NOTICE: THE PARKS COMMISSION WILL BE MEETING VIRTUALLY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
About the Commission
The Parks Commission is a group of volunteer members of the community who are interested in the stewardship of the City of Portland Parks. Each month the Commission meets with the Director of Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department and the Parks Director to review projects and proposals.
The Commission also receives citizen input prior to and during each monthly public meeting to provide recommendations to the Director of Parks, Recreation & Facilities and the City Council.
The Mission of the Portland Parks Commission is to advocate for the enhancement and stewardship of our parks and open spaces, to review and propose projects that impact parks and open spaces and recommend appropriate action, to foster collaboration among park users and the City, to promote public access and enjoyment of our parks and open spaces, and to advocate for public and private funding for parks and open spaces. Enjoy Portland for Life!
First Thursday of each month
Due to the existence of an emergency or urgent issue the Parks Commission will conduct this
meeting by remote methods/technology at the Zoom link provided below, in accordance
with the requirements of 1 M.R.S. section 403-B and the Parks Commission Remote
Allow your computer to install the free Zoom app to get the best meeting experience. We hope to be able to offer other livestream methods in the future. If you are not able to attend live,
we will be posting a recording of the meeting once it has concluded.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or iPhone one tap : US: +13017158592,,91710859101#,,1#,480730# or +13126266799,,91710859101#,,1#,480730#
Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 917 1085 9101
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/adJKfbe9wD
Portland’s parks and open spaces are a treasure – an important element of who we are. They anchor Portland’s spectacular natural setting and offer repose and recreation for the population of Maine’s largest city and for her many visitors.
Of all the cities in the United States, none can compete with Portland’s unique natural setting – overlooking the beauties of Casco Bay, her islands and seaway to the East, and the White Mountains to the West. Portland’s parks ensure that these priceless vistas can be enjoyed by present and future generations of Portland residents and visitors. Portland’s parks did not just happen. They resulted from the vision, dedication, and generosity of many Portland residents and friends over the past two centuries. Public support for parks and open spaces is organized through the Parks Commission and the many Friends groups for Portland’s parks and open spaces. Actual implementation of parks improvements is managed by the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities. These contributions act as an important supplementary roles in making Portland's parks as special as they are today.
CLICK THE LOVE PORTLAND LOGO throughout our website or TEXT "PORTLAND" TO 71777 to see the several tax deductible ways that you can contribute to the improvement of Portland’s parks, either through contributions for specific park amenities or support for recreational programs.
Green Space Gathering
Current Parks Commissioners
|Commissioner||District/Rep||Term Start||Term End||Biography|
|Michael Catania||At Large||06/30/2021||06/30/2024||Michael recently retired to Maine after a career in New Jersey that spanned five decades in public and non-profit environmental conservation agencies. This included serving as the executive director of the 2,700-acre Duke Farms, where he was responsible for transforming that property into a model of stewardship and sustainability. Previously, he was the president and general counsel of Conservation Resources, a conservation finance intermediary that provided financial and technical assistance to the conservation community. Since moving to Maine in early 2020, he has joined the boards of both Maine Audubon and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and is happily exploring the many wonderful parks, nature preserves and trails in the Portland area.|
|Amy Segal||At Large||06/15/2020||06/30/2022||Amy has enjoyed living in Deering Center with her family for the past 21 years, is a member of the Open Space subcommittee for Deering Center Neighborhood Association, a Brentwood Farms Community Gardener, and an active volunteer for the PTOs at Longfellow, Lincoln and Deering High Schools. She initially engaged in Portland’s open spaces through volunteer work with Portland Trails Schoolground Greening Coalition and continues to be a promoter of outdoor education & natural playspaces. She grew up in upstate New York, attended Cornell University, and has practiced as a Maine licensed landscape architect for the past 29 years. As an avid hiker and kayaker, she is incredibly appreciative of the open space resources in Portland. She is currently on the Parks Initiative subcommittee of the Parks Commission.|
