Earhart Park in hold­ing pat­tern

Town seek­ing fund­ing to de­velop mu­seum

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Two years af­ter work was ini­tially started on Earhart Park, the Town of Har­bour Grace is still look­ing for fund­ing part­ners to help fin­ish the project.

The town de­vel­oped a par­cel of land next to the first turnoff be­fore head­ing to­wards Car­bon­ear on Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way — known as Jamie’s Way — with an eye to­wards es­tab­lish­ing a new re­gional mu­seum at the site, dubbed Earhart Park.

The devel­op­ment cur­rently com­pleted is Phase 1 of the project, said Mayor Don Coombs, and the town is now look­ing for fund­ing sources to work on the next two phases of the project, which would in­clude the for­ma­tion of the new mu­seum.

“ We’re wait­ing for some par­ties to come by and work in a part­ner­ship on it,” he said.

Coombs said the town has worked with some in­vestors to grade the prop­erty, which is lo­cated across from the en­trance lead­ing to the Earhart RV Park. Town em­ployee Daphne Mercer toldThe Com­passthose in­vestors were un­will­ing to pub­licly di­vulge how much money they con­trib­uted to Phase 1 of the project.

The land has a cir­cu­lar mound of earth sur­rounded by a walk­ing path made of de­croa­t­ive brick, with stairs climb­ing to a space that will even­tu­ally serve as the home of the Amelia Earhart statue, presently lo­cated by the Spirit of Labrador air­plane. The statue was un­veiled in 2007 to mark the 75th an­niver­sary of Earhart’s solo flight across the At­lantic Ocean. She de­parted from the Har­bour Grace air strip.

“It’s a re­gional mu­seum not just deal­ing with the planes, but also the fish­ery and the re­gion,” Coombs said, adding it would in no way be look­ing to re­place the Con­cep­tion Bay Mu­seum on Wa­ter Street, which is op­er­ated by the pro­vin­cial govern­ment.

Amongst those who have had in­volve­ment with the park project is Roger Pike from Air Labrador, who do­nated the Spirit of Labrador plane and the Earhart statue to the town and is orig­i­nally from the com­mu­nity. Mr. Pike’s of­fice told The Com­pass he would not be avail­able to speak at this time.

The land pic­tured here next to the Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way in Har­bour Grace was de­vel­oped two years ago by the town, with an eye to­wards even­tu­ally build­ing a re­gional mu­seum. The town also plans to move the Amelia Earhart statue to the park.

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