East End Waterfront Access Project (EEWAP)
In 2015 Friends of the Eastern Promenade launched the East End Waterfront Access Project, a multi-year initiative dedicated to investigating and improving public use of one of Portland’s most valuable resources, the east end waterfront. The Project’s initial phase is focused on improving water access and safety for non-motorized personal watercraft in the area of East End Beach. This work is to be performed in two stages, with an initial design effort – one involving input from a broad range of stakeholders – followed by a more capital-intensive construction phase.
The design process is funded through a Shore and Harbor Planning Grant through the Maine Coastal Program, with a local contribution from Friends of the Eastern Promenade. The construction phase will be funded through a Maine Department of Transportation Small Harbor Improvement Program (SHIP) grant, with matching funds to be raised by Friends of the Eastern Promenade.
The process is collaboratively managed by the City of Portland and Friends of the Eastern Promenade.
In partnership with the City of Portland, a core working group formed primarily of representatives from Friends of the Eastern Promenade and City staff met in September, 2015 to set project goals and establish an action plan. A larger group of key stakeholders, including representatives of numerous non-profits, commercial users of the East End Beach peninsula, and neighborhood advocates, met in December to provide input regarding perceived needs and possible solutions. Collins Engineers, Inc. were then engaged to develop this input into a set of design alternatives, with the goal of meeting the twin goals of improved access and improved safety.
A second stakeholders meeting was held in early April, 2016 to review initial, draft design alternatives. A public forum convened in late April to introduce the draft designs to the public and gather additional feedback. As a result of this valuable public input, the “preferred alternative” design underwent revision. Completion of the design phase is now anticipated for end of 2016, with construction to be complete by the end of 2018.
Summer Community Concert Series
Friends of the Eastern Promenade takes great pleasure in hosting and coordinating this annual family-oriented series of concerts in partnership with the City of Portland. Thanks to generous partnership with local businesses, our Summer Community Concert Series at the Fort Allen Bandstand takes place Thursday nights throughout July and August from 6:30-7:30pm.
CONCERTS ARE FREE TO ATTEND. If you’d like to make a donation at any of the concerts, this will help ensure these remain free of charge and build access to a larger pool of musicians.
People of all ages attend with lawn chairs, blankets, hoola-hoops and smiles. Food trucks provide an assortment of delicious noshes. A variety of music genres from local talent within Maine provide sounds for everyone to enjoy while watching the moonrise over the bay.
Average attendance is 600-800 cheerful listeners from the surrounding community and beyond.
We look forward to another fabulous season of local, live music and hope you’ll support our efforts to keep the music alive.
Fort Allen Trail and Loring Memorial Trail
During 2009 & 2010, Friends of the Eastern Promenade collaborated with Portland Trails and the City of Portland to build two important trail connections, located on either end of the Eastern Promenade.
Construction of these trails provides both a complete trail network encircling the Promenade as well as critical shortcuts and links to destinations beyond, including Back Cove, Bayside, and the Old Port.
Fort Allen Trail's 82 granite steps link the southeastern corner of Fort Allen Park to the lower paved trail below. Loring Memorial Trail is accessed at the northwest corner of Eastern Promenade road and links the mid-slope trail down to the Bayside Trail and Eastern Promenade Trail below, through a series of granite steps and dirt paths amidst cascading trees, wild plants, and other sun-sheltering foliage.
Events on the Promenade
Atlantic Cup Portland
2 People. 3 Stages.
40 Foot Boats.
1,045 Miles of Ocean.
The First Carbon Neutral Sailing Race in the U.S.
The Atlantic Cup Race, coordinated by 11th Hour Racing, added Portland ME to their stopover in June 2016. The last leg of this competitive race occurred in the waters of Casco Bay, amidst spectators and sailing enthusiasts at Fort Allen Park.
Volunteer for Cyclocross Oct 23
Casco Bay Sports brings Cyclocross to Portland ME and the Eastern Promenade Park twice annually.
This backdrop provides the most diverse geographic cycling area for an event of this kind. We help provide volunteers for the event, and in return a portion of the proceeds benefit Friends of the Eastern Promenade.
Casco Bay Sports aerates and re-seeds areas of the park that are affected by the race as an effort to leave no trace. We'd love to have you volunteer to help out and view the race from afar.
Portland Flower Show
For flower lovers, Portland offers two unique events for you! The Portland Flower Show, typically in March or April, gives Maine gardeners a first-glimpse at spring.
Friends of the Eastern Promenade attends with a booth to help promote the Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill. Interested in both? Volunteer at our booth at the flower show and you'll receive free admission.
Safe Public Access
Friends of the Eastern Promenade supports the maintenance and creation of safe and secure trails, nature paths and pedestrian walkways.
Cutter Street Realignment Plan
In accord with the recommendations of the Master Plan for the Eastern Promenade, the City of Portland proposed safety improvements at the intersection of Eastern Promenade and Cutter Street.
“The intersection of Cutter Street and Eastern Promenade is confusing in its current configuration. Cutter Street appears to be an extension of the promenade drive, not a separate street.”
We led the charge on this project, carrying out the primary objective of the Master Plan - enhanced safety. This included realignment of the curb and narrowing the amount of pavement along the Eastern Promenade roadway from Morning Street to the head of Cutter Street.
“Reduce roadway pavement width at Eastern Promenade and Morning Street to organize the intersection, inform people where they are expected to drive, decrease speeds and provide pedestrians with a shorter crosswalk length.”
The previous pedestrian crosswalk at the entrance of Cutter Street had been the longest in the City of Portland at 100ft. The realignment plan effectively narrowed the road width in this area which resulted in increased sight lines, reduced speeds from motorized vehicles, and improved safety for pedestrians. The project was completed in the Summer of 2015.
Advocacy and Education
We hold community meetings and forums to inform the public and gather input on plans and issues related to the park. In April of 2016, a public forum was held to discuss options for improving public safety and access at East End Beach (see EEWAP above). Based on information garnered at this forum, the plan shifted from its original form when advocates for ramp access greatly outweighed a floatable dock option.
A Friends Group for Eastern Promenade would be the primary advocacy voice to insure funds are dedicated to the care and improvement of the park.
-2004 Eastern Promenade Master Plan