Otter View Park, located at the corner of Weybridge Street and Pulp Mill Bridge Road, is on the Middlebury – Weybridge town line. It provides the community with an open 15-acre park containing a wildlife habitat, wetland, and access to Otter Creek. This unique property, otherwise slated for development, also acts as a living classroom for environmental education.
Otter View Park started with the concept that conservation of one of the last key open spaces in this suburban area is important to future generations. The design grew out of community forums that honed local support for the project into a coherent plan to benefit area residents and visitors alike.
The park offers recreation and education features of interest to all: an in-town green space for play and relaxation, which include universally accessible pathways using standards set by the American for Disabilities Act (ADA) to take visitors throughout, including along the wetland and to the edge of Otter Creek; a meeting circle to enable local schools, groups, and municipalities to get together in the park; environmental education opportunities through led tours and observation (with helpful signage); and even a state-of-the-art stormwater mitigation demonstration project.
Otter View Park is a model of responsible development in concert with conservation, through the creation of three in-town housing lots to support the local tax base, the establishment of a community park within five minutes walking distance of over two hundred homes, and reduction of sprawl in surrounding areas.
What was preserved?
From Otter View Park, one can see the spires of downtown Middlebury and Middlebury College, Chipman Hill, and Green Mountain vistas.
There is wildlife habitat for many migratory birds that use the Otter Creek corridor as well as permanent populations; beavers, foxes and other mammals
Habitat for numerous reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
Along with Otter Creek Audubon Society (OCAS), MALT has undergone this project with the help of both the towns of Middlebury and Weybridge, many generous donors, as well as donations of materials from Goodro Lumber and Correct Building Products and services of the Hannaford Career Center.