Brattleboro Skatepark Site Selection – On Site Visits

The Skatepark Site Selection Committee is starting site visits this Thursday (rain or shine). Here’s the agenda; come to part or all.

Thursday April 10, 2014
1. 5:15 P.M. Site Visit Elliot St. Park–190 Elliot St.
2. Recess
3. 5:45 P.M. Site Visit Elm Street Park Lot–At the Corner of Elm St & Flat St
4. Recess
5. 6:15 P.M. Meeting Gibson Aiken Center–207 Main St.
6. Public Input via E-Mail –
7. Report on Act250 Properties (Cedar St.)
8. Review Site Visits
9. Next Meeting Wednesday April 16, at 5:15 P.M.
10.Other business

You can find the current list of possible sites here:

The potential site list started with 42 properties which were merely big enough and all but 8 sites have been eliminated due to various ‘deal breaker’ issues. The last private property on the list is still being researched.

Comments | 15

  • Here's the list: Current List

    Here’s the list:

    Current List of Edited Sites by Owners (4/3/14)

    Private Properties
    1. Cedar Street Properties (Windham Foundation: Ski Jump, Outing Club, Retreat)
    (Famolare and Austine removed since Selectboard meeting)

    School Properties
    2. BUHS/BAMS
    3. Crowell Lot
    4. Fort Dummer Field

    Town Properties
    5. Elm Street Lot
    6. Living Memorial Park
    7. The Common
    8. Elliot Street Park (“Thomas Lynch Park”)

    • Good list

      They should have done this in the first place.

      I wonder why the Spring Street lot (Town owned) isn’t on the list.

      Full disclosure: this lot IS “IMBY” – literally!

      • Historical Memory

        FYI–For ironists, and process mavens…

        Every single one of those sites without exception was considered by the original skate committee and presented to the Rec Dept. as a possibility.

        • Coda

          Lest anyone think I’m being caustic for its own sake, far from it…I know there are friendly and curious people on this site, and for them I’ll amend my comments. A bit about the original skate committee.

          Among its members- besides deep support within the skate community- we had a school teacher, state representative, current search committee member, olympic athlete’s publicist, owner of a recreational multi-use facility, a college building and ground supervisor, several parents, a social worker, and no small list of significant others contributing to the cause.

          We normally met bi-weekly, most often at the Twilight Tea lounge. Our conversations with Carol and recommendations to the Rec. Board might be notated in their records. We may have been an ad hoc group, but since the work was without precedent, we did the best we could, trying to bring the most sense to the concept for the whole community.

          I can only speak for myself as to how our spots were located. At the point I joined the cause I’d been living here over a decade, had children involved in all sorts of sports, and I had run or mountain biked through most of the county. Other members were even more long-lived in Brattleboro. In a latter development, I served on the West River park committee, so bringing the rigors of a graded rubric to the equation was well within my scope of understanding.

          I didn’t dredge the past here, I responded, not liking to see an honest effort slighted. If reminding people, when asked, why the process wasn’t done a certain way in the first place, or if I have to be the one to put questions nobody else does, so be it. For example, if we end up at Crowell, or LMP, will all protesters guarantee to yield?

          And I’ll say this again, especially for those who need extra-clarifying and reinforcement, I do hope this time the effort has success, and prompt resolution.

          • One hopes

            “For example, if we end up at Crowell, or LMP, will all protesters guarantee to yield?”

            I think that’s the deal… an official site selection committee in exchange for a decision all will live with. Anyone hoping to have a say can and should attend the open, public meetings on the topic NOW.

            This is the piece that was missing last time around – the public process that everyone can point to and identify clearly. I could never do that with Crowell before. I could argue why it was a good spot, or why it was a bad spot, but I could never point to a public process that chose the location in the first place. I kept looking for the list of ranked sites and official recommendations but, unlike the West River Park, it didn’t exist.

            So far, the lists and criteria seem good to me, and I’ve heard positive things from those attending and participating. I’m expecting a good result, and hope we can all jump into full park-building mode by June. I’ll donate a free ad to help raise donations for it.

          • This was helpful for me

            This was helpful for me personally, thank you Spinoza.

          • I think it is important not

            I think it is important not to identify “the skateboard community” just as such and succumbs to an unnecessary designation promoting the impression that favors a degree of isolationism, us up against them often giving credence to stigmatization and further fractioning of a preconceived dichotomy that doesn’t have to be viewed in that manner. We need to value being connected in this project all together as a community for those all who want to be involved, as sappy as that may sound, let the sap flow.

          • Says the Divisive One

            “Gee Spinoza, if you weren’t so passive aggressive, we’d all get along. Imagine if the decade you spent trying to get a park built was better documented and less stupid, we’d have a park by now.”

            “And if only the hostile BASIC members and ignorant town officials had done a better job, they wouldn’t have wasted so many tens of thousands of dollars and volunteer hours.”

            Now let’s hold hands and get this project built.

