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Journal Staff

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Riverwalk Association elected board members and appointed officers for 2019 at its recent meetings.

In February, the organization, which was formed in 2013, held its annual meeting and elected board members. It then, at another recent meeting, elected officers.

One big change is at the top, where Bill Laberge has served as the organizations' president since it was founded.

Laberge chose to step down from that position but will remain active in the organizations.

"It has been a pleasure to serve as President of the Manchester Riverwalk Association's Board of Trustees since its inception after the community identified this as a way to revitalize downtown Manchester," Laberge said in a statement. "We see this area as a gathering place for locals and all travelers. What excites me the most is that we have garnered great support from every level of the community, with volunteers and donations from a wide range of people and organizations. We have a great board and an active committee and I look forward to the progress we will make in 2019 and beyond."

In his place, Margaret Donovan was elected president of the Manchester Riverwalk Association.

Joining Donovan on the leadership team are Vice President Catherine Stewart, Treasurer Norm Favor, and Secretary Eileen Braheney.

The organization also elected board members including Eileen Braheney, Joanie Burns, Margaret Donovan, Stephen Drunsic, Bill Laberge and Dick Smith.

They join current board members Lisa Helmholz-Adams, Richard Heilemann and Cristina Mansfield.

Members serve for two- or three-year terms.

The Manchester Riverwalk Association took stock of its successes over the past year, including the work done on the Eco-Restoration Project, which involves the removal of invasive plants along the Riverwalk and the planting of native species. The association also completed the design and engineering studies of proposed trails and a pedestrian bridge.

The Riverwalk Committee engaged the community in many ways in the past year, including the Fourth of July Picnic, the Harvest Festival with the unveiling of the Battenkill Interpretive Panel, and the Pie Social.

The Manchester Riverwalk is a nonprofit organization with a mission to build, beautify and maintain public pathways along the West Branch of the Battenkill.

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