2018-07-05 / Community News

Clifford Park to benefit

Heart of Biddeford announced that it has received a $52,500 grant from the Elmina B. Sewell Foundation’s Healthy People, Healthy Places program. It will administer the grant on behalf of projects that will make Clifford Park safer, easier to navigate and more accessible to its users. Friends of Clifford Park, Biddeford Public Works and Recreation Departments, and Heart of Biddeford will implement different aspects of the grant.

The Sewall Foundation’s support will fund the purchase of a utility terrain vehicle to transport branches and rubbish off Clifford Park’s trails. The vehicles will be operated by trained park stewards who will be hired to conduct cleanup and maintenance of the park’s 140 acres, provide more human visibility on the trail system, and patrol areas where illegal fires are sometimes spotted.

Funds will also be used to bring the Maine Conservation Corps to the park to re-blaze the Black Trail and add raised bridges over wet portions of the Red and Orange Trails. These efforts, combined with improved signs and wayfinding efforts also supported by the grant, will increase trail safety and accessibility. The Sewall Foundation’s funding will also be used to provide honorarium to event presenters, building on programming that has been developing in the park for the last year.

“Clifford Park is a jewel that belongs to the city of Biddeford and its surrounding communities, and it was really a diamond in the rough until Dana Peck, Catherine Glynn and Katie Labbe came together under Heart of Biddeford’s guidance to set up Friends of Clifford Park,” said Friends of Clifford Park’s Marty Schindler in a press release. “Since then, the park has slowly emerged from an era of neglect and is coming into its own. This funding from the Sewall Foundation will be another great step forward for the benefit of the park and all its users.”

Ward 2 Councilor John McCurry and Mayor Alan Casavant both echoed Schindler’s enthusiasm for the grant opportunity.

“The Sewall Foundation recognized that Clifford Park is a valuable resource not only for Ward 2 residents, but the entire city,” McCurry said. “The work done by Friends of Clifford Park has already gone a long way in making the park a treasured part of our community, and this grant will allow us to continue to build on that progress.”

“The projects funded by the Sewall Foundation will help the city with its efforts to make green space more accessible to all of our residents,” added Casavant. “We are grateful to have such generous support for these improvements.”

Return to top