Lake George Regional Park in Canaan and Skowhegan has been awarded $15,000 through the Conservation For All 2021 Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to repair and improve water drainage for a nature-friendly, nautical-themed playground. The playground, designed to encourage both imagination and healthy activity for preschool-age children, is expected to be complete by the fall of 2022, depending on future funding.

The playground location was selected because of its proximity to a high-use area and the existing Octagon Building, which will be repurposed as a playground feature. The French drain will be installed with stone and pipe through several ditches to alleviate standing water in the spring and early summer.

A donated, hand-built 24-foot sailboat will complement the Octagon Building as a playhouse/imaginary lighthouse. The surrounding field, forest and glacial boulder areas will create a unique playground experience with adjoining gardens, a forest trail and seating. The trail also will incorporate children’s activities for learning and fitness.

Lake George Regional Park was launched nearly 30 years ago to secure a 320-acre parcel of lake and lakefront access straddling the communities of Skowhegan, Canaan, and Cornville. It now welcomes about 35,000 visitors each year to its public beaches, picnic areas, a boat launch, wooded trails and other park areas.

The park has a balance-bike trail for learners (Tiny Tots Trail) and a beginner/intermediate mountain bike trail (Modin Trail), rents paddle craft and offers introductory instruction of several outdoor recreation skills through its newly organized recreation programming. Many of the formally organized outdoor recreation activities are offered at no cost to the public.

The park partners and collaborates with community organizations including Somerset Public Health, Redington Fairview General Hospital, the Outdoor Sports Institute, Skowhegan Parks and Recreation, and Skowhegan Outdoors (Main Street Skowhegan).

Founded in 1983, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people.