BELFAST, Maine — Belfast’s new park — the green that extends along the north side of Main Street between the Northern Lights Gallery and Front Street — is in need of a name, according to Breanna Pinkham Bebb, executive director of Our Town Belfast.
The Belfast City Council decided at the end of November to extend the deadline to submit a name until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5.
Pinkham Bebb said councilors were lukewarm about the top three choices that emerged from an earlier online poll — Puddledock Park, Park on Main and Passy Park. Puddledock, the number one choice, is the historic name for the area of Front Street that now includes the Front Street Shipyard.
“The council seemed a little uninspired and thought it would be a nice opportunity for more public input,” Pinkham Bebb said Wednesday. “The councilors said they’ll give preference to a historically significant name.”
By Wednesday, Our Town Belfast, the Main Street organization that aims to help support the city’s downtown, had received 110 entries. That’s a good thing, according to Pinkham Bebb, who said her organization would like to draw more people to the green space along the hill that connects two disparate districts — the Belfast Harbor Walk and the shops and restaurants along Main Street. The upper portion of the park is a rough square that is less than a fifth of an acre in size. Then it continues as a paved walkway that runs down the hill to Front Street.
“We want to do more to make it lovely,” she said.
With the help of a $15,000 grant that Our Town Belfast won a year ago from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and a $5,000 gift from Rollie’s Bar & Grill, the organization so far has installed a 150-foot long granite-and-wrought-iron handrail to help people get up and down the hill. The money also has paid for two rustic granite seats and for more landscaping, which has included the removal of invasive and weedy plants and a diseased Norway maple tree. In the spring, Our Town Belfast will put in new plants to screen the chain-link fence that separates the park corridor from the city’s water treatment facility.
“The idea is that it will be beautiful and easy to maintain, with almost 100 percent native plants,” Pinkham Bebb said of the new landscaping.
She said people who would like to submit a name for the park can do so in person at the High Street entrance of Belfast City Hall, or online at Ourtownbelfast.org. The person who submits the winning name will receive a framed collage of Belfast and a T-shirt.