Portland Parks Conservancy
212 Canco Road
Mission: The Portland Parks Conservancy supports Portland’s parks, trails, and open spaces by raising philanthropic capital and encouraging civic engagement in alignment with community priorities.
The City of Portland, Maine, currently has a total of 63 parks encompassing 721 acres. This includes three parks on Peaks Island and one park on Cliff Island. The City of Portland has 24 additional land bank properties, covering 483 acres, and Portland Trail properties held by the Portland Trail Land Trust include an additional 104 acres. In sum, with over 1,000 acres, the City of Portland’s parks, land bank properties, and trails constitute 4% of the city’s total area and allow for an impressive 86% of its residents to reside within a ½ mile of a park or trail. And given its prime location on beautiful Casco Bay, Portland’s parks play a critical role in providing water access for residents, and can be considered corridors and access points to water bodies that make Portland so special.
The non-profit Portland Parks Conservancy seeks to support and enhance Portland’s open space network and programs by raising significant private funds from corporations, foundations, and individuals. It will collaborate with the City Parks Director and existing friends groups, support the formation of new friends groups, and identify and fund projects that have significant public impact and that highlight the value of open space amenities and programs in the community.
The Portland Parks Conservancy was incorporated on July 25, 2017. Its initial Board of Directors has 14 members serving staggered terms to begin a rotational system for Board elections. The Board approved Bylaws for the organization on April 4, 2018 and has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Portland that was approved by the Board April 4, 2018 and ratified by Portland’s City Council on July 16, 2018. The Conservancy has secured an impressive three-year commitment of start-up funding from a local foundation and will work with local, regional and national stakeholders for additional sources of funding through donations and grants.