Cold Spring Brook restoration complete

WESTON, Vt. – The Weston Community Association broke ground Aug. 12, 2019 on the restoration of Cold Spring Brook, including the removal of the lower dam that was breached by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The damage created environmental and safety hazards. The work was performed by Ameden Construction of Jamaica, Vt., and completed by Aug. 23, a total of nine days from start to finish without traffic interruption during construction and exceeding their stellar reputation and WCA’s expectations. “It is wonderful to see townspeople and tourists alike once again enjoying this popular photography stop and contemplative retreat in all seasons. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the Cold Spring Brook Restoration,” Annie Fujii, WCA Board Member, remarked.

Cold Spring Brook
Winter view of Cold Spring Brook Memorial Park. Photo by Mark Reffner

CSB runs along Lawrence Hill Road across from Weston’s landmark Church on the Hill. Around the turn of the century, this was an industrial area called Charlestown with a mill and several other businesses along the brook. By the 1930s, most of the businesses closed and the buildings and land on both sides of the brook were purchased by Lewis Parkhurst who removed the buildings and created what is now the Cold Spring Brook Memorial Park. It was deeded to the WCA by Lewis and Emma Wilder Parkhurst in 1946. In 1950, it was dedicated to the memory of the Parkhursts and Weston residents who served in World War I and II.

Members of the Weston Conservation Commission and the WCA partnered with the town of Weston and the state of Vermont on the ecosystems restoration project to ensure that the work adhered to strict environmental and safety standards while restoring a natural stream channel, stabilizing the floodplain, and improving a the community’s ability to safely access the site. Engineering design and construction oversight was performed by Dubois & King of Randolph, Vt. The planning group includes WCC members Jeff Lennox, Hydrologist, and Deborah Hennessey, Trout Club president; David Raymond, president of WCA board, Mark Reffner, and Barbara Raymond, WCA board members, Carrie Chalmers, landscape professional and community representative at-large, and Chair Annie Fujii, Selectboard. Marie Caduto and Scott Jensen, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as Angela Repella, WS Army Corps of Engineers, worked with the planning group to obtain proper permits and provide guidance.

From the very beginning, Scott Jensen, district river management engineer for the state of Vermont, has been very involved with the development of a solution. According to Annie Fujii, “The local-state partnership engaged with environmental and engineering experts to develop what we feel is the perfect solution to an ecological challenge while respecting the needs and resources of the Weston community.”

The total project budget was $110,000 with $75,000 coming from a Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Ecosystems Restoration Projects grant and the balance coming equally from the town of Weston and the WCA. Residents of Weston approved the appropriation at Town Meeting in March 2019.

Following a competitive bidding process, Ameden Construction was selected for the work. “Not only was their bid very competitive, but it’s great to have a local contractor with an excellent reputation known statewide for completing similar projects on time and on budget,” commented Annie Fujii. Heavy rains in the fall and early winter showed the new channel to be stable.

A small four-foot portion of the dam remains as a buttress and historic landmark. A historic interpretive sign will be installed in spring 2020 to commemorate the history of this area and its dams.

The Weston Community Association is grateful for all the support received in the community and very thankful to everyone who helped with this project.

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