Public Places Awards

This awards program recognizes special public spaces, the corridors that connect them, or networks of public spaces which have been defined or enriched by planning or design, as well as regulations that promote positive public uses and benefits.

Sponsored by

  • Vermont Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
  • American Institute of Architects Vermont
  • Vermont Planners Association
  • Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program


Projects must be located in Vermont and be accessible to the public. Submissions may range from mature projects in place and in use to conceptual studies, plans, regulations to encourage public space, connective corridors, and networks of public spaces, or other endeavors and incentives to create, preserve or enhance individual interior or exterior public space or linked open spaces in Vermont. Submissions may include, but are not limited to open space associated with: Historic Preservation, Community Planning, Recreation Planning & Design and more (see Overview & Entry Form for complete list).


An entry form (PDF below) must be completed and submitted with the required entry fee per submission. Entries should be submitted by email to The submission deadline has been extended to March 20, 2023.

Submissions must include a brief synopsis that outlines the design problem, community concern, local objective, or environmental issues, and how the space, corridor, plan, or solution addresses them. The form of the submissions is left to the entrant, but digital submission of photographs and/or drawings is required for all design projects.

  • A combination of photographs and text is highly recommended.
  • A maximum of 10 photographs and/or drawings which should be cleared for publication.
  • Text should be limited to 2 pages.
  • Maps or figures of the location and details.

Overview & Entry Form

Entry Submittal Fees

Public Agencies, Community Groups, Students: $25.00

All Other Submissions: $45.00

Checks should be made out to: Vermont Chapter, American Society of Landscape Architects (VTASLA) and mailed to VTASLA c/o Mike Buscher, T. J. Boyle Associates, 301 College St., Burlington, VT 05401.


Questions about the 2023 Vermont Public Places awards can be e-mailed to Beau Doucette, or Jim Donovan,

Saxtons River Park

2021 Honor Awards

  • A New Vision for Alburgh Dunes State Park Master Plan
  • Burlington City Hall Park Restoration
  • Charlotte World War I Memorial
  • Elm Street Park in Randolph
  • Saxtons River Park
  • Shelburne Pierson Library and Historic Town Hall
  • Union Elementary School Playground Project
Honor Awardees

A New Vision for Alburgh Dunes State Park Master Plan, created for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation by a design team led by LandWorks and including Maclay Architects and Engineering Ventures.  The plan has been implemented and the results are quite positive.

Burlington City Hall Park Restoration, submitted by the City of Burlington and based on a plan developed by a team led by Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture and including City of Burlington team from the Departments of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, Public Works, Planning, City Arts and Community and Economic Development.  The implemented plan has increased the use of the park. 

The Charlotte World War I Memorial, owned by the Town of Charlotte and lovingly maintained and renewed each season by Beth Sytsma and Ted Roberts, a local Charlotte family who undertake the work as a gesture of positive civic engagement. Much to the joy of Charlotte residents and motorists to or from the Charlotte Ferry.

Elm Street Park in Randolph, created and designed by the local residents, led and inspired by Rosalind Burgess, who worked tirelessly over the years to turn a vacant lot into a public park.  Her efforts inspired others to join her and to help in the expansion, enhancement and maintenance of the truly public, public place.

Saxtons River Park, a new park on a brownfield in the middle of the Village of Saxtons River, created, constructed and maintained by the community, led by a team that included Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio, Terrigenous Landscape Architecture, LE Environmental, LLC, Green Mountain Engineering, Adams Trucking and Excavation, Allen Brothers Farms, and Springfield Fence, many of whom donated their services.  The Town of Rockingham donated granite blocks from a former bridge abutment.

The new Shelburne Pierson Library and Historic Town Hall, owned by the Town of Shelburne and designed by a team led by Vermont Integrated Architecture, PC.  Opening in 2020, the new library was the culmination of a town wide effort to update and expand the former library with a new structure specifically built to be a library.  Even during the pandemic, the Pierson Library has been open to the public and well used.    

The Union Elementary School Playground Project, developed by the Montpelier Roxbury School District from plans developed by the SE Group with help from the students, parents and faculty of the school.  The playground project not only created a newer and more inviting and interesting play space, but also corrected stormwater problems in the area and remediated unknown brownfield hazards. 

South Burlington City Center Park Sign

2021 Merit Awards

  • City Center Park, South Burlington
  • DIY Community Cookbook
  • Dog River Park, Northfield
  • Fairlee Village Center Action Plan
Merit Awardees

City Center Park, owned by the City of South Burlington and designed by a team lead by LandWorks.  The park is a low impact, natural area, designed to serve all of the city’s population while also be a local neighborhood oasis. 

The DIY Community Cookbook, a do-it-yourself guide to making your community a more livable place, created by Community Workshop and AARP Vermont and written by Community Workshop. The Cookbook is organized to truly empower Vermonters to begin using pop-ups and placemaking techniques for public spaces by providing Vermont communities a resource truly designed for them – an accessible, inspiring guidebook that aims to make public space improvements doable for anyone, no matter what their skill level, budget, or community size.

