Trail restoration project will include “Incredible Edible” Art Garden

July 11, 2016

Machias. The Machias Revitalization Committee, Sunrise Opportunities and Healthy Acadia have partnered to restore the East Side Trail at scenic Bad Little Falls on the Machias River in downtown Machias for recreational use. The project will include installation of two “Incredible Edible” community garden beds that feature local art and history displays. The groups are seeking support from local businesses, private donors, and grant making foundations to complete installation of the garden beds in time for the 2017 planting season.

The overall garden theme will feature famous faces from Machias revolutionary history, including key figures from the naval battle between the British schooner Margaretta and the Patriot ship Unity, with input from local historians and works of art created by local students, educators, and artists. Garden plantings will incorporate adjacent fruit-bearing trees and native plants. Healthy Acadia, with funding support provided by Partnerships to Improve Community Health through EMHS, will install interpretive signage for the trail and gardens, complete with healthy eating and physical activity tips. Sunrise Opportunities’ Adults with Disabilities Community Integration Group has pledged to maintain the garden beds and adjacent trail throughout the growing season.

The project has garnered enthusiastic support from several additional community partners, including the University of Maine at Machias, St. Croix Garden Club, Machias School of Music, and the Machias Chamber of Commerce, as well as local artists and educators. Acadia Gourmet Foods has pledged financial support for the project and will process any unharvested bounty from the gardens for distribution to local food pantries. Burnham Tavern Board of Directors has also pledged to create a walking history storybook that will be incorporated into the project.

“Once completed, the Bad Little Falls recreation area will enhance our efforts to revitalize downtown Machias and offer multiple health benefits for the community,” said Angela Fochesato, a Community Health Program Manager with Healthy Acadia, and President of the Machias Revitalization Committee. “The restored trail will provide free access to opportunities for physical activity in a unique outdoor setting, while the ‘Incredible Edible’ community garden will offer universal access to healthy food options including vegetables, culinary herbs, and edible flowers. And the involvement of local artists and educators will provide a unique, value­added educational component that supports our creative micro-economy and promises to produce particularly unique and artistic gardens.”

For more information, or to volunteer with the “Incredible Edible” East Side Trail project, contact Angela Fochesato at Healthy Acadia at 255-3741 or email angela@healthyacadia.org, or call Rob Hood at Sunrise Opportunities at 255-8858.