A $25,000 donation will move one of two Pondicherry Park bridges closer to reality.

The Kendall C. and Anna Ham Charitable Foundation donated $25,000 to construct a bridge linking Pondicherry Park to Stevens Brook Elementary School and the Bridgton Community Center. This new donation is in addition to $50,000 that the Ham Foundation already contributed to create the park. In appreciation of foundation’s generosity, the bridge will be called the “Kendall C. and Anna Ham Charitable Foundation Bridge.”

“This generous gift will give an enormous boost to our efforts to provide a link to Pondicherry Park’s educational amphitheater and all the resources the park offers,” said Peter Lowell, executive director of the Lakes Environmental Association. “One of the most exciting aspects of Pondicherry Park is its potential as an educational resource.”

Additional funds are needed to construct the Ham Foundation Bridge, which is expected to cost around $110,000, and the 60-foot Bob Dunning Memorial Bridge over Stevens Brook, which will serve as the park entry from downtown Bridgton. The Dunning Bridge will cost about $200,000.

The 45-foot Ham Foundation Bridge will span Willett Brook and is about a two-minute walk from the back door of the elementary school. On the park side, there will be an elevated boardwalk system around 150 feet long leading to the bridge. The footings for both bridges could be installed by spring, Lowell said.

“The Ham Foundation has contributed nearly 10 percent of the total park budget. Their generosity and commitment to the Bridgton community is highlighted once again through this project,” said Carrie Walia, executive director of Loon Echo Land Trust.

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