Work has begun on the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association’s new project. The granite posts on the right mark where a memorial to the Great Fire of ’47 will be installed. PHOTO COURTESY OF BAR HARBOR VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION

New park takes shape

BAR HARBOR — A new park named DeGregoire Green is taking shape along Eden Street, between West Street and Harbor Lane.

The park is a project of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association (VIA). It is being built on private land with the cooperation of landowners Joe Cough and Lance Mahaney, who will maintain ownership of the land while making it open to the public.

Crews have begun clearing and grading the area and installing a curved path made of concrete pavers. The multi-use path, part of the state reconstruction project on Route 3, will connect downtown Bar Harbor with a busy section of Eden Street containing hotels, restaurants, and the College of the Atlantic campus.

A Fire of ’47 Memorial is also under construction, commemorating the fire that swept through the area. The park will be named for the DeGregoire Hotel that stood on the spot until it burnt to the ground in the fire. Other features in the park will include a fountain, solid stone benches, and plantings.

VIA President Dick Cough said that all in-ground work should be completed this fall. Next spring the fountain and memorial will be set, trees and shrubs planted and the area hydro-seeded.

The park is expected to cost $175,000, though Cough said he is hoping to raise more than that “for routine maintenance, repairs, and unforeseen costs.”

On Oct. 2, the town council voted unanimously to contribute $10,000 toward the project from the town’s sidewalk fund. $62,000 in private donations has been raised and the VIA has contributed $50,000. According to Cough, the VIA is still seeking donations to complete the project.

The VIA was established in 1881 by Mary Dorr, the mother of Acadia National Park founder George B. Dorr, according to the group’s website. The association is responsible for well-known Bar Harbor landmarks such as the Shore Path (1880), Glen Mary Park (1894) and the Village Green (1904).

Cough said the new park is exciting, particularly for its location alongside Route 3 at the entrance to downtown. The annual meeting of the VIA was set for today, Oct. 18.

“This park will now be the first and last memory people will have of Bar Harbor,” he said.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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