Dog River Park, owned by the Town of Northfield, based on design work and plans prepared by SLR in conjunction with GPI, and assistance from the Friends of the Winooski River, Norwich University Art & Architecture students, the Northfield High School Class of 1957, and the entire community.  The Town created Dog River Park on floodplain land purchased by FEMA after the floods of Irene.  The park not only provides a community resource, but once again serves as a natural floodplain for the Dog River.

Fairlee Village Center Action Plan, developed for the Town of Fairlee by a team led by DuBois & King.  This plan seeks to help Fairlee create a vibrant downtown that slows visitors down, boosts opportunities for local commerce, and designs a streetscape that is at once beautiful and ecologically beneficial.

2019 Awards

Honor Awards

  • ArtisTree Community Arts Center, South Pomfret - Submitted by Jack Rossi
  • Middlebury Downtown Park, Middlebury - Submitted by Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture
  • The Vermont Town Forest Project, various towns statewide - Submitted by the SE Group

Merit Awards

  • Hearse House entrance, Brooks Cemetery, Chester - Submitted by Terrigenous LLC.
  • Newport Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan, Newport  - Submitted by VHB
  • Riverfront Green Space, Lyndon - Submitted by the Town of Lyndon
  • Route 7 Livability Study, St. Albans Town and St. Albans City - Submitted by Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture
  • Taylor Park Master Plan, St. Albans - Submitted by Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture
  • Underwood Park Master Plan, South Burlington - Submitted by the SE Group
2017 Awards

Honor Awards

  • Dumont Park Planning & Design, South Burlington - Submitted by LandWorks
  • Hartford High School Makeover, White River Junction - Submitted by the Creative Improvement Council
  • Hinesburg Town Forest National Register Nomination, Hinesburg - Submitted by the Vermont State Division of Historic Preservation
  • Lamoille Valley Railtrail Trailheads and Wayfinding, Lamoille County - Submitted by the Lamoille County Planning Commission
  • Spruce Peak Village Center, Stowe - Submitted by the SE Group
  • Stone Valley Bikeway Development Plan, Rutland and Bennington Counties - Submitted by Broadreach Planning & Design
  • Veterans Memorial, Shelburne - Submitted by T. J. Boyle Associates

Merit Awards

  • The Burlington Bike Path Rehabilitation, Burlington - Submitted by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  • The Center for Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College, Burlington - Submitted by the SE Group
  • Lake Champlain Bikeway Bike Rest Areas, Grand Isle and Chittenden Counties - Submitted by Broadreach Planning & Design
  • Main Street Middle School Site Renovation, Montpelier  - Submitted by Cynthia Knauf Landscape Design
  • Memorial Park Master Plan, Stowe - Submitted by Broadreach Planning & Design
  • Town Green, Manchester - Lee Krohn, AICP and the Manchester Conservation Commission
2015 Awards

Honor Awards

  • City Hall Park, Burlington – City of Burlington, Burlington City Arts, Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture, Lincoln Brown.
  • Middlebury Riverfront Park, Middlebury – Town of Middlebury, LandWorks, Civil Engineering Associates, Marble Works Partnership.
  • Open Space Report, South Burlington – City of South Burlington, South Burlington Open Space Committee, T. J. Boyle Associates, Front Porch Planning & Design.
  • The Vermont Downtown Action Team – Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development, City of Barre, Town of Brandon, Town of Brattleboro, Town of Northfield, Town of Waitsfield, Town of Warren, Town of Waterbury and Town of Wilmington.
  • Waterbury State Office Complex Redevelopment Project – Waterbury – State of Vermont, Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services, Freeman French Freeman, Goody Clancy, SE Group, Engineering Ventures, Rist-Frost-Shumway.

Merit Awards

  • Barre Main Street Reconstruction, Barre – City of Barre, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Barre Partnership, Luck Brothers, Hutch Brothers, Moulison North, Pike Industries, Lafayette Highway Specialties, James Lamontagne Landscape, Vermont Siteworks.
  • Granite Zipper Pocket Park, Barre – Studio Place Arts, Chris Miller, Dew Corporation, Swenson Granite Company/Rock of Ages, Vermont Community Foundation.
  • Wright Mountain/Devils Den Town Forest, Bradford – Town of Bradford, Bradford Conservation Commission.
  • Ripples, Rings & Photons, Burlington –, Terra | Logic Landscape Architecture, Kate Pond.
  • One Taylor Street: Montpelier Transit Center, Montpelier – City of Montpelier, Redstone, Gossens Bachman Architects, Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture, Dubois & King.
  • South Burlington City Center- Market Street, South Burlington – City of South Burlington, SE Group, VHB, Shole Systems Design.
  • Springfield Hospital Centennial Garden – Springfield, Springfield Medical Care Systems, Terrigenous, Engineering Ventures, Woodbury’s, Gurney Brothers.
  • Barnes Camp Restoration, Stowe – Lamoille County Planning Commission, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Stowe Mountain Resort, Green Mountain Club, Robert Carl Williams Associates, Jay White, Upland Construction.
  • Woodstock Elementary School Learning Landscape Project, Woodstock – Woodstock Elementary School, Jack Rossi Landscape Architecture, Natural Playground Company, Jason Drebitko.