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism regarding potential grant money to “get through the first phase this year. I’m hoping and beginning to figure out how we’ll raise the last bit for the second phase.”