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 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, an ATKINS FIELD STEERING COMMITTEE has been formed to gather community input, and create a vision and plan for the future activities and programs on the property.This process will include:
- Community input boxes around town
- Community forums and meetings
- Presentations and surveys
The Center plans to gather information throughout 2014, and create a community-based vision so that a management plan and future activities can begin to be put into place. Stay tuned for more information!