New citizens group works on projects to improve community

One Londonderry emerges as a civic organization

LONDONDERRY — A new citizen-led organization, One Londonderry, describes its mission: “to serve Londonderry and the surrounding communities by maximizing our strengths as a regional hub, a four-season recreation destination, and a beautiful place to live.”

Organizers of the group, which is independent of municipal government, say its volunteers “work in concert with the town and other organizations and agencies on projects geared toward community betterment with the aim to create and sustain a thriving, healthy, and vibrant community for our residents, neighbors, and visitors.”

A 120 foot {x} 50 foot skating rink at the Mountain Marketplace, behind Jake's Restaurant, should be ready this season.

The rink, at a cost estimated at $5,000, is being planned by the Winter Festival Group, a subcommittee of One Londonderry's Recreation Group, with one firm installing the liner and the sides and an excavating company leveling the area.

The project will be funded in part with a Kickstarter campaign.

Volunteers are encouraged to help with rink maintenance and organizing events. Planning is also underway for a Winter Festival on March 5, 2022, which will include a bonfire near the rink.

Martha Dale, of the group's Steering Committee, said the Trails Group of the Recreation Group is looking into a 2-mile walking and mountain biking trail on the town's Shamburg Property, a 100-acre parcel given to the town in 2004. A longer east-west connecting trail from Magic Mountain through Middletown Road to the West River is also in the works.

In addition, a riverwalk-type trail running north-south between the villages is under consideration. An extensive four-season trail map should be ready for distribution in the spring.

One Londonderry Co-chair Elsie Smith said holiday decorations will be expanded beyond the Marketplace tree and kiosk this year. All Mountain Marketplace archways will be lit, wreaths will be hung, and a tree located on the former Genser property will be lit.

In addition, the Congregational Church and Jelly's will be decorated.

The committee will seek $1,000 in a GoFundMe campaign, “Light Up Londonderry,” under the One Londonderry banner, of which at least $830 has been pledged. Donations can also be sent to the Community Fund for Londonderry, P.O. Box 399, Londonderry, VT 05154.

Patty Eisenhaur, chair of the One Londonderry Housing Group, said her group is looking into grant opportunities to conduct a housing needs assessment.

In the meantime, the Housing Group, the USDA Rural Development Agency, the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and the Second Congregational Church are in discussions to build an affordable single-family home on donated land near the north village.

One Londonderry says it relies on community donations, grants and fundraising events to undertake projects and activities “that foster sustainable and measurable impacts on our residents, our lands, and our structures.”

Donations are administered through the Community Fund for Londonderry, a nonprofit corporation.

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