MOUNT DESERT — If you have ever walked on the rocky shore of Somes Sound at Suminsby Park off Sargeant Drive, you know you’d better wear shoes because it’s littered with broken glass.
A small group of civic-minded children want to do something about that. They have proposed collecting the glass and other debris and using it to create a sculpture for the park.
They also want to explore building an ice rink for public use next winter in Veterans Memorial Park at the Northeast Harbor Marina.
At their April 2 meeting, the Board of Selectmen commended the group, which is called Youth in Politics (YIP), and encouraged them to develop more specific proposals for the two projects.
Shep Brown, 12, the son of Tom and Kelly Brown of Northeast Harbor, started the group last summer “to learn and contribute to the politics, vitality and sustainability of our town.”
He said in a note to the selectmen at the time that the idea was to give young people such as himself the opportunity “to give feedback to our town government, problem-solve issues, implement our ideas … and volunteer in the community.”
Kyle Avila, the town’s tax assessor, volunteered to be a mentor for the group, which now has seven members.
“One of the goals the group has is to make the town a little more kid-friendly,” he told the selectmen.
Town Manager Durlin Lunt said the area that is now Suminsby Park was the official town dump into the 1960s.
“There’s all kinds of broken glass, and there’s junk in the woods,” Avila said. “So, one idea is to have a clean-up day and then use what’s picked up to make junk art.
“If we did a sculpture, we would probably partner with a local artist, come up with a design and then bring it to [the selectmen] for specific approval.”
Selectman Wendy Littlefield, who is the business manager at Mount Desert Island High School, said she liked the sculpture idea and thought some high school students might be interested in getting involved.
“There are a lot of people at the school who are very art-oriented and have senior exhibitions and other community service projects,” she said.
The selectmen also liked the skating rink idea.
“I think it would be very, very popular,” Chairman John Macauley said.
Matt Hart said that in the winter, “everyone is looking for things to do.”
He said an ice rink might be used for curling as well as for skating.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Hart told the four members of the YIP group who attended the selectmen’s meeting. “I think you’re definitely heading in the right direction.”
Public Works Director Tony Smith said he had met with members of the YIP group to discuss the projects they have proposed.
“I recommend approval,” he told the selectmen.