In March 2015, the Town of Bennington purchased 168 acres of uplands, wetlands, and streams just blocks from its downtown. The Greenberg Headwaters Park is protected by a permanent conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) that allows for public access and protects the unique state of the natural area. The easement will ensure that the trails, wetlands and upland are forever available to the public for walking, kayaking, birdwatching, and other low-impact, outdoor experiences.
Funds for the purchase were secured through a $122,000 grant from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and private donations of just over $100,000. These funds were raised by the Friends of Headwaters Park with assistance from VLT. Steve Greenberg, son of long-time Bennington residents and benefactors Norman and Selma Greenberg, gave the largest private gift—in memory of his parents, for whom the park is named. Other large private donors include several area nonprofits, including Whipstock Hill Preservation Society, Taconic-Tri-State Audubon, Mount Anthony Preservation Society, Southshire Recreation Fund, the Darby Bradley Opportunities Fund of the Vermont Land Trust, and the Olin Scott Foundation.
With coordination by BCCD, the Friends and the Town of Bennington are working with the community to refine and implement a management plan for the property. The management plan will identify potential future uses, activities and improvements such as new trails, signage, kayak launches, boardwalks, a bird blind, a dog park, and more. Once the plan is completed, and approved by both the Select Board and VLT, the Friends group will begin to implement the plan to enhance public access.