More in News
New Year brings new life to Ideaville
RUMFORD -- On New Year's Eve, it is customary to make resolutions for the coming year. For Ideaville that means a renewed effort to improve the River Valley.
Beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, the group will be holding the first meeting of the new year to discuss two of the many projects that have been suggested through their Facebook page River Valley Ideaville (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ideaville/).
This month, Ideaville volunteers worked with the Town of Rumford to upgrade the quality of the holiday lights in Memorial Park at the bottom of Congress Street. The tree previously used as a Christmas tree had grown too close to the power lines, and could not be used.
Ideaville member Andy Cormier worked with Town Manager Carlo Puiia to decorate a new donated tree and adjacent bushes with donated white lights, replacing the faded colored lights used in previous years. With volunteer assistance from community members including Vinny and Linda Sassi, Christmas was saved.
The group hopes to raise additional donations to expand the lighting program to include other holidays throughout the year.
In January, they will be working with local clubs, landowners, and other entities to clearly identify recreational opportunities and promote them with signage.
Coordinator Kevin Saisi said, "We have so much to offer in the valley, but if tourists don't know it, they won't stop here. In this economy, tourists may be looking for a place to have a picnic, but unless we identify picnic areas, they will continue on their way, or just tailgate. The signage project is expected to reach all aspects of recreation from structured activities to impulse recreation opportunities."
The other item on the agenda is a healthy walk originating at Boivin Park (information booth area), heading down through Congress Street , over Memorial Bridge, past the library and returning to the information booth. The approximately one-mile loop would have exercise stations along the way.
This will provide health-conscious tourists with a designated path to follow, and introduce them to the downtown area.
Other ideas being considered by Ideaville include encouraging the Rumford Historical Society to develop a downtown museum that could be open year round, using bushes and shrubs to direct tourist attention away from run down areas, the development and expansion of self-guided tours of historic/architectural sites in the area, improved promotion of events and activities in the region, working to identify and develop recreational paths and trails, and engaging youth in community development through educational programs.
Some of the larger ongoing projects include developing strategies for the restoration of Strathglass Park, encouraging the development of tourism related business, encouraging additional recreation opportunities that would draw people to the area and developing expanded media and internet promotion of the area.
"Many of the ideas we had originally have been picked up by other entities, and that is great. We don't expect to do everything ourselves, it is a matter of getting things going and working with the community to make it happen," said Saisi.