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).


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

Slate Quarry Park


2023 Honor Awards

  • Kingdom Trails Network Capacity Study, East Burke
  • Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail Marketing, Branding & Wayfinding, Northwestern Vermont
  • Slate Quarry Park, Poultney
  • Swinging Bridge Pocket Park, Chester
  • Teagle’s Landing, Woodstock



Honor Awardees

Kingdom Trails Network Capacity Study: East Burke, Vermont

  • Kingdom Trails Association
  • SE Group
  • Stantec Engineering

Community, parking, and local business capacity has had a hard time keeping up with the success of the Kingdom Trails system. The Kingdom Trails Network Capacity Study was a year long planning process intended to address capacity and other issues associated with the trails system and its impact on adjacent communities and land owners. After extensive public outreach to trail users and the community, the study made numerous recommendations that were wide-ranging, touching on trail and access infrastructure, messaging, and partnerships. The recommendations primarily addressed dispersing use, parking and economic benefits across the area, relieving the pressure on landowners and communities, creating safer and less congested biking, walking and driving experiences, and infrastructure enhancements and other improvements throughout the East Burke Village and the system.  


Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail Marketing, Branding & Wayfinding: Northwestern Vermont

  •  MVRT Council, Northwest Regional Planning Commission
  • SE Group
  • Path Less Pedaled

    The Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. The trail offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. The goals of the project were to increase trail awareness for both local residents and potential visitors, enhance wayfinding and trail information, and connect the trail activity more successfully with local businesses and the communities of Franklin County.   

Slate Quarry Park: Poultney, Vermont

  • Town of Poultney
  • Larry Sullivan
  • Paul Hancock
  • Marcia Angerman
  • Richard Rupe
  • Shawn Camara
  • Steve Taran
  • Barbara Scott
  • Denise Letendre
  • Krista Rupe

A group of volunteers in Poultney, Vermont formed the Slate Quarry Park Group to create a pocket park in where community could gather, read, relax, and picnic and have public events in the only remaining green space in the village core. The vision for the new park was to highlight the heritage of the Slate Valley. The final park features bench around a small circular plaza in the middle of a lawn near the front of the site, with a small amphitheater in the rear for performances and other gatherings. The slate the park was donated by local quarries and the entire park was funded by private donations raised by the Slate Quarry Park Group. The Slate Quarry Park enriches the village center while providing opportunities for social, cultural, and economic diversity. 

Swinging Bridge Pocket Park: Chester, Vermont

  • Village of Chester
  • Terrigenous Landscape Architecture
  • Chester Townscape

The Swinging Bridge Pocket Park in Chester is a place where the forgotten elements of a town’s history have been remembered, repurposed, and revitalized. The design of the park, developed in conjunction with intense community input, addressed numerous site constraints to create an inviting public place in a previously forgotten portion of the town. The design of the park also included the reuse of older salvaged material lying forgotten in other areas of the town. Some of these elements were used to reintroduce the childlike jot that was historically present in the area when it was on the route to the local, now gone, school house. 

Teagle’s Landing: Woodstock, Vermont

  •  Village of Woodstock
  • Woodstock Economic Development Commission
  • Jack Rossi Landscape Architecture
  • Arborscape, Inc
  • Olde World Masonry
  • Hawk Mountain Ironworks

Teagle’s Landing is a pocket park in the Village of Woodstock locate don a small triangle of land bordered by the Kendron Brook, a 4-story brick commercial building and Central Street, which lies one story above the level of the park.

The two-tier redesign of the existing, poorly maintained park, steps from the upper public sidewalk to a mid-level, intimate seating area overlooking the brook. An elliptical terrace at the lower tier provides an inviting space for picnicking, sitting, and daydreaming.

Charlotte Public Library Rain Garden

2023 Merit Awards


  • Burr & Burton Academy Founders Hall, Manchester
  • Charlotte Library Rain Garden, Charlotte


Merit Awardees

Burr & Burton Academy Founders Hall: Manchester Vermont

  • Burr & Burton Academy
  • SE Group
  • KATO Architects
  • ZGF Architects
  • Engineering Ventures
  • DEW Construction

The Burr and Burton Academy’s Founder’s Hall and the Rowland Courtyard included a new structure, the Founder’s Hall, and the redesign of an adjacent parking area into a new courtyard. The project also included significant upgrades to the school’s stormwater management system, in part by the addition of new stormwater garden. The project created innovative public spaces in and around the Rowland Courtyard for teaching, learning, and community recreation through, among other opportunities, connection to existing trails on the campus, one which leads to Mount Equinox. 

Charlotte Library Rain Garden: Charlotte, Vermont

  • Charlotte Library Board
  • Margaret Woodward
  • Karen Tuininga
  • Linda Hamilton
  • Charles Tegatz
  • Jim Donovan, FASLA
  • Town Volunteers

    The purpose of the Charlotte Library Rain Garden is to make publicly visible the elements of the library’s stormwater management plan for both education and public enjoyment. The development of the rain garden was a community volunteer project, starting with the initial concept developed by a college student studying landscape architecture. The plan was developed and refined though a public design class offered by the library and lead by more volunteers. The class members, joined by other community volunteers, did all of the work of installing the more than 1,500 plants used to create the garden. 

    The rain garden replaced an existing paved area that was removed as part of the expansion of the library. Library patrons now enjoy the garden, now in its third summer, as they come and go. As part of the Ahead of the Storm Program, it also provides info on good stormwater management practices for homeowners through signs and placards.  

Previous Recipients

2021 Awards

Honor Awards

  • 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. 

Merit Awards

  • 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.