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Access to Recreational Spaces on Town Parks

Bristol, VT

Bristol, originally chartered in 1762 is the second largest community in Addison County, with a population of about 3,800. Main Street, Bristol, VT is lined with restaurants and village shops including antiques‚ gifts‚ home accessories, and Vermont-made product. Bristol is surrounded by woodlands‚ streams, rivers, and mountain scenery. Its four-season natural beauty is within easy reach by car, bike, or foot making Bristol a recreation destination. The green is also home to an ADA-compliant natural playground. Despite all that this town has to offer, Bristol has several town parks that are vastly underutilized. Additionally, most of these public spaces, specifically park trails are not fully accessible for all. Volunteer efforts are also advocating for parks to be more welcoming to historically marginalized populations as well.

Project Goals Statement:

The goal of the “Access to Recreational Spaces on Town Parks” project is to make Eagle Park. Sycamore Park, and Memorial Park recreation destinations where all families, regardless of mobility differences or neurodiversity, can enjoy the natural resources and beauty of our community together.

Health Assessment Outcome:

The Bristol Community Health Equity Assessement collected input from community members on their top contributors to health, health issues, and health behaviors. The survey also assessed community member park usage and factors that would increase park usage.

Top 5 Most Important Factors for a Healthy Community

  • Safe and affordable housing
  • Good schools
  • Good jobs and healthy economy
  • Places and opportunities for community connection
  • Low crime/ safe neighborhoods


Top 5 Most Important Health Problem in the Community

  • Substance abuse/Drug abuse
  • Lack of exercise
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Poor eating habits
  • Unsafe driving


Top 5 Most Important Behaviors That Impact Overall Health

  • Mental health
  • Lack of insurance
  • Domestic violence
  • Aging problems
  • Child abuse and neglect


Technical Assistance Outcome:

Technical assistance offer to Porter Knight, volunteer, resulted in the development of resources including rendings that garners local community and leadership support for the enhancement of local parks. Community input from the Community Health Equity Assessment and feedback from Health Equity Ambassadors informed the design of the renderings for Eagle Park.


Technical Assistance:

  • Project visioning clarification
  • Community-level data collection and analysis
  • Accessibility
  • Outreach, engagement, and marketing
  • Fundraising and grant support
  • Long-term planning and sustainability


Census Population

  • 2021: 3,789
  • 2020: 3,881
  • 2013: 3,892

Age and Sex

  • 48.2 ± 4.4 – Median Age in Bristol town, Addison County, Vermont
  • 48.2. ± 4.4 – Estimate for Median Age in Bristol town, Addison County, Vermont.
  • 43.8 ± 0.3 – Median Age in Addison County, Vermont

Age Profile

  • 0-14: 13.1%
  • 15-64: 69.8%
  • 65+: 17.3%

Population by Sex:

  • Male: 1,775 , 46.8%
  • Female: 2,014 , 53.2%
  • 1-Year Mobility (Residents that have moved within the previous year): 2.0%
  • 5-Year Mobility (Residents that have moved within the previous 5 years): 18.1%

(Resource: 2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates)