The area at Robie Park where trees were recently harvested has been roped off. A few vehicles had parked there last week. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Robie Park neighbors urged the Gorham Town Council Tuesday to preserve the area for recreational use.

Neighbors fear that in the wake of the April 18 tree removal at the park near the high school campus, the entire park will be lost to campus expansion.

Lisa Bolduc, who initiated the Friends of Robie Park Facebook page, last week unsuccessfully requested that the council put a park protection proposal on its agenda. Other neighbors spoke Tuesday at the Town Council meeting.

Fred Adams of Green Street told the council that anything it can do to save the park is essential.

“It’s a green gem that we all share,” Adams said.

The park, named in memory of benefactor Martha Robie, was given to the town with the restriction that it be used for recreation. Court action brought by the town removed that restriction on the land’s use in 2018.


The School Department, acting on Town Council approval from 2020, had several large trees removed on April 18 from the park near the softball field. The Town Council agreed to the harvesting after learning arborists claimed the trees were unhealthy and falling branches presented a danger.

“What happened two weeks ago was a violation of our park,” Adams said.

Past studies on expanding the high school and about alleviating its parking shortage had considered the park area where trees were cut for additional parking. Vehicles had been parked among the trees when they were still standing and were there among the stumps last week. This week, however, the area has been cordoned off with “no parking” signs.

Noah Miner, a former town councilor who lives on Green Street, urged the Town Council to ask about the school parking policy.

“Parking at school should be a privilege, not a right,” Miner said, adding that students who live a mile or less from the school can walk there.

A “Save Robie Park” sign. Robert Lowell / American Journal

“Once it (the park) is gone you can’t get it back,” he said.


Bolduc’s proposal that the town reinstate the recreational restrictions for the park’s use was not placed on the council’s agenda.

She told the American Journal Wednesday that Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak said since the restrictions were removed they couldn’t be re-added as they were under the authority of the “Gorham Village Commission and/or Martha Robie Commission.”

Bolduc’s proposal read: “Order to ask the town attorney to begin the process of reinstating restrictions to Robie Park to prevent any future development and to keep it as a park for the community; whereby park is defined as an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats.”

Paraschak told Bolduc he will set up a meeting May 17 with Town Council Chairperson Lee Pratt and Councilor Virginia Wilder Cross to come up with a vision for the park and allow the community to have a say, Bolduc said. She is also seeking a meeting with the School Committee.

Her vision for the park is “green,” she said.

Meanwhile, several more “Save Robie Park” signs have popped up at the park and on lawns along Morrill Avenue that leads to the high school.

Mike Chabot of Morrill Avenue said Wednesday that park supporters are planning a rally in the next few weeks.

Comments are not available on this story.