VIA boosts playground campaign

BAR HARBOR — The Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association has donated $5,000 towards the beautification of the Park Street Playground, bringing the project much closer to its $180,000 fundraising goal for rebuilding the playground located on Park Street next to the MDI YMCA.

“Once a grant request was applied for by the Park Street Playground Project, the VIA felt this was a great use of our funds as seed money to help get this project off the ground. It was also rewarding to utilize money we knew would help provide a safe and beautiful place for the local kids. Most of our projects in one way or another usually benefit our summer visitors, so this was a nice change while still keeping with our mission to beautify Bar Harbor,” said Dick Cough, president of the association.

During the June 6 town meeting, Bar Harbor voters have a chance to approve money earmarked for the playground in the town’s budget. If the budget passes as is, an additional $12,000 will need to be raised prior to the groundbreaking this fall, according to Park Street Playground committee Chair Jenna Horton Boucher.

“The Park Street Community Playground Project is pleased to be the recipient of this year’s Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association grant. We value the support of this organization who share our vision for a better looking and better functioning playground in the village of downtown Bar Harbor,” said Horton Boucher.

The Park Street Playground Project is a joint venture under the direction of the Bar Harbor (Mount Desert Island) Rotary Club. In 2011, local mom Amy Schwartz established the project hoping to remodel and revitalize Bar Harbor’s public playground. Schwartz and Rotary’s mission is to create a safe and accessible outdoor environment, promoting health, imaginative play and developmental learning for the children of Bar Harbor and neighboring MDI communities. In 2016, the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club assumed leadership of this community project with the goal of breaking ground in fall 2017.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Rotarians are people of action, exchanging ideas, making friends and creating positive change in the world. Visit or the club’s Facebook page.

To find out more about the Bar Harbor Village Association, visit

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