Officials hope rec area attracts visitors to Stockholm

STOCKHOLM, Maine - Officials in Stockholm are hoping a newly-completed project will help attract outdoor enthusiasts to the community. Kathy McCarty has more.

A project 10 years in the making has made recreational access possible in the heart of Stockholm. Thanks to former Selectman Mike Sandstrom, plans for a recreation area in the community was put into the town's Comprehensive Plan.

"His dream was that we made better use of the assets that we have of water and woods. And basically when he passed on, before he passed on, he delegated a few of us to get this done, and so we're doing it under promises," says Planning Board Member Dave Peterson.

Dave Peterson says it just makes sense. Located in the middle of town, he says it's something that can be used by anyone, of any age. The site was made possible, in part, due to the generosity of Frederick and Merrita Anderson's children.

"Neither one of us have any heirs, so we decided to set up a foundation with the Maine Community Foundation for the benefit of Stockholm, because dad loved the town," says Judy Blieler.

"And he walked everywhere. He died at age 96, and he would be walking all around town. And he always thought it would be a great - it would be great to have walking paths that weren't on the road," says Suzy Anderson.

The sisters say they're delighted with all the support the project's received, both at the town level and from citizens, like Linda Callison.

"The idea of being out in the fresh air, enjoying the resources that we have here in this area, with skiing and the river races in the summertime and so forth. Frederick and Merrita were a part of that, and I'm privileged to be on this team."

The ribbon-cutting ceremony recently opened the boat launch, with ATV and walking trails now accessible to the public as well. The site features a large parking area, with ample space for a picnic. Peterson says work will continue to be done, to make the Stockholm Recreation Area an inviting place for all to enjoy.