The Winooski Valley Park District is a hybrid 501(c)3 non-profit and incorporated Vermont Municipality whose mission is to plan, acquire, and manage lands and waters within the boundaries of its member municipalities in the Winooski River Valley for the purposes of conservation, preservation of natural areas, establishment of parks, and resource-based education and recreation. The WVPD eight member communities are Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Essex Junction, Jericho, South Burlington, Williston and Winooski.
Created in 1972, today the WVPD manages 18 parks and natural areas with over 1,750+ acres of conserved land within the boundaries of it member municipalities. The WVPD also provides environmental education through service learning and volunteer opportunities, and collaborates with a wide variety of local partners, organizations and volunteer groups to promote land management and conservation in the lower Winooski Valley.
WVPD parks are managed for public access, are free and open to the public year round, and are preserved permanently as conservation areas.
WVPD works closely with state and regional land trusts, conservation nonprofits, local conservation commissions, and community groups leveraging grants and donated funds for land acquisitions and park development. WVPD acquires land and equipment donations, and secures hundreds of hours of volunteer labor each year.
The WVPD offices are located at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington and are open Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm, except for major Holidays.
How does the WVPD funding system work? About 80% of the WVPD’s operating budget is generated by payments from the eight member towns. Each annual “fair share” payment is calculated utilizing the most recent population and grand list data for each town.
The balance of WVPD’s operating revenues are gained through a combination of building and land leases, contracted parks maintenance work, donations, grant income, and fees earned as a fiscal agent for partner nonprofits and programs.
Capital projects and land acquisitions are typically supported through grants, full or partial donations, and other outside resources. WVPD maintains a modest capital reserve for emergency use and to match income gained through grants.