Atkins Field: a Community Resource and Gathering Place!
Atkins Field at 140 Granite Street in Hardwick, once housed the area's world renowned granite processing plant, Woodbury Granite Company, where half a dozen acre long sheds gave birth to beautiful granite pieces that were shipped all over the world. After the decline of the granite industry in Vermont, the parcel changed several hands, housing a variety of businesses in its lifetime and eventually came to be known as Atkins Field, named after a local owner. The Center for an Agricultural Economy purchased the property in 2004, with the intention to preserve the land for community and agricultural use.
Currently, Atkins Field, a 15 acre parcel of land is adjacent to Buffalo Mountain, is home to a loose system of walking, snowmobile and VAST trails alongside Cooper Brook and one of the last granite sheds in Vermont. Every Friday afternoon, from May to October, the Hardwick Farmers’ Market welcomes hundreds of shoppers, rain or shine and in the spring, the annual Kiwanis SpringFest is held on the grounds.
More recently, 28 raised hemlock beds are available for community gardeners, with a natural amphitheater, granite benches and handicap accessible bed. This rebuilding of the gardens is made in part by a fund from the Friends of Burlington Gardens.
In 2014 CAE underwent an extensive survey process and developed a plan for the property that we have begun to implement. In the winter of 2014 -2015, with the help of the town and its active recreation committee, we created an improved skating rink. Plans for the summer of 2015 include adding a bicycle pump track, expanding our community gardens, adding a hoop house, creating a permaculture plan, replacing the bridge over Cooper Brook with the help of the Vermont Sportsman’s All-Terrain Vehicle Association (VASA), and exploring specific options for the buildings with a small team of people particularly interested in the history of the structures. For more information or to get involved, please e-mail Community Projects Coordinator Bethany M. Dunbar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 472-5362 ext. 204.