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Fryeburg ME - 4/9/19

Route 302 Upgrade and Our Trees

As some of you are already aware, Rte. 302 that runs the long length of the southeastern border of our property, is being upgraded (literally) from Bridgton all the way through Fryeburg to the state line. Work began on the section in front of the Assembly earlier this month.

The road is going to be raised 3+ feet and widened, and is reported to include new bike lanes. To do this, the State of Maine has taken a long, narrow strip of Assembly property by eminent domain and removed the long, narrow stand of tall pine trees that has screened our camp from the road for decades.

© Greg Huang-Dale 2019
© FNCA very early 1930s

We've known about this loss for several years and the Board of Directors is pursuing a course of action to mitigate the loss of screening from the road. The plan is to build a highboard fence that's a minimum of 7' tall. It will run at least from our driveway across the full length of the back lawn, ending at or near the edge of our property by the Boys Bunkhouse.

On our side of the fence, we plan to put in evergreens and deciduous trees, and plant a 12' wide © Shannon Costello 1997flower bed along it in honor of Cecilia "Lalla" Searle who, along with her sister Tina, planted all the flowers and flowering shrubs and bushes that we all enjoy so much at camp each August. This new garden bed will be named "Lalla's Memorial Garden".

© Anna Rich 2009Lalla was a professional landscape architect for 40 years. She has left her mark not only on the FNCA, but on some very big projects both in her home state of Rhode Island and in Massachusetts, including: the Open Space Plan for Block Island, the Blackstone River Heritage Park and Bikepath, North Kingstown’s Ryan Park, and Providence's Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and Swan Point Cemetery, along with hundreds of others.

© Nancy F. Little 2009At the Assembly, her horticultural criteria was simple yet elegant: "The shrubs and perennials have to be very hardy and bloom in August, and suffer benign neglect the rest of the year." The results of her excellent work can be seen prominently in the flowering bushes in front of many of the cabins, and in the host of flowers blooming at the edge of the ravine between the front lawn and the Claxton Cabin.

© Sarah Grams 2018

© Amy Blackman 2008Lalla's husband, Colgate Searle, Jr., the president of our Board of Directors, is also a professional landscape architect and will be in charge of this ambitious project. His plans are to continue to follow the very effective selection criteria established by Lalla and Tina back in 1990.

Although we have already been compensated for the land and trees we lost, it is not enough to cover the projected $25,000 cost of this new endeavor. This figure includes the cost of the plants, the loam and compost plant bed soil, mulch, and temporary irrigation for the first three years. Labor will be provided by the Assembly.

In order to raise the necessary funds, an anonymous donation of $2,000 last year began the Lalla's Memorial Garden Fund which currently is about 20% of the way toward its goal. We do hope that this project is important to you and that you will make a donation to the Fund without delay.

Thank you!

 

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Main St (Route 302) & Haleytown Rd, Fryeburg, ME 04037 (map)