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Long-Time Fort Fairfield Rec. Director, Tom Towle Retires After 37 Years


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 9, 2018


   The town of Fort Fairfield staff recently held a retirement party for outgoing Parks and Recreation Department director, Tom Towle.  Towle has retired from the position he has held for the past 37 years.  He says the best part of his job was having the opportunity to work with the citizens of Fort Fairfield, for the citizens of Fort Fairfield, including both the kids and the adults.  “Being from Fort Fairfield I always took pride in the fact that I had an opportunity to make a difference, with the programs that we offered and what I could do so I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the citizens of Fort Fairfield over the years.”

   While being an avid skier, Towle says his favorite time of the year while heading up the Rec. Department was summer.   “I certainly liked the programs and the business and the activity of the summer months with everything that we do from the aquatic programs to the camps that we run to the youth ball teams that we have with baseball and tennis.  You name it, we were doing it.  With that comes the fact that my summers would fly by and before I knew it it was time for the kids to go back to school.  Summers were a lot of fun.”

   Not to knock wintertime, Towle also tipped his hat to the rec department's winter slate of activities.  “Winters are obviously very exciting also.  We do a lot of programs indoors, such as basketball for all different age groups.  We also have a nice ski program that we've developed over the years.  It's been a lot of fun to have the opportunity to teach kids how to ski.  Of course, over the years we've had ice rinks.  We no longer have an ice rink but for quite some time we spent a lot of time maintaining and making sure that we had an ice rink for the kids to skate at.”

   During his time as Rec. Director, Towle oversaw the implementation of a special grant from the United States Golf Association to help introduce youngsters to the game of golf.   “That was a program that was developed with assistance from Northern Maine Development Corporation.  Bob Clark and his staff at NMDC got involved with helping to secure the funding and support from the United States Golf Association.  We also had the partnering with Aroostook Valley Country Club, Steve Leitch and his staff, to help provide the program that opportunity out to the golf course.  That program still is running, we still do a youth program.  Even though the grant money has dried up for the program, Aroostook Valley has continued to support what we started with that.  We still have on a given summer twelve to as many as twenty youngsters from both sides of the border participate in that youth golf program. 

   Towle has also witnessed the development of the Nordic Heritage Center, sitting on the border of Fort Fairfield and Presque Isle.  Nordic Heritage Center has been the location of recent Jr. and World Cup Biathlon events.   “Whenever we get an opportunity we try to get kids introduced to that facility because of the fact that it is a year-round facility.  It's basically free to use.  There are activities out there that we get involved with with our kids, such as mountain biking, trail hiking, and our cross-country ski program.  We take the kids out there and allow them the opportunity to ski on the trails in the winter time.  They have snow shoeing that's available out there.  It's quite a facility, it's certainly an assett to the community.  I've tried to utilize that as much as I can with the rec. programming.  I hope that when I'm gone and retired that the department and the new director continues to do the same.”

   With recreation as his life's work and legacy and favorite pastime, Towle looks forward to doing more of it in his retirement.  “I hope to spend a little more time at the golf course.  I hope to be able to get out and do a little more skiing on my own in the wintertime.  My wife is a school teacher so she has her summers off, which has been my busiest time of the year.  So I'm looking forward to spending a little more time vacationing with my wife, maybe be able to use the camper that we have that I haven't had the opportunity to utilize much and we might even get up to Machias Lake a little more often to the family camp in the summertime.”

  Towle plans to help out during this year’s Potato Blossom Festival to help the new director transition into the position.  The town has interviewed several applicants but has not yet announced a new hire for the Rec. Director position.