Atkins Field at 140 Granite Street in Hardwick, once housed the areas 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 14 acre parcel of land that butts up against 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 SpringFest is held on the grounds.
More recently, the CAE moved its Hardwick Community Gardens from town-owned land by the Lamoille to a south-facing, high bit of ground next to the sheds and overlooking Cooper Brook. Slated to open on Earth Day in April 2013, the 28 raised hemlock bed garden has a natural amphitheater, granite benches and is handicap accessible. This rebuilding of the gardens is made in part by a fund from the Friends of Burlington Gardens.