Major grant pushes Limestone park revitalization effort forward

2 years ago

LIMESTONE, Maine — Efforts to revamp the Albert Michaud Memorial Park in Limestone are well underway thanks to a major grant and continued local fundraising.

Since 2019, the Limestone Development Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and Recreation Department have banded together to raise the necessary funds for new playground equipment and making the park more accessible to all age groups.

The committee recently received one of their most major contributions: a $50,000 grant from the East Millinocket-based Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation. The foundation typically funds educational projects related to recreation, performing arts and science and math curriculums.

The grant has brought the fundraising total to $94,985. Though more funds are needed to reach the group’s $107,000 goal, they have since begun purchasing children’s playground equipment and adult exercise equipment for the park. They have also gained the necessary funds for at least half of a planned one-mile walkway that will loop around the park.

“At this time, the grant has allowed us to start purchasing equipment, but we still need to fundraise and do more grant writing,” said Michelle Albert, president of the Limestone Development Foundation and Chamber.

But thanks to the grant, the park project remains on schedule. The committee expects to receive and begin installing the playground equipment in spring 2022 and hopes to finish installation before winter of that year.

Future fundraising will go toward costs related to finishing the walkway, construction, landscaping and playground coating.

The Albert Michaud Memorial Park was built in 1974 and still contains much of the original playground equipment. Although the town’s recreation department had been slowly fundraising for five years, the project took greater shape after more community organizations and citizens became involved.

Once finished, the revitalized park will include new slides, monkey bars and other play areas for children, four pieces of adult exercise equipment and the walking path. With Limestone designated as one of AARP’s Age Friendly communities, the committee wants to create a space that families and groups of any age can enjoy.

“If there’s anything we’ve learned from COVID, it’s that being outside is always better than being inside,” said Jo-Ellen Kelley, Chamber vice president and park project grant writer. “[The park] is going to be a great place for people to go and have fun and focus on their well-being.”

The Albert Michaud Park Revitalization Committee plans to host an informational meeting for the community in mid-January to further plan for park renovations. Anyone interested in donating to or becoming part of the project can contact the Limestone Chamber of Commerce at