East End Waterfront Access Project (EEWAP)

The Background

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 Funding

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.

The Process

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.


August 2017 Update

At the April 2016 Public Forum, sentiment tended away from a single large intervention (a new floating dock system) and toward a more dispersed enhancement of existing landscape features to satisfy our dual goals of improved access and improved safety for users of human-powered watercraft. This led to the preferred alternative, “Alternative 2,” which is a ramp and step structure located east of the existing recreational boat ramp at the North East Shore. The preferred alternative also includes improvements to the stairs leading to the North West Beach and development of a wash-down station for boats and gear in the vicinity of the kayak storage racks.

The working group has spent the past few months refining this proposal with the support of Collins Engineers, Inc. and landscape architecture firm MRLD, LLC to derive a final plan meets both fundamental EEWAP goals while bringing some aesthetic distinction to the project. The final design calls for a flared, stepped ramp bordered on one side by elevated drag rails for kayaks and other watercraft, and integrated into an improved waterfront greenspace. See teh image above for before/after plans and a perspective rendering.

Friends of the Eastern Promenade is currently in the process of raising funds to satisfy the required 1:1 match to DOT’s Small Harbor Improvement Program grant, with the goal of having all funds raised and encumbered by the end of 2018.  We are extremely pleased and grateful to the Quimby Family Foundation for committing $20,000 toward the EEWAP project.  This generous grant provides a solid foundation for future fundraising.

We are grateful for all of your input and support during this process and are excited about the plan it has produced. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the project


Through engagement and recreational participation.

Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill

July 9, 2017 

10:00 am -4:00 pm 

Tour Begins at Fort Allen Park,  Eastern Promenade, Portland Maine 

(rain or shine) 

Each year Friends of the Eastern Promenade hosts and coordinates the Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill. This self-guided walking tour offers a sneak peek into a selection of private gardens within the charming seaside neighborhood adjacent to the Eastern Promenade. Friends of the Eastern Promenade adopted the tour as its own in 2010.

Portland's East End has become a sought-after neighborhood for many reasons, not least its wonderful gardens. Tour attendees come from as far away as Massachusetts and New Hampshire and attendance grows each year

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors: 

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Ocean Gate Realty                              United Insurance  

Summer Community Concert Series

7th Annual Summer Community Concert Series

Thursday evenings, 6:30-7:30 pm

July 6 – August 31, 2017

DATE                         BAND                                    GENRE


7.6                  Viva & The Reinforcements            Caribbean Jazz

7.13                Sylvain’s Acadian Aces                      Bourbon-flavored Cajun Music

7.20                Joan Kennedy                                  Country/Rock & Roll

7.27                Chandler’s Military Band                Marches/Show Music


8.3                  The Maybe Somedays                     Indie Rock/Brit Pop

8.10                Zulu Leprechauns                           World Rock

8.17                Royal Hammer                               Reggae

8.24                Tricky Britches                               Bluegrass/Country

8.31                Downeast Soul Coalition               Blues/R&B

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 6:30-7:30 pm. 

CONCERTS ARE FREE. Donations are welcome.      

People of all ages attend with lawn chairs, blankets, hoola-hoops and smiles. Food trucks provide an assortment of delicious local cuisine. A variety of music genres from Maine and beyond 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 a variety of  live music and hope you’ll support our efforts to keep the music alive. 

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors: 

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Otto Pizza                      Lois' Natural Marketplace                 Shipyard Brewing                               Urban Dwellings

Fish & Bone                       Buckdancer's Choice                  Betty Winterhalder Trust                          Mary Noyes

2017 Program Calendar 

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.

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.