CANTON — Townspeople will have a chance on Saturday to attend an appreciation ceremony for the volunteers who helped make Canton Heritage Park a reality. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at the park on Route 108 across from Victorian Villa.

The park is a result of community effort, said organizers and planters Tom and Jolene Adley.

After the flood of December 2003, federal grants enabled flooded residents to move out of the flood plain through a buyout. The Adleys were part of that group.

Jolene Adley said the sad part of leaving their home was leaving plants behind.

Sue Gammon got the idea in 2004 to start a walking trail and use many of the left-behind plants and trees. She got grants from the Maine Department of Conservation and the National Park Service to create 4 miles of trails through the bought-out properties along Whitney Brook.

After the trails were completed, the idea of a park along Route 108 in the flood plain was taken over by the Adleys in 2008. Donations of equipment and labor were used to construct the gardens and move granite from home foundations in the buyout to the park to be used as benches.

Donations came in the form of mulch, loam, plants — including shrubs, flowers and trees — picnic tables and labor. Many of the plants and shrubs came from the buyout homes and were moved to the park. Those plants will each have a hand-painted sign telling from which home site they were taken.

Selectman Shane Gallant’s mother, who lives in Rumford, donated the paving blocks for the gazebo walk. Gallant took the wind vane off his grandfather’s barn to put atop the gazebo.

Blanchette Builders built the gazebo with money generated mostly through plant sales. Adley said they had raised more than $2,000 for the project and only $500 came from town taxes.

Blanchette created the park’s four bird baths by using gigantic rhubarb leaves as a mold and painting the cement leaves green. Blanchette’s friend Tracy did the painting on the gazebo.

It is truly a community park: Flowers have been donated from Canton, Hartford, Sumner and Jay. The engraving of the Canton Heritage Park sign was donated by Tim Shorey of Dixfield Monuments. The boulder for the sign came from one of the buyout properties.

The bridge was moved from the Albert Ellis property by the town and the Fire Department watered the plants that were moved from the properties.

Curtis Bonney made the benches in the gazebo and Tracy did the drawings. The gazebo was moved to the park from Blanchette’s home where it was built on July 4.

Jolene Adley pointed out two large rhododendron plants they had moved from the Ponemah Rebekah Lodge No. 28 on Tuesday morning.

Tom Adley invites all to come for the ribbon-cutting on Saturday. There will be a short ceremony to thank the volunteers. People are invited to return at noon with a picnic lunch. Volunteers will be treated to drinks and ice cream.

Adley said he hopes people will use Canton Heritage Park, which was named from suggestions submitted to a committee.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.