BREWER, Maine — The city is applying for state funds to start phase one of an interactive riverside walking trail that eventually will stretch from South Brewer to Indian Head Trail Park, located north of the Penobscot Bridge.
A public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 tonight, during the City Council meeting, as part of an application for Riverfront Community Development Bond funding that would pay partially for constructing Brewer’s proposed Historic Waterfront Trail between Chamberlain Bridge and Hardy Street.
“We’ve been deemed to be eligible” for the funds, D’arcy Main-Boyington, Brewer economic development specialist, said Monday. “It’s the same funding the city of Bangor just went after.”
The application deadline is Oct. 24, and a public hearing to hear comments from residents is required as part of the process. If approved, the city would get $347,850 in grant funds for the $1,043,550 project.
Concept designs for the entire riverside walking trail feature 11 spots where people can learn about the community’s lore and long history.
The river’s destructive power, riverside mills, brick making and boat building, along with ice harvesting, fishing and the old ferry system, were all crucial elements of the region’s past and are spotlighted in the designs.
The concept plans, unveiled by Informal Learning Experiences Inc. of Washington, D.C., in 2006, are part of the city’s ambitious Penobscot Landing riverfront project.
The riverside walking, biking and hiking trail would be a 12-foot-wide path of asphalt, one-third of a mile long, and built upon the recently completed shoreline stabilization project done in partnership with the state’s Department of Transportation.
“This laid the foundation for our trail by securing the shoreline with riprap and sheet pile stabilization methods,” a memo to city councilors states.
Phase one of the trail would run in front of the Children’s Garden, built years ago on property behind Dead River Co. Once complete, the new trail should attract people to the now “hidden” garden.
“This trail will provide the city of Brewer’s residents and visitors with firsthand access to the Penobscot River in a way that celebrates the river’s revitalization, its history and its central role in our community,” the memo states.
Eventually, Brewer hopes to create a trail network that loops the city and would connect to the riverfront trail, Main-Boyington has said.