Over the last 5 years, the VIA has spent $150,000 repairing and improving 1200 feet of the Shore Path. This work included resurfacing the gravel path and rebuilding seawalls. A new bench commemorating the donor of Glen Mary Park, Mary Shannon, was installed in the fall of 2014. Construction to widen a 1000 foot stretch of the Shore Path in front of the Bar Harbor Inn was completed in the fall of 2015 and resulted in a much wider and safer path. The VIA has pledged another $30,000 to improve the path in front of Grant Park which will be redone in coordination with the redevelopment of the Park possibly in the fall of 2017.
The VIA is responsible for the Town Clock next to the Village Green, and we recently had it restored, cleaned and repainted. We also maintain a fund to keep the two town fountains (on the Village Green and in Agamont Park) in working order. In 2013 we helped with the funding to refurbish the Veterans Memorial on the Village Green and added a new 13′ by 2′ by 6″ pink granite cap in the fall of 2015 which was donated by Jeff Gammelin of Freshwater Stone and Brick Work.
In 2016 we updated our website, added a photo gallery and produced a 60 second ad promoting the VIA and celebrating 135 years of service to the community. This ad aired on the Acadia Chanel throughout the season. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Dobbs Productions for their generosity in producing this ad at no cost to us. Five 3 by 2 foot black and white framed posters were produced depicting the VIA’s 135 year history. In June we replaced the 4 Shore Path signs, the Village Burial Grounds sign and added first time signage in Glen Mary Park and Woodbury Park. The new signs are weather resistant, 75% smaller than the old signs and require only a single post rather than two.
In 2017 more cutting back of growth and widening of the Shore Path has been completed and for the first time in decades the entire length of the Path is now a minimum of 6 feet wide which makes it much safer and more enjoyable to walk. Jeff Dobbs has offered his services to make a short video depicting the history of the VIA since its inception in 1881 which will be great to have for our archives and general promotion. The VIA has offered to put up 50,000 to help make upgrades to the MDOT Route 3 multi-use path. It was originally thought the money might be used as seed money for lighting and upgrading the path material (concrete in lieu of asphalt), however, no other funds were committed and it is now felt our funds would best be used improving these same elements between West Street and Harbor Lane, since this is as far as our money will stretch and this section is very important aesthetically peaking being the gateway to the village of Bar Harbor. All we need is the Town’s OK to approve these particular improvements. At our annual spring meeting a 5000 grant was approved for the Park Street Playground to help with their 195,000 renovation project. Our funds, in accordance with our mission, will be used for beautification of the area such as landscaping and fencing.