Rock City Road property could use Woodstock’s help

The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce leadership believes the information booth and surrounding property on Rock City Road has been neglected and asked the town to support plans for a facelift. “It’s kind of sad and we think we can utilize it better. We have lots of ideas on that,” said the Chamber’s new president Kathryn Spata, who owns Nancy’s Artisanal Creamery.

“It’s more than just the building, it’s the property around that we want to upgrade, fix up, make it look nicer — tables and benches out there having more space for tourists, or locals or anybody who wants to sit there,” she said at the August 24 Town Board meeting. “When we were there the other day, people just walked into the booth looking for information on the town and what to do and there’s nothing there,” Spata said. “So we think it’s our responsibility to do something with a prime piece of real estate in the heart of Woodstock and we’d like your support.”

Spata said the Chamber doesn’t have any plans or fancy presentation yet because it’s in the early phases, but it wants to keep the town in the loop and possibly get some support. “The physical building itself needs work. Some of the wood is rotted…you know, it’s going to take some time, it’s not something that will happen quickly.”

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Woodstock Supervisor Bill McKenna suggested something could be done as part of a bigger project. “That property extends to the other side of the driveway. So if there were things that we could do to incorporate one big plan, that might be a little outside your focus in the Chamber, but maybe you come up with an idea and maybe the town itself shoulders that burden.” 

McKenna had one request that the Chamber consider planting something besides grass.

“I’ve come to a point in my life where I hate grass. It’s green in color but it’s not really green… There are so many different plantings we could do that would be so much more beneficial.”

Spata suggested making it into a small park with picnic tables and even allow a small band to play there. 

“It’s a very underutilized piece of property that could be a gem,” McKenna said. He added he’s not sure yet if the town can help financially but it can provide assistance in other ways. “One of the things I brought up was work in-kind where the town forces might be able to do some of the labor, tearing up the grass or planting trees and so as we move along we can talk about how to work to get this done together,” McKenna said.

Tree Committee Chair Michael Veitch offered assistance with types of trees to plant and how to maintain them. Since the Chamber is in the process of updating its walking map, Veitch suggested including notable trees. “You have some very special trees in Woodstock that we would like to include so that people can find historic trees, old trees.”

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