|Michael Mertaugh, Chair||At Large||06/14/2014||06/30/2023||Michael came to Portland in 2008 after a thirty-year career as an economist for the World Bank, working with governments on projects and policy analysis in in more than thirty countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and the former Soviet Union. Portland's magnificent parks were one of the reasons why he and his wife decided to relocate to Maine. He is currently a trustee of the Friends of Evergreen Cemetery, and until recently served on the Board of Greater Portland Landmarks. He pleased to be able to serve on Portland's Parks Commission to help protect and improve our magnificent parks as a permanent asset for all of Portland's residents and visitors."|
|Eleanor Sears||At Large||12/06/2021||12/06/2024||Eleanor Sears lives in Oakdale with her family and has loved exploring the city's green spaces with her three children. She grew up in Philadelphia in and around the storied Fairmount Park System. As an educator, she is passionate about the role of green space and outdoor play in children's development. She believes that Portland's public parks are an important resource in the work of building a more equitable future for all of our city's families.|
|Beth Rabbit||At Large||06/30/2021||06/30/2024||Beth Rabbitt lives in Portland's North Deering neighborhood. She is mother to two children enrolled at Lyseth Elementary and serves as the chief executive officer of a national education nonprofit. Beth started her career as an environmental educator and trail steward on the Appalachian Trail. As an avid user and explorer of the outdoors, she deeply believes in the value of conserving, engaging together in, and equitably enhancing the public open spaces available to the community.|
|Marie Gray||Friends of Deering Oaks||06/20/2018||06/30/2024||Marie Gray has lived on State Street, 2 blocks from Deering Oaks in the Parkside neighborhood for almost 50 years. She is a long time member of the Board of the Parkside Neighborhood Association and the Friends of Deering Oaks. Living in a densely populated neighborhood where most houses have little or no yard space, she has always taken a special interest in Deering Oaks’ care, maintenance and appropriate use by all members of the community. In many ways Deering Oaks truly is the community’s back yard for many individuals and families. In her work on the Parks Commission, Marie is guided by what she calls “The Twelve Year Old Rule”, which is: Any 12 year old in the City of Portland should be able to use safely any part of Portland’s public parks at 2:30 in the afternoon.|
|Zack Anchors||Friends of Eastern Promenade||06/19/2017||06/30/2023||Zach is a native of Old Town, Maine who now lives on Munjoy Hill and serves on the board of the Friends of the Eastern Promenade. He owns Portland Paddle, a sea kayaking and paddleboarding outfitter based at the East End Beach. Zack also works as a freelance writer and teacher.|
|Stephen Bentsen||At Large||06/30/2021||06/30/2024||Stephen Bentsen recently moved to Portland where he works as an environmental consultant. He lives in the Back Cove neighborhood with his wife and two daughters and gets outside and plays in the woods and water as much as he can. Drawn to Portland by the City’s commitment to providing healthy living spaces for its residents and visitors, its proximity to natural beauty and the plethora of outdoor opportunities, he’s been impressed with the City’s ability for the parks to function with so many interests and users and the City’s dedication to valuing these spaces and is excited to be involved in the opportunity to assist in the maintenance and improvement of a thriving, vibrant and healthy city by providing input on such a critical resource.|
|Jon Kachmar||Land Bank Commission Rep||Rep as of 2020||6/30/2022||Jon's background includes directing programs in multiple New England states focused on regional coastal habitat protection and restoration as well as urban conservation strategies focused on brining the benefits of nature to people living in cities. Jon has worked on coastal habitat restoration projects from Long Island, New York to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia including salt marsh restoration, dam removal and river realignment projects. His work has included several opportunities to build programs from inception, and he has extensive experience with facilitating diverse partnerships representing environmental nonprofits and other sectors.
|Jaime Parker, V. Chair||Portland Trails Rep||01/20/21||06/30/2023||Jaime Parker is on the Parks Commission representing Portland Trails, where he has worked for over 15 years. Jaime believes that parks and trails are essential elements of our vibrant city, and that these resources will reach their true potential when Portland has more housing and more walkable neighborhoods.|
|Victoria Pelletier, City Councilor||City Council Appointee|
- Alex Marshall, Director of Parks. Department of Parks Recreation & Facilities
- Samara Ray, Parks Recreation & Facilities Senior Executive Assistant @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>