To all Bennington Lovers! Whether you live, work, study or vacation here ..... whether you grew up here and moved away ..... or if Bennington just holds a special place in your heart ….your support of the Grow Bennington Initiative can make a big difference in writing Bennington's next chapter.
The Grow Bennington Initiative is a collaborative effort of citizens and local businesses joining together with town officials to enrich our collective downtown. At The Grow Bennington Initiative we believe we all benefit from a thriving Downtown and we all can contribute.
The Catamount Rotary of Bennington most generously offered a $15,000 to Match for our splash park project.
Thanks to our generous donors, we have met the match! We are well on our way to a summer opening and with your help we can get this over the finish line! Please consider making a donation to this project. You can learn more about the splash pad and all of our projects below! Every dollar makes a wonderful difference!
Current Fundraising Projects:
1. A Downtown Park Re-imagined with an Interactive Water Feature:
Donate today and help in our quest to revitalize the downtown park on North Street across from the Clip Shop and Your Belly's Deli! As you may have seen, the bulldozers are hard at work, but we need your help to get this park over the finish line!
Please help us make this park a reality by sharing this GoFundMe link with your Facebook friends.
Example of a Splash Pad. (see more pics below.)
Playgrounds and interactive water features are consistently heralded as key elements in successful downtown revitalizations. While initially a far off dream, the Grow Bennington Initiative has now partnered with Catamount Connections, the Bennington Downtown Alliance (SPARC program) and the Town of Bennington to make this dream within reach. With your support we can create a downtown that is alive and buzzing and family friendly!
Catamount Connections has generously seeded the Merchant's Park initiative with $27,000. Combine that with other offline contributions from The Bank of Bennington, Catamount Rotary, Bennington Lanes and The Northside Dairy Bar, The Four Chimneys Inn and dozens of other individuals and businesses and we are well on our way!
In addition, Jeffrey Goldstone Architecture is generously donating time and expertise to create initial architectural plans so that we can move quickly on implementation. Now we just need you!
2. Wayfinding Signs: Steer visitors downtown with re-designed and additional wayfinding signs. Start at the edge of town: ‘Historic Bennington Downtown Ahead’. Highlight our assets: Bike racks; Parking; Car charging stations; And restrooms ― the number one reason visitors stop in a town! Wayfinding signs do so much more than help visitors find their way. They are an advertisment of the rich assets that our town has to offer. We are halfway to our goal to implement this exciting and necessary project.
3. Downtown Lighting: Perhaps you noticed the downtown tree lights this past winter...but, we aren't done yet! Over the summer, we were able to install uplights in the downtown trees through a most generous donation from The Bennington Home Depot. This subtle addition to our downtown trees made a big impact for pedestrians strollingour mainstreet.
Work continues with plans for an eventual comprehensive downtown lighting plan including walkways, historic buildings and more. The more we raise, the more we can liven up the Bennington downtown.
4. Winter Tree Lights: With your generous support and the help of some forward-thinking, civic minded local business sponsors we adorned forty-three trees with white lights in the Winter of 2018. This high impact project helps delineate the downtown and create a sense-of-place!
Photo courtesy of Greg Nesbit Photography.
5. Lamppost Banners: New colorful pole banners were hung on approximately 70 lampposts to give visual cues that visitors have arrived in the Bennington Downtown. These banners help brighten up our downtown during the cold-and-dreary season and create a sense of arrival in our downtown.
Photo courtesy of Greg Nesbit Photography.
6. More Flowers: Build on the Bennington’s downtown planting program. Add facade planters against downtown building-fronts to help soften the transition from building to sidewalk, drawing in passersby.
7. More Lighting: Comprehensive lighting plan for walkways, historical buildings, trees and more.
We're just getting started:
As we complete each of the demonstration projects above, we are constantly evaluating the next project: Parks, playgrounds and water features. Art installations, events and pop-up shops. Improved retail signage and additional streetscape enhancements are but a few of the original working list of ideas that we are continually evaluating as proven downtown vitality measures.
A vibrant downtown creates a better place for all of us who love Bennington while also helping to:
• Draw visitors.
• Recruit and retain employees.
• Retain and attract millennials to fight Vermont’s
declining and aging population.
• Improve the value of our homes.
• Improve economic vitality in our community.
The more we raise, the more we can accomplish. Stay tuned for periodic updates!
You can help write Bennington’s next chapter.
The Bennington Downtown Alliance (formerly BBC), is a 501-C3 non-profit organization, and is the financial custodian for the Grow Bennington Initiative. 215 South Street Bennington, Vermont.
Splash pads are springing up in cities and towns throughout the world. Here are some examples of what other towns have done! And, see photos of our construction progress!
- Greg Van Houten
- Lynn Green
- Jeanne Burns-Coleman
- Chris & Charlie Gingo
- Ceil Petrucelli
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