BAR HARBOR — It will be a whole lot like a barn-raising.
A Community Build Day for the Park Street Playground will take place this Saturday, Sept. 9, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
The groundwork is complete and all the new playground equipment has arrived, according to Jenna Horton Boucher. She’s the chair of the Bar Harbor (MDI) Rotary Club committee that spearheaded the final push of a years-long, $180,000 project to update and revitalize the playground.
“The playground committee is so glad to finally be bringing this project over the finish line,” she said.
The build will take place rain or shine. Volunteers of all abilities from ages 13 and up are welcome to participate. The first 50 volunteers to sign up will receive a free T-shirt.
“We’ll hold a brief groundbreaking ceremony, then we’ll get right to work,” Horton Boucher said. “It’ll be awesome to see everyone working together throughout the day. We’ll put everything together, and it’ll be all in place on Saturday by the time we leave the site.”
The volunteers will have to forbear trying out the new equipment for a few days, though.
“We won’t be able to climb on it until they pour concrete,” Horton Boucher said.
Fundraising began in 2011 when local mother Amy Schwartz, her husband, Chris, and a group of parents and grandparents wanted an updated place for children to play.
“I can’t believe how far this project has come in a short period of time,” Amy Schwartz said. “It seems like just the other day I was emailing people and looking into equipment pricing and ways to fundraise. My husband and I held our own fundraisers, selling ornaments, having an art show and a Comic Con, but we wouldn’t be where we are without the support of our community.”
The playground is owned by the town of Bar Harbor. At annual town meeting in June, voters approved $40,000 in the town budget in addition to the $23,000 the town had already set aside in a capital improvement account.
In addition to the Rotary Club, major support came from the Bar Harbor Merchant’s Association, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association, Fish Maine Restaurant Group, Machias Savings Bank, the Red Empress Foundation, Charlotte Bordeaux and an anonymous gift in memory of the late Rick Alley, Schwartz said. Many other businesses and individuals also pitched in along the way.
A grand opening celebration of the new park is planned for the following Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m.
Visit www.mdirotary.org or www.rotary.org. To volunteer Saturday, email [email protected].