2016-10-04 / Letters to the Editor

Thank you for helping Clifford Park

I am writing to acknowledge the work and dedication of our community (and people outside the City of Biddeford too) in keeping Clifford Park clean and in promoting positive recreational activities this past spring and summer.

The park’s 140 acres, bequeathed to the city in the 19th century by the Clifford heirs, are a boon for cyclists, runners, dog walkers and nature lovers. The park has its place in Biddeford’s revitalization.

This spring, Katie Labbe and I started the group Friends of Clifford Park as a part of Biddeford’s Adopt a Park program that matches our city’s parks with volunteer stewards. A first effort to beautify the park was the replacement of an old chain-link gate between the Pool Street pillars with a wrought iron gate and sign.

Dana Peck designed the gate, and with the BHS Class of ’67, provided much of the labor and resources to make the project happen. The Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club and other community members and groups helped with funding, and we are grateful to all of them. We gathered at the gate with Mayor Casavant with a ribbon cutting to celebrate the park. Thank you to all who joined us that day.

Events and programs in the park soon followed, including a mountain bike exhibition race, “History Hikes” with Dana Peck, a kids’ “Get out and Play” day hosted by Equilibrium Physical Therapy, yoga in the park with Equilibrium and teacher Carissa Rubin, and a kids’ nature safari with Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Thank you to all who gave so generously of your time and enthusiasm to provide fun and community in Clifford Park. Our season will wrap up with a tree identification hike in October.

Many people have worked to pick up litter and clean up fire pits on the trails. Others planted perennials in the newly refurbished flower bed. Friends of Clifford Park, UNE students and Heart of Biddeford volunteers donated numerous hours to keep up with the heavy use the park experiences.

Joe McKenney Photography and Paul Glynn took photos, Brooklyn Bakery donated refreshments for many of our events, and Heart of Biddeford acts as fiscal sponsor for our fundraising. The recreation department, recreation commission and Biddeford Public Works were always helpful with their time and materials for projects and during events. Thanks go out to all of you.

We hope people will visit the park and enjoy what Mayor Casavant called “the gift that keeps on giving.” Consider joining Friends of Clifford Park or contributing to programs within the parkwe will meet in the springtime to plan for another season of enjoying and caring for this treasured resource.

Catherine Glynn

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