The Bath-based nonprofit Bath at Play unveiled on May 18 its first community-funded project, Riverwalk Rhythm, in the newly created Bridge Park, located at 23 Commercial St., Bath.

This colorful xylophone is part of an outdoor musical instrument installment by Bath at Play in Bridge Park. Courtesy of Bath at Play

The Riverwalk Rhythm project evolved out of a discussion between City of Bath staff and Bath at Play in November 2022 on a low-impact solution for the then newly created Bridge Park green space on Commercial Street (formerly the Guilford Parking Lot) under the Route 1 Sagadahoc Bridge. This “FUNctional” art project aims to bring musical vibrancy to this new green space in a complementary way that is both visually striking and acoustically appealing to all. Bath at Play expects the installation to draw visitors and residents alike to this hidden gem of downtown Bath.

The initial phase of this project involves installation of a Percussion Play Cavatina xylophone and accompanying music book for a one-year trial. Both the xylophone and four-page music book are constructed of marine grade materials and designed to withstand the elements year-round.

Community input will be gathered through an online survey to help shape the future direction of this project. This project has been entirely funded through community donations and in-kind business sponsorships. Since October 2023, Bath at Play has raised over $7,500 for this project toward its initial fundraising goal of $10,000. Community and business supporters include Madeline’s Mission, Precast of Maine, Home Depot – Topsham, Bath Savings Institution – Bath branch, First Federal Savings – Bath branch, Morningstar Stone and Tile, Anthony P. Keefe Builder, Sisters Gourmet Deli Bath, Hannaford – Cook’s Corner, and Maine’s First Ship.

A plaque in Bridge Park shows the dedication of Riverwalk Rhythm to Madeline Marzen, who died from childhood cancer. Courtesy of Bath at Play

“Bath is the City of Ships, but it’s also a city of music — from the yearlong programming at the Chocolate Church Performing Arts Center [sic] to the Summer Concert Series at the waterfront and in Library Park,” said Dr. John Byram, co-founder and president of Bath at Play, in a prepared release. “We wanted to bring that appreciation of music and art to kids in a playful way that also gets them into the outdoors. We hope that providing our youngest community members with access to an engaging high-quality instrument will open the door to a lifelong interest in music.”

This project is dedicated to Madeline Marzen, a young resident of Bath who was lost too soon from childhood cancer, and to all the children of Bath.

Bath at Play aims to empower Maine communities through dynamic and inclusive play by funding, establishing and maintaining privately funded community play spaces for Maine’s current and future generations. Bath at Play engages with communities, other organizations and municipalities to advocate for healthy play for a strong community. The Riverwalk Rhythm project is only the first of many projects that Bath at Play is currently working on within the Midcoast community. To learn more about Bath at Play and its other projects, visit bathatplay.org.

A metal structure in Bridge Park is ready for a xylophone to be installed before the unveiling of Riverwalk Rhythm on May 18. Courtesy of Bath at Play

Comments are no longer available on this story