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MANCHESTER — The Manchester Riverwalk has been chosen as a Gannett/USA Today "Community Thrives" Challenge program.

The program helps make community fundraising efforts go farther with grants.

The Riverwalk board plans to build a 110-foot bridge over the Battenkill to offer pedestrians the chance to go from Depot Street to Main Street while utilizing the path the Riverwalk group has already built.

The volunteer group has turned a previously inaccessible part of the river into a beautiful spot near the center of the town.

The crowdfunding program invests in community-building initiatives nationwide.

The board hopes it can take advantage of the program to build their bank balance toward the construction of the bridge, which will offer dramatic views of the river and the waterfall at Mill Pond near the traffic circle where Routes 11/30 and Route 7A meet.

The bridge will be ADA accessible .

"Our goal is to connect Depot Street with Main Street in a way that allows people to enjoy the river and surrounding area from a unique vantage point," said Riverwalk President Margaret Donovan. "The Community Thrives program will help boost Riverwalk's capacity to complete the project."

The Riverwalk was established in July 2013 with a mission to build, beautify and maintain public pathways along the Battenkill in Manchester enhancing vibrancy in the community while creating a compelling recreational and cultural destination.

The campaign kicks off at noon on Sept. 21 and runs through Oct. 16.

You can support the Riverwalk by going to and clicking on the Community Thrives Challenge link.

Donations may be made through this site at any time starting Sept. 21, but donations made from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5 at noon will count toward a possible bonus grant of $3,000 and donations made between Oct. 12-16 will count toward a possible bonus grant of $4000.


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