Loring Memorial Trail dedication

Paul Loring and Margaret Loring-Scott, brother and sister to war hero Maj. Charles Loring, snipped the ribbon to mark the dedication of the Loring Memorial Trail on the Eastern Promenade Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010.

The rain cleared out just in time for the ceremony, which took place at the top of the trail near the junction of Eastern Promenade and North Street.

Diane Davison, president of Friends of the Eastern Promenade, presided over the dedication. Speakers included Eliza Townsend, commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation; Nan Cumming, executive director of Portland Trails; and Jeff Tarling, arborist with the City of Portland.

The trail is named in honor of Maj. Charles J. Loring Jr., a U.S. Air Force pilot who sacrificed his life in the Korean War and was awarded the Medal of Honor. Davison read an account of his heroic actions.

Davison thanked Portland Trails and the city of Portland for partnering with Friends of the Eastern Promenade on the Loring Memorial Trail. She also thanked the trail’s funders, the Maine Department of Conservation Recreational Trails Program and the Quimby Family Foundation, as well as the volunteers who worked on the trail, including employees from Bangor Savings Bank and members of Friends of the Eastern Promenade.

The new trail winds gently down the hill from Loring Memorial Park, connecting the Eastern Prom, Back Cove and new Bayside trails. Landscape architect Regina Leonard collaboratively designed the trail with input from Portland Trails and Friends of the Eastern Promenade. The Loring Memorial Trail and the Fort Allen Trail, dedicated one year ago, create a complete loop within the park.

“A main objective for the 2004 master plan was the re-establishment of the interconnected pedestrian circulation systems based upon principles established in the Olmsted firm plan in 1905,” Davison said. “The plan expressly calls for creation of pedestrian links to the Eastern Prom multi-use trail from both Fort Allen and the Loring Memorial as a way of connecting the upper and lower sections of the park.”

Following the trail dedication, Friends of the Eastern Promenade held its annual meeting and elections at the East End Community School. Historian Herb Adams gave a colorful presentation on the history of the Eastern Promenade.