Riverwalk landscaping work in Peterborough set to begin July 1

The proposed landscaping plan for the Riverwalk parking lot. 

The proposed landscaping plan for the Riverwalk parking lot.  COURTESY IMAGE TOWN OF PETERBOROUGH/WRIGHT-PIERCE

By JESSECA TIMMONS

Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 06-06-2024 11:46 AM

Installation of the long-awaited landscaping at Peterborough’s Riverwalk parking lot is scheduled to start on July 1, according to Peterborough Town Planner Danica Melone. 

Melone presented the plans created by landscape architects Wright-Pierce of Bedford at Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting. 

“This is the last phase of the completion of the Riverwalk project, which had been a little bit derailed by COVID, and we are excited to be wrapping it up,” Melone said.

The total cost of the landscaping came was $44,000, which is only about half of the amount previously budgeted from the town’s Expendable Trust Fund. Melone said the plan was created using feedback from prior  “visioning work” with Peterborough residents, who prioritized pollinator and butterfly gardens. 

“People really wanted to continue the theme of birch trees like we have next to Joseph’s Coat, so we will be planting birch trees on the edges of the parking lot,” Melone said. “All of the plantings are very low-maintenance and will be an easy lift for the DPW. 

Melone said the Conservation Committee was supportive of the plan, especially the pollinator garden. Plantings designated for the edge of the parking include daylilies, allium and other plants that are resilient to winter maintenance. 

Melone noted that the downtown TIF district allocated funds for additional public amenities, including one more trash can, benches facing the concert space across the river and two bike racks.

In response to suggestions from residents with children, the landscaping plan also includes options for “nature scape” play structures, which would be installed in the green space facing the river.

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“We did get recommendations on play equipment and we are looking at things like a double balance beam, a climbing pyramid, a balancing post, stationary stilts, things like that,” Melone said. “We have heard from people that it would be nice to have some play structure for children in that area while the parents are attending the concerts.”

The Select Board thanked Melone for her work on the project and approved the work going forward.

Cold-storage facility in works at transfer station

Assistant Town Administrator Seth MacLean presented a plan for a cold-storage unit at the Peterborough Transfer Station.

“This is a typical cold-storage unit, and it will replace the dilapidated trailers behind the transfer station,” MacLean said. “This will enable the trucks to load directly from the loading dock.”

Select Board member Bill Taylor agreed that the existing trailers behind the transfer station are “horrifying.”  

The proposed facility will consist of vinyl stretched over a steel frame and anchored by concrete blocks. MacLean said the total estimated cost of the project, including using in-house labor and buying some supplies directly, is $96,000. 

The Select Board unanimously authorized the project to move forward.