East End Waterfront Access Project (EEWAP)

A rendering of the new boat launch planned for construction in 2018 

A rendering of the new boat launch planned for construction in 2018 

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

Portland Parks Commission to Discuss EEWAP

Members of the city of Portland's Parks Commission will receive a brief presentation on EEWAP at the commission's next meeting at 5:00 PM on October 5. The meeting will be held in the room 24 of Portland City Hall. Members of the public will be given an opportunity to make comments to the commission at the beginning of the meeting. 


Jacob Cousins Memorial Renovation Project

Unveiled in September 1935, the Jacob Cousins Memorial was part of an ongoing nationwide effort to highlight both the patriotism of Jewish Americans and their contribution during times of conflict. The memorial is a key artifact in the history of the Jewish community in southern Maine linking past to present and inspiring visitors to remember, respect and contemplate the cost of war.  

In its current state the memorial is difficult to view and appreciate as it faces directly onto Eastern promenade Drive. Friends of the Eastern promenade is raising funds to redesign this historic landmark. 


Fort Allen Park Rehabilitation Project

In 2011 Friends of the Eastern Promenade led the comprehensive undertaking of the rehabilitation of Fort Allen Park to restore the landscape, preserve historical monuments, enhance pedestrian circulation and accessibility, and rejuvenate the bandstand. The signature “park within the park” at the south-eastern tip of the Eastern Promenade is now also adorned with interpretive panels to inform visitors about the park's rich history, Casco Bay harbor defense, and general navigation. In partnership with the City of Portland, and with the generous support from local businesses and residents, the rehabilitation project restored many of Fort Allen Park's visual features and design elements that distinguished the park from 1890 to 1930, identified as the park’s period of greatest historical significance. 

Stewards of the Park

The Fort Allen Rehabilitation Project was made possible through the generous support of numerous partners and supporters. Major funding was provided by the City of Portland, the Boulos Family, Martin’s Point Health Care, the Davis Family Foundation, Norway Savings Bank, Edmund Gardner III, Crandall Toothaker, and an Anonymous “Friend.” Friends of the Eastern Promenade extends sincere thanks to the dozens of individuals who contributed to the Fort Allen Rehabilitation Park capital fund, and whose generosity was essential to the project’s success.

Calendar Club Members

Friends of the Eastern Promenade Bench

Generously donated by Board Members, 2006 - 2016      

Stephanie Albert
Richard Anderson
Andrea Andrus
Ann Archino-Howe
David Body
Katie Brown
George Campbell
Tina Campidelli
Trevor Coyne
Diane Davison
Aynne Doil
Tica Douglas
Ed Gardner
Dan Haley
Eric Handley
Bill Jabine
Matthew Kennedy


Tom Leonhardt
Cynthia Murray/Believeau
Del Nickerson
Joe Piergrossi, Jr.
Erin Piper
Mary Roy
Shawnee Sax
Cami Smalley
Nathan Smith
Sharon Sudbay
Joe Sukaskas
Joyce Wethington-Knight
R. John Wuesthoff
Carolyn Young
Caron Zand

with special thanks to Mary Noyes for creating this Board bench challenge and matching funds raised  

Name A Bench ~ Recognize a Loved One ~ Honor a Friend

Six World's Fair benches are still available for recognition allowing reflection and inspiration for all who visit the Jacob Cousins Memorial. Sit, relax and enjoy spectacular views to the northeast from the semi-circular plaza to be created at this popular park entrance. The renovation provides a more dignified setting befitting recognition of Maine's first Jewish soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. 

These timeless, commemorative benches intended for placement at the Jacob Cousins Memorial are $5,000 and directly support completion of this historic undertaking.  100% of your contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Name a Bench

Plaque inscriptions are in bronze and allow for 3 lines of text with 21 characters per line. The benches are made from cast iron and Brazilian walnut hardwood (also called “Ipe” pronounced ee-pay).  This wood is an environmentally responsible choice that naturally resists rot, decay, insects, and mold without the use of toxic chemicals.

Bicentennial & Beyond Initiative

We would like to thank those who generously invested in Friends of the Eastern Promenade’s Bicentennial & Beyond Initiative.  Your participation in this multi-year pledge program directly impacted our structural growth and advancement of strategic goals.

Because of you…..
In 2013 we were able to increase our level of organizational and philanthropic resources by hiring a part-time Executive Director and successfully launch the Capital Campaign for actualizing the Fort Allen Rehabilitation Project.

Because of you…..
The Fort Allen Rehabilitation Project included return of the historic cannons and celebrated a most worthy recognition of Fort Allen’s Bicentennial in 2014.

Because of you……
We are now poised to move “beyond” and provide improved safety and access at Portland’s recreational gateway to Casco Bay. The East End Waterfront Access Project (EEWAP) seeks to enhance use for all forms of personal, non-motorized watercraft.   

Thank you!

Our Supporters


Valerie Birnhak
Greg Boulos & Naela Smith
George Campbell Jr.
Francis Cloutier
Diane Dombrowski
Edmund S. Gardner
Cyrus & Patricia Hagge
Matthew Kennedy & Lori Parham
Peter & Pam Macomber
Harry McMann
Mary Noyes
Joe Piergrossi & Trevor Coyne
Crandall Toothaker
Carolyn & Randy Young

Eugene & Huguette Davis
Aynne Doil
Phyllis Jalbert
Guy, Stella, & Antonio Hernandez
Marcie & Eric Lister
Norm & Sally Nelson
Anne & Dale Rand
United Insurance – Haley Agency

Amy Alward Insurance Agency
Aquarius Property Management
Patricia McGraw Anderson
Peter Bass & Lin Lisberger
Joshua Broder & Eliza Ginn
Frances Buerkens & William M. Ginn
Nan Cumming & Drew Masterman
Peter & Kathleen Dane
Diane & Jeffery Davison
Kristen Lape & Jaime Isaacson
Lynne Panico
R. John & Betty Wuesthoff
Rob & Robin Whitten

Other Contributors
Deb & Edward Andrews
Paul & Dale Cronin
Eric & Betsey Handley
Decorum Hardware and Specialty Lighting
Mateo Hodo
Bill & Deb Jabine
Tom & Amy Landry
Peter & Deb Murray
Terry Odlin
Cami Smalley & Pete Risano
Jeff Wright


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.

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.