Last year the Augusta City Council voted to close the Bicentennial Nature Park and save about $40,000. That sparked area residents to make sure that didn't happen this year. The Friends of Bicentennial Nature Park is a citizens' group that is working to help reopen the city-owned park.The group has secured commitments of donated money, materials and manual labor; and city councilors are speaking in favor of a plan that would reopen the park this summer.

The Friends of Bicentennial Nature Park has raised almost $14,000 in private donations along with commitments of materials and manual labor.

The Augusta City Council are scheduled to vote for a plan at their next meeting, that plan includes money to open the park and money to continue operating the park this fiscal year.

Contributions have been gathered by the Augusta Rotary Club, the Kennebec Leadership Institute, and an offer from J.S.McCarthy to print 7,000 Bicentennial Nature Park brochures, a value of $2,200.

Officials anticipate that day and seasonal passes will collect $5,000.

Combining city funding, private donations and revenue from fees, it's believed that they can come up with the $31,110 that's estimated to open the park from June 12th through Labor Day.

A fundraising event is planned this Tuesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Charlamagne's on Water Street in Augusta.

Donation may be made, designated for the park, to Augusta Rotary Club, P.O.Box 118, Augusta,ME 04332.