LEWISTON — The city has launched a contest to name its new recreational complex on Bartlett Street, which features a large field and sledding hill.

According to officials, the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council is taking the lead on the contest, which puts a Dec. 16 deadline on submissions.

The group also plans to select a naming rights sponsor for the athletic field after the park is named.

The property at 280 Bartlett St. abuts the 110-acre Franklin Pasture complex just up the hill, where a path connects it to the fields at Lewiston High School and Connors Elementary School.

The city has owned the land since 2017, when it was purchased as part of a requirement to replace other public recreational land that had been funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It is the former site of Hudson Bus Lines, which left the site in late 2016 for a new, larger location near the Maine Turnpike.

According to a news release, the city is “nearing completion” of the park, but officials on Monday did not give a firm date for opening. Megan Bates, deputy director of Public Works, said the 200-foot by 330-foot field will remain closed until mid-summer 2022 to allow the root system to be established. The city also plans to install fencing.

The city is expected to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony once a name is chosen and the park is completed.

Contest submissions will be reviewed by members of the youth council and city staff, and could produce “interviews” for the top suggestions. The final name selected is subject to City Council approval.

City officials said the youth council has been involved in previous efforts to name city parks, and the City Council was supportive last week.

A city memo states that the field naming rights will require a “monetary privilege” of $50,000 for 10 years with proceeds going toward field maintenance and/or recreational programming at the park. However, that process won’t begin until the entire complex has a name.

Keira Potvin, vice chairwoman of the youth council, presented the project to the City Council last week.

While there was a question over whether the park and sledding hill could receive separate names, councilors appeared in favor of a single name for the park along with the sponsorship for the field.

Mayor Mark Cayer said, “Bringing too many names down to the that location may be too confusing for the public.”

Potvin said the contest is meant to get the community excited about its newest recreational area. Rehabbing the 2.5-acre parcel into a recreational complex had a budget of roughly $500,000. It will feature 37 parking spaces.

“The naming contest enables the community to be engaged and hopefully enthusiastic about this new athletic offering in Lewiston,” she said.

“The park naming contest provides an opportunity to make a bit of history here in Lewiston,” youth councilor Nafisa Tasnia said in the news release.

The contest form requires a proposed name along with a brief narrative explaining why that name should be selected.

An online contest submission form can be found at www.lewistonmaine.gov/parkcontest.


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