By Doug La Rocque
The final action plan under the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program for Granville, compiled by EPR Planning Consultants of Virginia, has been released and, as was previously indicated, lays outs five primary steps for the village to revitalize itself.
The plan was created through a community-wide workshop, and several Zoom meetings with village and town officials, business and community leaders and residents. It also had extensive input from the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board, the Northern Border Regional Commission and the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The five goals
- Revitalize the village through reinvestment in Granville’s Main Street, Mettowee Park, the riverfront and the cultural campus.
Included in this goal is the construction of a splash pad in Mettowee Park along with a park master plan.
- Cultural and Historical Identity and Branding.
This goal looks to integrate Granville’s unique history, art and cultural traditions to develop a distinctive identity, brand and promotion strategy for internal and external audiences. The report says one step toward realizing this goal is the creation of a village website and app that holds information about Granville in one place.
- Infrastructure and Facility Enhancements.
The aim here is to improve trails, sidewalks, cellphone service and park facilities to enhance safety, convenience and the enjoyment of outdoor recreational activities. A major component of this goal is to complete the Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail from Granville to Poultney, including a bypass around the existing gap.
- Regional Partnerships and Connections.
This goal looks to develop collaborative relationships with nearby communities such as Poultney, Salem, Rupert, Hampton, West Pawlet and Cambridge to create partnerships for efforts such as marketing, economic development initiatives and infrastructure projects. A key component of this goal is the establishment of a bike race event connecting Poultney, Granville and Cambridge.
- Youth Engagement.
The aim here is to create and expand opportunities for young people in Granville to be involved in outdoor recreational activities, downtown revitalization efforts as well as local cultural and historical celebrations. The report indicates the establishment of a youth commission to provide new and exciting ideas for outdoor recreation is a critical piece of this goal.
Granville was one of 25 communities across the country to take part in the program, which not only provides the planning but is also instrumental in locating and aiding in the procurement of grant monies, federal, state and private, to bring these five goals to reality.
Both Poultney and Cambridge have been previous participants.