The conservancy group plans to remodel the Brownstone building just off of the main parking lot from the park’s Asylum street entrance into a visitor’s center. The multipurpose center will be staffed with paid and volunteer park workers and will include restrooms, displays about the park’s history and maps for visitors. After the center opens next spring, park leaders plan to include a small gift shop as well.
“This park is a dedication of love,” Malloy said in reference to the park’s founder naming it after his wife Elizabeth. “It really is a testament to philanthropy, to caring about the future and caring for the future.”
He thanked taxpayers and local leaders for helping provide opportunities for the state and its arts community. Donations to the park and a $500,000 state grant are providing for the construction. The nonprofit Conservancy group reports it has budgeted $850,000 for the project.
Malloy pointed out that the state funding offered to the construction project is a result of past legislators setting aside money and thinking about the state’s long-term well-being. “At no point should the giving forward ever stop,” Malloy said. “I always wore it proudly that the role of government is to make these investments, to set these things aside.”
Malloy said he ran or walked through Elizabeth Park almost every day during his eight years in the governor’s mansion just around the corner from the park. He was recently appointed as chancellor of the University of Maine System.
Christine Doty, president and CEO of Elizabeth Park Conservancy, lives down the street from the park and said she has been working to bring the visitors center to life since she joined the board almost six years ago.
“I’m thrilled to see this. Having a visitors center will really serve the public in a way we can’t do now,” Doty said.
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