Monroe group working towards construction of a new playground in Gesner Park

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 10:28 PM EST
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MONROE, Maine (WABI) - The story of Gesner Park is one of evolution. It began as a fairground at the turn of the 20th century. And now the next chapter in its story is being written by community efforts.

“My mission started about a year and a half ago. My son was two at the time, and we moved to town a few years ago,” said founding member of the group Ashlie Stubbs.

Stubbs traveled all around trying to find places for her son to play.

“That was great. They were fun adventures, but at the end of the day, we would drive by Gesner Park, and I would just get this feeling of why don’t we have that here for him?” Stubbs asked.

“We Started friends of Gesner and have had many young families as well as new people to the area as well as people who have lived here for way longer. We have come together with support for not just the playground. It’s evolved into maintaining the basketball court and the walking track and hosting events up here,” Stubbs added.

“The playground will be a big, big thing. As you can see we got kids out playing right now. And that’s what we want to see, us old people like to see young kids, step up and getting involved in organizations,” said resident of the town Mike Moody.

And the kids have gotten a say too in what kind of things they want to have there as well.

“The local elementary school were the final say in our playground selections,” Stubbs said.

They achieved nearly half of their $42,000 goal to fundraise thanks to the work of a community neighbor.

And they’ll continue with community events to help raise the money needed.

While the completion of the project is months if not a year away there’s no denying the enthusiasm for some of the local kids.

“With the new additions I think this park will pretty much be my number one go-to spot in the summer for relaxation,” said 10-year-old Max Wilkin.