At the annual meeting of Friends of Belfast Parks on September 24, President Carol Good reported that the volunteer organization had been busier than ever in the last year. Highlight of the year was a reception to welcome Belfast’s new Director of Parks and Recreation, Norm Poirier, an event that for the first time ever brought together representatives of virtually all the community groups that use the city’s parks—from the Celtic Celebration and the Y to Coastal Mountains Lands Trust and Waterfall Arts.
Primary fundraisers for Friends of Belfast Parks this year were the 19th annual Arts in the Park, organized by Chris Urick, Edie Buron, Barbara Plummer and Carol Gater, which attracted thousands of people to Heritage Park in July, and Maine Weinerfest, marshaled by Debbie Hockensmith, Dale Kuhnert, Carol Bauss and Carol Good, which brought hundreds of dachshunds and their owners to Steamboat Landing in September.
Also last summer, in collaboration with Ned Lightner and the Leaky Boot Jug Band, several members of Friends of Belfast Parks and their dogs participated in videotaping a public service announcement encouraging dog owners to pick up after their pets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCK4dy-lF5U&feature=youtu.be).
Throughout the year, the group also organized several maintenance days at the Belfast Dog Park, funded construction of a new shelter in the small dog area there with a grant from the Nutro Company “Room to Run Project” and support from Viking Lumber and builder Jim Shaver, and provided advice and encouragement to groups in Brunswick, Camden, and Bangor in their successful efforts to open dog parks in their own communities.
Plans for the upcoming year discussed at the Friends’ annual meeting include supporting the completion of the Belfast Harbor Walk and development of the city’s new Rail Trail along the Passagassawaukeag, and continuing to explore new ways to make Belfast’s many parks even more enjoyable. With a membership of 30, Friends of Belfast Parks is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to the improvement, use, and preservation of Belfast’s parks and green spaces. It is funded with proceeds from events it produces, grants, individual donations, memberships, and the Good Cause Returnables program. For more information, visit www.friendsofbelfastparks.org.