Ditching the town’s ‘drive-through’ image: Work begins on $300K ‘Re-Imagine Goshen’ project

By JAMES PENTLAND

Staff Writer

Published: 09-03-2023 4:25 PM

GOSHEN — Work has begun on a project to overhaul the look of the town center and create a welcoming space for recreation, socializing and community gatherings.

A second work day for the Re-Imagine Goshen project took place Saturday at the tennis courts. The first was held Aug. 6.

Town Adminsitrator Dawn Scaparotti said Saturday’s focus was on clearing the courts of weeds and overgrowth debris. Project leader Lorraine Brisson led volunteers in the work.

The cleanup precedes an event Sept. 16 to celebrate the project, hosted by the town’s Open Space Committee.

Planned in coordination with Oliver’s Farmstand’s Season Celebration the same day, the event includes a display inside the Town Hall on the project, as well as beekeeping, antique and photo displays, and cornhole and chalk art on the newly cleaned-up tennis court.

Voters this year appropriated $200,000 in Community Preservation Act funds for the project’s first phase. The town is also seeking a $50,000 One Stop for Growth state grant and hopes to raise the remainder for the anticipated $300,000 project.

The project proposes renovations to Memorial Park, including removal of the tennis courts and installation of a pavilion, a green with stone walls and a patio with café tables.

Currently, the park area includes the dilapidated tennis court, a memorial lawn area dedicated to veterans and 9/11 victims, and a historical marker for the 19th century Highland House, an early Goshen inn.

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“The current condition of the memorial lawn is poor and an eyesore to anyone visiting or passing through the town center,” the town’s grant application states, with overgrown trees and shrubs and unusable stone benches. “It lacks buffers from busy Route 9 traffic, resulting in an area that is a noisy public space and uninviting.”

The new infrastructure will heavily feature the famed Goshen stone, mica schist, with plans including two 3-foot-high Goshen stone garden walls, totaling 75 feet in length, running parallel to Route 9 to serve as buffers to traffic noise, and a third 18-inch-by-30-foot wall to create a seating area.

“A Goshen stone patio with a built-in perennial flower bed will provide an area for café tables,” the application states.

“The Town of Goshen is referred to as a ‘drive through’ community. We are developing a space that will encourage residents and visitors to stop and experience Goshen.”

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