Federal Grant Will Provide Funding to Create North Deering Park

The City of Portland has received a $400,000 federal grant for the purchase of two properties to create a 24-acre city park in the North Deering neighborhood.  

Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, allocated a total of $61.1 million in grant funding to communities in 26 cities across the United States to create new parks and trails, or substantial renovations to existing parks through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. 

Trust for Public Land has been working with the City of Portland to raise the funds to acquire the land and will work with residents to design the park that meets their needs. 

“With this federal funding for the North Deering Park, Portland is one step closer to joining the few cities in America where 100% of residents have a park within a 10-minute walk of home,” said Betsy Cook, Maine State Director for Trust for Public Land. “Protecting this land will ensure the North Deering community will have access to bike, walk, hike, play, and explore the outdoors in their own backyard.” 

While 94% of Portland residents live within a 10-minute walk to a green space, some in the North Deering neighborhood don’t have this close-to-home access to a high-quality park – a gap that the City of Portland is committed to addressing. Protecting this acreage is critically important to closing the park equity gap for the North Deering community and providing residents space to connect with the outdoors. 

“This is great news not only for the neighborhood surrounding the future North Deering Park, but for the entire region,” said Ethan Hipple, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities for the City of Portland. “Looking forward 100 years from now, the neighborhood and the City may grow and change. But thanks to this ORLP grant and the partnership of Trust for Public Land, this special place will still be wild, beautiful, and open to all.” 

North Deering Park is also within close proximity to Lyseth Elementary School and Lyman Moore Middle School, opening up opportunities for outdoor learning and offering a public place where children can explore the natural world. 

The Maine congressional delegation supported this project and also wrote to the Interior Department recommending funding be allocated for the creation of North Deering Park. 

“We are deeply grateful that the City of Portland will receive these funds to give nearly 2,000 city residents access to a neighborhood park. This project will strengthen the North Deering community, support two nearby public schools, and help more Maine people enjoy recreational activities that enhance their physical and mental health,” said Senators Collins and King and Representative Pingree. “This grant is welcome news for the city, and we look forward to seeing how these funds expand opportunities for North Deering residents.” 

About Trust for Public Land 

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org