Custom Lighting Display Makes Park in Portland, Maine a Space for Neighbors to Enjoy After the Sun Sets

September 30, 2022 : H&R Block

H&R Block and Nextdoor have partnered to Make Every Block Better in communities across the United States. Now in its third year, the partnership allows community members to nominate projects that uplift and improve their neighborhood and give people a place to connect. Read below to learn how Make Every Block Better funds made an impact in Portland, Maine and visit the partnership website to learn about the 30 other projects spanning the nation.

Longfellow Park is the heart of the University Neighborhood in Portland, Maine. Given the longitude, the days are short in Maine so when Carol Schiller saw the call for projects issued by H&R Block and Nextdoor early in 2022, she jumped at the chance to bring a custom lighting installation to Longfellow Park. 

Schiller, who is the president of the University Neighborhood Organization, nominated her community for a Make Every Block Better grant so the park would be well-lit and festive for the Longfellow Park 95th Anniversary Celebration. Through the grant, the neighborhood was able to hire a local lighting designer and metal fabricator to fund the full installation. Not only is the installation a pleasing sight for neighbors, it also increases safety and usability of the park longer in the fall and spring seasons when the sun sets very early in the northern parts of the U.S.  

“It’s going to extend the use of the park so we can do more events in the evening as well as the community come out to have a gathering space,” said Brent McHale, who designed the lighting installation. “Once it gets dim and dark, things usually shut down, so I’m really excited to extend the use of this park for this neighborhood.” 


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