Portland looks to public for help with park maintenance

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PORTLAND — In response to a proposal in the fiscal 2011 budget to reduce maintenance and flower planting at city parks, the Parks Commission is trying to bolster volunteer efforts at the city’s green spaces.

A “Green Space Gathering” is scheduled for April 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ocean Gateway Terminal, off Thames Street on the Eastern Waterfront. Various park organizations and other open space advocates will be on hand to introduce their organizations to the public and answer questions.

Representatives of Friends of Deering Oaks, Friends of the Eastern Promenade, the Land Bank Commission, the Peaks Island Community Garden and Portland Trails will be at the forum, along with the Land Bank Commission, Spirits Alive, which cares for the Eastern Cemetery, and the Compass Project.

In addition to discussing the role of friends organizations and other green space advocate groups, the public will be able to learn about the various public gardens in the city and the “adopt-a-park/spot” program

That program involves neighbors or small community groups signing up to care for a specific park or green space. The groups are provided with trash bags, gloves and mulch in return for caring for the spot. The city also hauls away any refuse that is collected.

The 2011 budget includes reducing flower planting and mowing throughout the city along with a reduction of maintenance at Harbor View Park, Peppermint Park, Baxter Woods and Riverton Park and other small open spaces. Shoveling of sidewalks would also be reduced.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net.