Anyone who has taken a drive through Wilmington this week has seen the results of the parking and greenspace project that took place over the last month. Behind the businesses on West Main Street is a newly refurbished municipal parking lot with a boardwalk stretching from the street to the back of the lot, benches to sit on, and flowers and trees that have been planted. We on the committee would like to express our gratitude to a number of people and organizations who helped make this positive addition to downtown possible.
Volunteers from the valley worked together a month ago to clean up the berm along the river and clear out trash and dead brush. Members of the trail committee showed up to cut down and eliminate the larger dead trees that had to be removed. Then the Wilmington road crew spent two days leveling out the parking area and filling in holes.
During the last week in June a great group of young adults from St. Mary’s church in Holliston, MA, worked with us, amazingly and steadily, for four days to construct the boardwalk, paint the surrounding buildings along the entrance, plant flowers, and cut the grass where needed. Carl Boyd with his tractor and Phil Taylor with his crew, Chris and Bob, supervised the construction of the boardwalk and moved railroad ties to border the parking area. Butch Smith helped put the last section of boardwalk in and spread stone on the village trail. Robert Fuller, Arlene Songailo, and Mike Purcell donated topsoil and manure to prepare the berm, while the Rotary donated plants and many local women dug up flowers and plants from their own gardens and brought them in to plant on the berm, and along the boardwalk. Adam Buursma from Jacksonville brought in and planted large trees to replace those killed in the flood. The amount of work that was done in that week was truly inspirational.
In addition to the labor force, there were individual people and organizations who offered money to help pay for the supplies we needed. The Whitingham Lions Club, the Sailing Club, and the Beautification Committee gave us funds from their accounts to help pay the bills. The Wilmington Fund, headed by Dan and Tamara Kilmurray, gave us a generous grant that paid for the trees we bought. We owe special thanks to Marsha and Barry Reardon, who paid for all of the lumber and railroad ties that were used and for five large benches that were placed around to make the area more comfortable for visitors.
All of this work was accomplished with a great deal of help and in a short period of time. Our sincere appreciation goes out to everyone, large or small contributor, who was involved in this community project. Working together with so many people was a very rewarding experience.
Carolyn Palmer, Lilias Hart, and Sue Spengler