There's a patch of grass growing in the middle of Williston's Maple Tree Place, and the company that owns the shopping center is looking to turn that green into a community- enhancing environment. They're sponsoring a contest to generate doable ideas from landscape designers.
In the meantime, Seven Days put out our own call for proposals. Since no one was going to actually follow up, entrants were encouraged to set aside any practical considerations. Here are the answers we liked best.
The Fix Williston Contest
It would be so fun to turn that green space into a mini- amusement park. There could be a merry- go- round in the center and other rides surrounding it, like the Tilt- a- Whirl and the Zipper. There could even be some booths set up selling cotton candy and fried dough, a petting zoo with some farm animals, and a little picnic area. It would be a great place for families to go and have some fun, take a break from shopping at the Big Bad Boxes.
Due to the magnificent local breweries we have in the Green Mountains, I think it would be important to construct a fountain that shot out Magic Hat or Long Trail. Instead of having a "fountain of youth," Vermont would have a "fountain of yeast."
BRYAN J. BRANON
The square needs a monument - a monument to consumerism and the almighty dollar. I envision large, oversized statuary of a fortysomething, conservatively dressed soccer mom loading packages from an overflowing shopping cart into a behemoth SUV. There could even be a big, long receipt tape that could become a slide for the kids. Her Starbucks coffee cup could be rigged so steam would puff out every hour on the hour, and random cellphone ringing would be heard day and night throughout the land.
Return the land to crops and farming activity. Divide up the space in small spaces for various types of crops and animals. Lease the spaces for $1 a year and sell the products at a farmers' market on the land and the parking lots. The farmers' market should have a space in Shaw's to sell products. Use this project to open a real butcher shop and bakery in the box- store area. This will repair a small amount of damage done by the construction of the box stores.
FRANK J. WATSON
Design the area to look like a mountain meadow. Clumps of birch trees, outcrops of Green Mountain rocks, wild flowers, trails and grass. Places for folks to picnic, sit and enjoy a meadow- garden space away from the wasteland of the box stores.
ANNE E. WATSON
As a lifetime resident (23 years) of Williston, I would like that space to represent what it used to be: a beautifully constructed barn and fenced- in area (like a farm) where there can be activities like a buy- local/farmers' market, or concerts. Even if it's not a barn, it could be a stage that resembles one where activities can be held. If it's a real barn and the weather is bad, the activities can be held inside. It should only be used for any type of activity that is free or brings economic sustainability to the local community.