HAMPDEN – The Lura E. Hoit Memorial Pool is getting a green face-lift thanks to an all-volunteer landscaping team that plans to plant 39 donated trees and shrubs near the pool’s entrance on June 25 and 26.
Jim Feverston of Hampden and Julie Thomas Hintz of Bangor are leading the team tackling the project. They met at a master gardener certification course held by the Penobscot County Cooperative Extension Service, which required 40 hours of volunteer service of its students before they could receive their certification.
Feverston is a member of the pool’s board of trustees, so using his volunteer hours to improve the pool seemed only natural. Hintz’s interest in landscaping made her a perfect fit to help design the initial plans.
“We’ve put in many more hours than our 40 in getting this project going,” Feverston said earlier this week. “It’s been a fun experience, and an all-volunteer effort.”
The master gardeners drew up the initial plans in March and presented them to the board of trustees who showed “enthusiastic support” for the project, estimated to cost approximately $4,600, according to Feverston.
The board sent letters to pool patrons and members as well as businesses in Hampden as part of its campaign to raise funds and to collect donated trees, shrubs and other supplies.”[Hampden businesses] have been very supportive of the project, as well as the individuals in Hampden,” Feverston said. “It really is a community project, it seems to have sparked a lot of interest.”
Still, more interest is needed. The board still is looking for donations, and not just in the form of funds.
The board is accepting donated plants, equipment, mulch, boulders and a few hours of time on the two workdays.
The project includes the planting of 10 different kinds of trees and shrubs, including rhododendrons, red chokeberry and dwarf mugho pines, in front of and on both sides of the pool building. The grass in those areas will be replaced with mulch, and boulders will be strewn throughout the area as well.
Many donors have chosen to donate a plant in memory of a loved one. Any donation of $25 or more in value will be recognized on a plaque that will adorn the pool lobby.The Lura E. Hoit Memorial Pool is unique because it is managed by a board of trustees, not a parks and recreation department.
Hoit was a physical education teacher in the Hampden school system for many years. Her donation led to the building of the pool and the creation of a board of trustees to manage its affairs.
“She managed to save and scrape a million dollars through being frugal to give to the town of Hampden,” said Feverston.
The pool opened in 1995 and now hosts between 27,000 and 30,000 swims, defined as a single visit, a year.
“It’s a family-oriented pool,” said Feverston, who has been on the board since January. “It’s recreational swimming for all ages.”
Anyone who wants to participate in the planting on June 25-26 or make a donation can call Feverston at 862-4647.