Plans floated for Grant Park

BAR HARBOR — Differing conceptual plans for the redesign of Grant Park have been floated by a town committee and a civic organization.

Discussions concerning the future of the park, now a plain, rectangular grassy area fronting the ocean at the end of Albert Meadow Street, are expected this winter.

Jeff Dobbs, the chairman of the town council-appointed parks and recreation committee, told town councilors in early December that his group had been discussing a design plan for the underutilized park which they wanted to move forward with. The plan has been developed in concert with the Village Improvement Association, he said, the group that maintains the Shore Path, which runs between the park and the ocean.

Dobbs also is a member of the Village Improvement Association. He told councilors that the group last summer set aside $30,000 to improve the Shore Path at Grant Park.

Meanwhile, the Hub of Bar Harbor, a downtown civic group aligned with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has been discussing their own conceptual plans for Grant Park. Group president Chris Vincenty said they were preparing to bring that plan to the parks and recreation committee this winter.

Hub members envision creating an outdoor performing arts space at Grant Park, Vincenty said. The group thinks the park would be “a great space for exactly that kind of thing,” he said.

“This idea is not just from us. This is from community-wide work we’ve done. This is a need that kept coming up when we talked to people in town,” Vincenty said. “Bar Harbor has always prided itself on the legacy of the arts. This is a very concrete way to do that.”

The parks and recreation committee, meanwhile, envisions constructing a granite seating area in the vicinity of the Shore Path. They also plan to re-grade and replant the lawn, as well as repair drainage issues along the paths on the sides of the park.

At the early-December council meeting when Dobbs introduced the plan, chamber of commerce director Chris Fogg asked, “Is there going to be a public process before the scope of work gets completed?”

Public works director Chip Reeves said that the parks and recreation meetings are open to the public and that the appropriate time to discuss the project would be at those meetings. Vincenty told the Islander that his group plans to be at those meetings and to take part in the discussion.

Following Dobb’s presentation in early December, councilors added Grant Park renovations to their five-year goal plan.

“What we would like to do is get all the parties together and talk about this,” Vincenty said. “We are looking to build partnerships and work together to reach common goals.”


Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]
Robert Levin

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