Posted: 05/04/2012 01:08:32 AM EDT Imagine the river is the gem in North Adams’ downtown.
This apt slogan frames the Hoosic River Revival’s efforts to see the stretch of the Hoosic River now in flood-control chutes in the city transformed into a cultural and economic asset with which the community and visitors alike can interact.
This gem of an idea, though still in its early stages, is being shaped by the minds of Hoosic River Revival’s Coordinator Judith Grinnell and the 21 members of the group’s steering committee, a selection representing many stakeholders in this vision for the city. The central aim so far is to create a corridor or a collection of areas where the river can become a venue for walking, biking, community gatherings, cultural events, celebrations and even waterside caf s — all while maintaining the flood prevention the city currently enjoys, but through modern, accessible techniques and design.
While Hoosic River Revival has seemed quiet in recent months, we recently had the opportunity to discuss with Grinnell Hoosic River Revival’s upcoming plans and the developments that the public can expect in fast-approaching months.
Chief among these, Hoosic River Revival is expecting ‘The Hoosic River Options Assessment’ report as soon as summer’s end. This document will shift the focus from what other cities have done to examples of what can be done here in North Adams.
A community conversation will be held a few months after this document is ready, whereat the community can hear about and see renderings of Hoosic River Revival’s plans. Also, the nuts and bolts of cost and maintenance will begin to come to the surface. For those of you with fresh memories of Tropical Storm Irene, it is important to note that the Army Corps of Engineers still holds sway over changes in the flood-control chutes and the city’s safety is the chief concern for all parties.
So, it is with excitement that we look forward to seeing the results of the options assessment report and the following community meeting. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind and see what modern techniques and a passionate group of people can bring to the table.