To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

City approves community garden, sprucing up Ash Memorial Park

By Kendra Caruso | Jun 19, 2020
Source: City of Belfast. A depiction of the community garden plots' site plan for Wale Park that City Council approved at its June 16 meeting.

Belfast — City Council has approved plans to start a community garden in Wales Park and to make improvements to the Walter Ash Jr. Memorial Park. Councilors also voted June 16 to allow a tree removal on Waterfall Arts property as part of facility renovations.

Parks and Recreation Director Norm Poirier pitched to councilors the idea of a community garden with three plots this summer and plans to expand next summer. It would allow citizens who apply for a plot to grow their own plants on city property.

“I think that it is a good thing that there is going to be an opportunity for a soft first-year opening,” Councilor Mary Mortier said.

Councilors suggested raised plots to better accommodate people with disabilities. They decided the plots would be on a first-come, first-served basis and citizens will have to reapply for them yearly.

Councilor Neal Harkness was concerned that the city would be liable for injuries occurring because of somebody’s negligence at their plot. Poirier wrote the applications to absolve the city from any negligence because of a private citizen's actions or equipment, Mortier said. The city would be liable only if the injury were because of the city’s negligence.

Councilors overall supported the idea and agreed that it would build a sense of community. “It’s very rewarding to raise your own food, and I think this is a good idea and community-building activity and I like the idea of it,” Councilor Paul Dean said.

In other business, councilors agreed to clean up the Walter Ash Jr. Memorial Park to be more inviting. Poirier said there will be a carry-in, carry-out trash policy. He proposed adding a picnic table and grill to the area. The park is on Upper Mason Pond, off Swan Lake Avenue (Route 141) in East Belfast, currently referred to as the Goose River canoe launch area.

Poirier said it must be surveyed to place boundary markers along the park perimeter. He discussed cutting bushes back so people can use it as a launchpad to the pond. Some councilors were concerned about nesting birds, but said they could have a specialist examine the area for birds.

Councilors were pleased that the spot was going to be manicured and used by the public. “I know someone who’s going to be tickled pink, and he’s a good man and good mayor,” Mayor Eric Sanders said, referring to Walter Ash Jr. “… Seriously, he’s just a treasure and it’s a good spot.”

In other business, councilors approved the removal of a tree on Waterfall Arts' property to accommodate a curb cut, contingent upon the organization's being approved for the permit to do the renovation and that the facility plants a replacement tree on city property.

Sanders said he would donate the money for the replacement tree and offered jokingly that Councilor Mike Hurley could be the one to pick out the tree after he made suggestions about tree species not to be planted.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.