ROCKLAND — A ribbon cutting and community picnic will be held in Rockland’s MacDougal Park from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, to celebrate new park improvements.

Hosted by the City of Rockland and the Rockland Rotary Club, all are welcome to join the outdoor party.

The ribbon cutting will take place at 1:15 p.m., and a free hot dog lunch will follow. The community is invited to play games, explore a construction truck, enjoy the new swing set, take home flower seeds from the community farm, and stroll around the park on the new paths.

This picnic is celebrating:

  • the newly installed path around the park and entrance to Eliza Steele Drive;
  • the kickoff of fundraising for the MacDougal Park Inclusive Playground by the Rockland Rotary Club, which will create a playground where children and adults with physical or intellectual differences can play with their peers without barriers;
  • the development of gardens and trees to provide food, beauty and shade
“The MacDougal School was woven into the lives of so many families, and becoming MacDougal Park lets that legacy continue” said City Councilor Sarah Austin. “COVID-19 has given us a new appreciation for how important our parks and trails are. It’s wonderful how Rockland is coming together to make MacDougal Park a real community asset.”
MacDougal Park is located at the intersection of Broadway and Gay Street, and is the former site of the MacDougal School. The land is deeded to “perpetually be dedicated to the boys and girls of Rockland” and these ongoing improvements will offer more ways for children and adults to enjoy the outdoors.”
The Rockland Rotary Club and City Council extended gratitude to the following citizens, organizations and businesses for their specialized assistance in the development.

For the multi-use path installation: John Ferraiolo and Ferraiolo Construction; Jim Kalloch and JK Kalloch; Jake Ilvonen and Performance Paving; Jake Barbour and Jake Barbour Inc; Plants Unlimited; Peter Overlock; and Dragon Products.

For the wheelchair accessible picnic tables: Rockland Rotary Club

For the refurbishment of the swing set: Steel Pro and Fisher Engineering

For the Eliza Steele Memorial Garden, by Rockland District Nursing Association. Built and maintained by community and local business garden donations, and volunteers.

For the MacDougal Park Community Farm, which donates the harvest to help local hunger: Renew Rockland and volunteer gardeners

For the new storm water drainage work in the parking area: The Rockland Department of Public Services

For their dedication to making outdoor spaces for the community to enjoy, a special thank you to members of the Rockland Parks and Recreation Committee, present and past.