The Waterville Rotary Club To Celebrate Its Centennial Anniversary With A Grant of $150,000
To The Kennebec Riverwalk At Head Of Falls Project
Artist Rendering of Waterville Rotary Kennebec Riverwalk Project
This gift, awarded through a competitive RFP process, will assist in dramatic improvements to this underutilized public space, as well as confirm the club's unwavering commitment to the Waterville area.
Waterville, Maine, July 20, 2015 -- The Rotary Club of Waterville, Maine is pleased to announce that it has awarded $150,000 to the Kennebec Riverwalk at Head of Falls initiative.  This innovative project, a collaboration between the City of Waterville and the Kennebec Messalonskee Trails organization, is designed to encourage greater public use of the waterfront area known as Head of Falls for recreation and other community purposes.  It will also assist Main Street businesses by providing an additional highlight destination for local residents and visitors.  This contribution will in part fund improvements including a meandering path, entry pavilion, walkway with ornamental railing, decorative lighting, seating, and landscaping.
The Waterville Rotary Club started planning for this "once in a century" grant opportunity two years ago.  Many Club members generously donated their expertise in defining the objectives for this Request for Proposal, as well as creating a process that was fair, inclusive, and would result in the best choice of grantee.  The RFP was issued in 2014, and five finalist organizations presented their proposals to the Club within the past month.  The Club was seeking a "bricks and mortar" capital improvement project that would have a long lasting, area-wide benefit; encourage further development; reflect Rotary's mission; and require community-wide collaboration on many levels.
This Riverwalk project proposal deeply resonated with the Club, with a vast majority of members voting it as their first choice for funding. Helping to fund the Kennebec Riverwalk At Head Of Falls Project is a win-win for the city of Waterville as well as the Waterville Rotary Club.  Waterville will have an exciting, safe, and family-friendly destination within walking distance to the city's downtown commercial area that also offers enormous potential for the community. This opportunity represents an ideal way for the Club to mark its first 100 years of service to the area.  In addition to its $150,000 grant, the Club's commitment to this project includes in-kind service donations.  The Riverwalk project has been fully embraced by the City but not yet fully funded.  The Club's gift is substantial “seed money” to spur further governmental, local, and private support.  In fact, upon hearing of the Club's award, Kennebec Messalonskee Trails, a partner in this project, immediately contributed an additional grant of $15,000 towards this initiative.
According to Mike Roy, Waterville's City Manager, "We so appreciate the Club's generous contribution towards this Riverwalk project.  These upgrades are a much needed catalyst, and will absolutely help in the rebirth of this important but underutilized area."  Bruce Harrington, the Waterville Rotary Club President adds, "Our local trail system has been developed over the years and is a key part of our area.  This project is a great addition to this local resource, as well as a fantastic investment in Waterville.  I am delighted that our Club can help make that a reality for many generations to come."