The Eastern Trail is a vital multi-use trail of state-wide significance in Maine. The trail extends 65 miles from South Portland to Kittery, and travels by scenic woods, tidal marshes, and classic Maine villages. Since its creation sixteen years ago, the trail has provided millions of people with a recreational and transportation resource that connects them to the beautiful Maine landscape.
But a key piece of trail is missing in Scarborough. A 1.6-mile “gap” interrupts off-road travel between South Portland and Saco. The construction of this critical trail segment, which includes two bridges will close this gap and provide 16 continuous off-road miles reaching from South Portland’s Bug Light to Downtown Saco. The cost to close this gap is $3.8 million dollars.
A formal fundraising campaign, “Close the Gap” has already raised $2.8 million toward the goal of $3.8 million. The Maine DOT views completing this segment as the “highest priority” trail project in the state, and has committed $1.55 million towards its completion. In addition, the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) has generously committed over $1.1 million towards the project. The balance of the funding for the project is being provided by generous individuals, as well as municipalities, corporate and non-profit partners, and in-kind services in the way of construction materials and labor. Can YOU help us??
To make your contribution count MORE – the Eastern Trail Alliance is providing $50,000 to match donations made before November 1, 2016. (The Eastern Trail Alliance is a 501c3 nonprofit; your donations are tax deductible). See a list of donors here (bottom of this page).
But there is a catch:
We are facing a deadline: if we—with all the friends of the Eastern Trail— do not raise the remaining $1 million by the end of the year, the state’s funds may well be diverted to other projects around the state……And the cyclist on the bridge abutment in the photo below will be left to stare across the river, then continue his ride on Black Point Road and Highland Avenue . . . with the cars.
Go here to see helpful Close the Gap campaign resources that provide more details, images, and documents suitable for viewing and printing. Included in these resources are a full slide presentation (pdf format) about the Close the Gap campaign and a one-page Fact Sheet about the Close the Gap Campaign.