Efforts to renovate Limestone park increase as pandemic restrictions ease

3 years ago

LIMESTONE, Maine — Despite pandemic-related setbacks, a community effort to upgrade the Albert Michaud Park in Limestone is well underway and expected to become stronger in the coming months.

Limestone Recreation director Doug Sharpe recently said that Phase 1 of the Albert Michaud Park Revitalization Project, which will include new playground equipment, adult exercise equipment and new playground mulch, is nearly halfway to its $80,000 funding goal. Thus far $33,000 has been raised through grants and community donations.

The arrival of the pandemic in March 2020 delayed the project committee’s ability to meet in person for many months, Sharpe said. Recently, the group has resumed in-person meetings and begun to actively pursue more grants and fundraising ideas.

On July 31, the Limestone Rotary will host a golf ball drop at the Limestone Country Club. Members of the fire department will drop numbered golf balls from the top of an engine truck ladder. Community members can purchase golf balls and win prizes based on how close their balls land to a golf course hole. All proceeds will benefit the project.

Sharpe said that Phase 1 of the upgrades will likely be installed in spring or summer 2022. The new playground equipment will be an especially welcome addition to the park, which was originally created during the days of Loring Air Force Base.

The committee is still waiting on a cost estimate for Phase 2, to include a wheelchair-accessible walking path, after which they will begin fundraising. Members have decided to put plans for a splash pad on hold until Phase 1 is completed and they have more concrete cost figures for other components of Phase 2.

With Limestone being named an AARP Age-Friendly Community and focusing more efforts on business and community revitalization, the variety of new children and adult activities at the park aim to benefit people of all ages.

“At our first meeting, people said they’d like to see something for all ages in the park,” Sharpe said. “That’s why we’ll have playground equipment for toddlers and older kids and things that adults can enjoy.”

To save on building costs and promote community involvement, all new equipment at the park will be installed by committee members and other local volunteers. Sharpe said that anyone wishing to donate can contribute financially to the Albert Michaud Park Revitalization Project GoFundMe page or send a check to the Limestone Development Foundation at 93 Main St., Limestone, ME 04750.

“I think it has brought about a sense of togetherness,” Sharpe said, on the impact of the project. “A lot of people are excited about this and want to be involved.”