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Downtown waterfront park coming to Greenville

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GREENVILLE — The revitalization of downtown Greenville got another exciting boost this summer. On Friday, Aug. 2 the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation held a press briefing and public reception to announce its plan to launch a fundraising effort to acquire and redevelop the green space on the shorefront of Moosehead Lake in downtown Greenville to conserve it in perpetuity as a public park with direct access to Moosehead Lake.

Following the recommendations of community stakeholders and residents over the last few years about the future of the region, corporation President Steve Levesque emphasized reasons why the project is so important and how it implements the recommendations of the Downtown Greenville Master Plan commissioned by the town and approved by residents at this year’s annual meeting.

E.J. Richardson, whose family is behind this transformative initiative, shared some of the history of the property and the motivation behind their decision to partner with the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation. “Our family has lived on Moosehead for generations and has seen the loss of recreational access to the Lake; working with the MLREDC, it is our hope to secure a solid future for all to enjoy the benefits of Moosehead Lake,” he commented.

A committee of the corporation is in place to plan the redevelopment of the property. They will tap the professional expertise of a Maine landscape architect to plan the landscaping and amenities including a new dock system, a walking trail that will connect eventually to the trails that rim the East Cove and public parking. The committee will finalize how best to ensure that the park guarantees public access to the lake forever.

First, however, the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation must raise the funds to complete the purchase of the property from the Richardson family and cover the redevelopment expenses. Levesque announced the launch of a $250,000 campaign and welcomed gifts of all amounts from local residents, businesses and foundations, seasonal residents and visitors. Corporation board members and a lead donor, the Libra Foundation, have already contributed over $60,000.

Levesque acknowledged the efforts of all board members and the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council. Council Executive Director Chris Winstead was instrumental in securing Brownfields funding to cover the required environmental assessment of the property, work accomplished by Peter Sherr and Sara Roy of Ransom Consulting Engineers and Scientists.

Several special guests were present to endorse the project: Deidre Grant representing U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Thea Day-Huang representing U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford, Piscataquis County Commissioner Wayne Erkkinen, Greenville Select Chair Bonnie DuBien and Greenville Town Manager Mike Roy.

The Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to grow and sustain local business, attract and create new jobs and enhance the economy of the Moosehead Lake region. For more information on the Campaign for a Downtown Waterfront Park, please contact Margarita Contreni, vice president and chair of the grants and fundraising committee, at 695-3871 or westcove@myfairpoint.net.

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