          • I didn't say Spinoza was

            I didn’t say Spinoza was passive aggressive, only his comment and maybe this wasn’t a fair judgment of his actual intentions, but it’s hard to tell who’s slighting who, (ok just slightly demeaning if you like, ie “ironists”) by his statements, the rest is just you putting words into another’s mouth, mine in this case and watching them gag.

  • history buff questions

    Just for the history buffs among us… Who was on that original committee? When did they meet? Who did they meet with? Where are the minutes of those meetings? What were the rationales for the decisions they made?

    In contrast, I think the current process is is a model of transparency. It follows closely what led to the siting of the West River Park and should be used for all town recreational facilities of this size and impact.

    Thank you to iBrattleboro for helping transmit and promote the work of the current committee.

    • History Buffing

      The Spanish Conquistadors sailed up the west coast during the sixteenth century, and with each location they saw from sea they named their spoils. Usually the saint whose day it was at the time of ‘their discovery’- San DIego, San Luis, San Francisco… got the honor. The records kept were meticulous, as with those of the Inquisition.

      In many cases the explorers never even left the ship to claim the land. It did not matter to history that these places had already be settled, inhabited for generations, inventoried for edibles flora and fauna, the seasons and landscape mapped in songs and stories forming part of a chain, a link in an oral tradition that goes back millennia.

      I am not impugning the efforts of the current committee, merely pointing out that very rational and thorough people had already done the work. If you want the full tale, inquire as a friend and not with vain overtones, and I’ll oblige as best I can.

      And I sincerely do hope for the sake of the skating natives that the new explorers can establish a humane and lasting settlement.

      • Oh!

        Oh impugn, Spinoza, impugn!

      • wow

        ….that analogy to conquistadors may sound a little passive aggressive to me Spinoza, sorry to say,( no matter how impressive the writer’s craft at lampooning this anecdotal portrayal of site selection in the day). What historical reference you so knowledgably describe is less about an internal examination that could have been, but more accurately resonates with Dick Degray’s and troupe (Columbus- like) acquisition on cruise control landing what seemed the irreversable claim of Crowell Lot. That maneuver lacked the guided rudder of all hands in the process grounding out recognition of potential impacts and adequate survey of the situation. It sought the opportune advantage riding the predictable tidal surge with an invasive approach which crashed ashore washing up against those least expectants reacting in, of course, verbal resistance when caught off guard ( no matter what his short sited good intentions may have been, “Land Ho”).

        Not exactly a thoroughly vetted process before the public’s interest ( or as you would put ironists and process mavens) for those concerns prematurely tossed jettison, adrift to purposely lighten the load and tacked ahead despite the native backlash back then. Those, being the portion of the community affected the most, whom by the way, were better deserving of a direct line of consideration and meaningful acknowledgement rather than being basically disregarded and trampled when being minimalized to the uncommon denominator of the equation, initially. This broadening departure consequently cost a couple more years lag time caught up in a major dispute, which in the long run insistently lead all of us off course when the powers to be tried vehemently to steer clear the barrier of validated scrutiny, reeling off the charts to reach a destination at any cost to their detriment.
        Or should we just forget about that episode completely in denial, or definitely put it behind us, I would say the later, yes, that would be prudent, let’s move forward and be thankful how an emerging, inclusive, coordinated direction corrected the course to benefit the entire community.

        It’s peculiar you feel obligated to raise the past history we all struggled through from hibernation at this particular juncture that finally represents a monumental stride forward for the skate board park project’s acceptance before all of us concerned. There is no vanity left here , just a job to do, so our youth have the best possible location available now and for the future which I’m sure was your groups exact, original intention once upon a time, a time you should have come forward to present such evidence of during the controversy. I’m assuming your group reviewed 48 possible sites to begin with, or did you just know better than the rest of us to eliminate these from the start with your own version of the process of elimination addressing and utilizing criteria. Whatever the case, it eventually offered little in the way of tangible transparency evaluation, presentation and assessment of how this was arrived at or established for public review, that I’m aware of. Maybe the extent of your charge was just never actually/ formally requested beyond the word of mouth passed on those decision makers or contained in personal notebook, if so, we just can take your word for it. Then if that is the case, I guess it’s safe to say you won’t have a problem and find it too redundant contributing to the final product in person and expressing your previous conclusions, I know that would be welcomed, respected and appreciated, maybe we can all learn something new.

  • Dog and Pony Show

    Nothing new here. All previously vetted.

    We all know this is just re-organized to get a different result, for the ReSite folks to get the park as far away as possible:

    My bet is a 5000sf slab of concrete as far away as possible: Fort Dummer!

  • Full list

    At some point it would be useful for the committee to publish the complete list of all 40+ sites considered during their tenure, with a corresponding reason for rejection. It might make things more clear for everyone to know why these remain as the places to visit, and others aren’t.

    Having such a list (i.e., total list with reasons + final, ranked, visited sites) when the recommendations are ready would be useful, I think.

    So, sure, these have been discussed before, but not in such an official, sanctioned, public process. One of the above sites will be the designated location, for certain. It will be almost impossible for someone to argue with the decision – there has been ample warning and ability for public input (and one can still participate!). This time is different, in my view.

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