WATERVILLE — Friends of Quarry Road is less than $30,000 away from meeting a $285,000 challenge grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. The organization has until Dec. 31 to close this gap.

The Quarry Road Recreation Area offers hiking, bicycling, walking, running, access to canoeing and kayaking on Messalonskee Stream, cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. Events such as the annual Winter Carnival, the Colby College Carnival, the Bill Koch Festival, ski competitions, dog sled races and more draw hundreds of participants from all over New England.

Projects supported by the grant and matching funds will include trail enhancement, additions to the Welcome Center (lodge), snowmaking upgrades, improvements to the entry road and parking areas, electrical service, lighting for night usage, security, additional work on the maintenance building and additional grooming equipment. With the snowmaking abilities, early skiing in December is a goal.

“There is no question that the Quarry Road Recreation Area enhances people’s lives throughout Central Maine and promotes economic development, a bit more is needed,” Friends of Quarry Road President Caroline Mathes said in a news release from the organization.

Those who want to donate can send contributions to Friends of Quarry Road, c/o Waterville Parks and Recreation Department, 6 Wentworth Court, Waterville, ME 04901; or donate online at quarryroadrecreationarea.org.

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