Brief History of Hubbard Park
In 1899, John E. Hubbard bequeathed the City of Montpelier 125 acres in order to create a park or, in his words, "preserve wilderness" for future generations. In response to this request, the city established an elected Parks Commission to manage the new lands, plan for the park's future and honor Hubbard's wishes. The Commission hired landscape architect Dana F. Dow to help design the park. Dow helped to map out plantings and roads designed to follow the natural land formations of the new park.
Over the years, the infrastructure of the Hubbard Park has grown. In the 1930s the park road, some trails, picnic areas and fireplaces were improved and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, under the direction of Perry H. Merrill. In the late 1960s a youth group constructed a nature trail under the direction of Norman Hudson, the County Forester, and with the support of Sandal Cate. A grant from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation bought the Park a new picnic area and shelter, parking areas, Portal Field (a softball diamond and soccer field) and several picnic tables and grills. The fitness trail was constructed in 1985. In 1990, the Tower was refurbished and its 50-year-old iron stairway was replaced in order to maintain its safety and integrity.
The 50 acres kindly donated by William Heney and his family in 1990 includes the large deer yard. It was gifted to the park while the Heneys were developing residential housing on some adjoining land.
Not far from the Tower grows a beautiful little white birch grove. On the east side, down hill from the Tower, an old fence line is marked by a row of ancient sugar maples. These trees were probably tapped early in their lives, and now have large sections of rotten wood. Their twisted patches of intact bark bring vital nutrients to and from the branches above.
Habitats Around Hubbard Park
- A small pond
- Beech / maple and red oak trees
- Several small brooks
- White and red pine trees
- Yellow birch / hemlock forests