Sand Bar State Park (Vermont) has bagged the Northwest Vermont Park of the Year award by the state park system.
According to a report, the award is given to one park in each region for outstanding customer service, teamwork, and maintenance of the park.
Emily White, manager for the northwest region of Vermont State Parks, said all 12 parks of the northwest region were worthy of this year’s award; however, Sand Bar stuck out for two reasons.
The first thing to note is that Sand Bar was visited more than 40,000 times in 2022, which isn’t often attained. Secondly, the park’s staff were also able to work together to manage the demand and keep the park in prime condition.
“Staff ran the park really smoothly, and the groundskeeping was really second to none,” White said. “It’s an award we give our park staff as a way to really incentivize them and congratulate them for a job well done.”
Sand Bar State Park takes its name from a natural sandbar between South Hero Island in Grand Isle County and the town of Milton on the mainland. The sandbar is the result of the Lamoille River washing sediment downstream over the course of tens of thousands of years.
Named in 1933, Sand Bar was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public works program established amid the great economic depression of the 1930s. It was designed to create jobs and provide training for thousands of jobless.
Sand Bar’s stone bathhouse was a CCC project completed in 1935. The original park was 10 acres and included a small campground on the south side of U.S. Route 2. In 1970, a land swap gave the former campground, now a fishing access area, to the Fish and Wildlife Department and brought the park to its present 15-acre size.
All the state parks in Northwest Vermont had strong seasons in 2022. White stated that visitors were up at all the 12 parks, regaining from dips that occurred at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a great year. We welcomed back a lot of out-of-state folks and a lot of folks from Canada this year,” she said. “The weather cooperated on the weekends, and we were hopping.”
Other state parks receiving the 2022 Park of the Year designation include Molly’s Falls Pond in the northeast region, Emerald Lake in the southwest, and Allis in the southeast.