The playground is open!

Fri, 09/16/2022 - 8:00am

The reviews are in, and the new Clifford Park Playground is a hit. On Sept. 14, Maddie Kaler brought her pre-kindergartner son, Angus, to the park. Angus walked on the blue rubber chips to various swings, slides and see-saws and had a great time. And his mom enjoyed watching her son having a grand time.

“We love it and we are excited about it being part of the community,” she said. “We are thinking about holding his birthday party here next month.” 

Another mother is also excited about the brand new playground. Lindsay Lee brought her daughters Kiana, 3, and Lucia, 1, to experience the new park. She held Lucia as she rocked with Kiana on a seesaw. “We love it. It is so fun with the rubber blue chips. It’s great for our 1-year-old who is learning to walk. It’s a nice upgrade from the wooden chips.”

The playground is part of a $1.18 million project financed through a $250,000 federal Land and Water Grant. The new park will include a Little League field, bleachers, a multi-use field (large enough for two lacrosse fields or one soccer pitch) and a pavilion. Local philanthropist Paul Coulombe provided the original $250,000 local match. 

This spring, Boothbay awarded the contract to the lone bidder, Farley, Inc. of Rockport. In January, Boothbay officials learned the project’s cost would reach between $1.75 and $2 million. Bryer reported additional Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant equipment and tactile boards increased the cost. Coulombe agreed to pay the increased costs. On May 23, Bryer reported Coulombe paid $930,000 of the project’s total cost.

So what does Coulombe think about the new playground? “I really love all the bright colors which creates a really upbeat, positive attitude,” he said. “You can see all the kids here today really enjoy it as well, and the blue chips are really soft and spongy and super safe. I am really pleased to see how it turned out.”

Coulombe was at the park Sept. 14 to visit with his son’s family which includes James Lee, his wife Lindsay Lee, and daughters Kiana and Lucia.