The Presque Isle Kiwanis Club, Presque Isle Rotary Club and United Way of Aroostook have come together with the City of Presque Isle on a project designed to improve outdoor recreation and play opportunities for area families.

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A steering committee, comprised of representatives from each organization, met recently to launch an initiative to build a new playground area at Riverside Park and begin a fundraising effort to support the purchase of new equipment and related materials.  Depending on the overall cost and scope of the project, the group may also look at future upgrades to Mantle Lake Park.

"The playground equipment at Riverside Park is over 40 years old and is need of replacement, said Presque Isle City Manager Martin Puckett..  It has been a priority of the recreation department to replace the outdated equipment and the community service organizations recognized the issue. The city is excited to have this be a collaborative project to better serve the community."

For its part, the City - under the direction of the Recreation and Parks Department and advisory board, will be responsible for developing a plan and overall budget for the new playground that will be reviewed by the Steering Committee Members.  Additionally, Kimberly Smith, the City of Presque Isle's public information officer/grant writer, will research external funding opportunities and write grant proposals to add to the money raised locally for the project.

Once completed, the conceptual design will be shared with members of the three respective organizations and community members for feedback.  Officials expect to have that work done and ready to present by late June.

With efforts already underway by the United Way of Aroostook and Presque Isle Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs to raise funds to purchase equipment and construct the new Riverside Park Playground, organizers are looking to make the project a reality in 2018.

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