Earth moving equipment worked June 11 on construction of a walking, bicycle trail around MacDougal Park in Rockland. Stephen Betts

Work at the MacDougal Park is in high gear.

Both citizen and business volunteers donated time, equipment and materials to create a place for individuals and families to spend time outdoors.

The MacDougal Park plans is in line with the what its founders of the parcel sought nearly 100 years ago. The property was put together from smaller parcels in 1923 by the Rockland Community and School Improvement Association Inc. with the agreement it would be a community park. The Association gave it to the city in 1931.

Rockland, in turn, gave the property to the Rockland School District in 1953. The school district built the North School on the site in 1954. The North School was renamed the MacDougal School in September 1992 after longtime principal, Doris Coltart MacDougal.

Voters approved the closure of the MacDougal School in November 2009 on the recommendation of the Regional School Unit 13 School Board. The closure was done because of the deteriorated condition of the building and the need to consolidate for cost savings.

The City Council agreed to take back the property in September 2010, but wrestled with what to do with it. Several groups eyed the land for additional housing.

The school building was demolished in November 2012.

The former Parks Committee recommended the 5.2 acre parcel remain a park and proposed creating a trail that would run from MacDougal to the Bog. The City Council voted in May 2017 to declare the property as MacDougal Park.

Plans continued to develop under the new Parks and Recreation Committee. Additions included the Eliza Steele Memorial Garden and MacDougal Community Garden. Then the walking and bicycle path around the Park was developed.

Local businesses stepped forward to do the work at no charge.

Those businesses include Jake Barbour Inc. and his workers Jacob Brackett, Richard Brackett, Isaiah Stone Patterson, Nate Kennedy, Brian Soiett and Jeremy Olsen of JBI; Peter Overlock, Earthwork Artist and Taylor Overlock; Jim Kalloch of JK Kalloch; John Ferraiolo of Ferraiolo Construction; Dragon Products; Jake Illvonen of Performance Paving.

Those businesses and individuals worked to create a walking and bicycle trail that will wind around the property as well as other site work on the Park.

Volunteer organizer Sandra Schramm pointed out that Bruce Laukka agreed to allow foot traffic from the park to cross the parking lot of the adjacent Broadway Meadows as a safety feature. There are many seniors and families living on Eliza Steele Drive who can now easily access the park without having to walk onto Broadway.

A swing set that was at the former Owls Head Central School was sandblasted by SteelPro at no cost, then painted at no cost by Fisher Engineering. The set will soon be placed at the park.

Butch Worcester from Thomaston a member of Rockland Rotary organized the building of the picnic tables.

Future plans include the installation of an inclusive playground that will be accessible to people with physical handicaps. The Rockland Rotary will spearhead fundraising for the playground.

The city in turn will work to get bathrooms on the site.