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jandrewsshovelEastern Trail News Page - Current and Archive

Many articles about the Eastern Trail are organized on this news archives page.  The most recent articles appear immediately below, with the first part of each article displayed. Click on any article title, or the "Read More.." link to read the full text of that article. A list of additional article titles appears at the bottom of the page.



SMMC's use of the Eastern Trail

By Joe Yuhas

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

According to Peggy Belanger RN, who is Cancer Care Coordinator and Oncology Nurse Navigator at Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC), access to the Eastern Trail contributes greatly to the programs that she administers. The mere fact that the trail is in such close proximity to the medical center campus encourages creativity and innovation in programing for patients.

Peggy described “Walk Away From Cancer,” which utilizes the trail for the exercise component of the program. This program was specifically designed for both recently diagnosed patients and patients currently in treatment to provide them with the opportunity to develop a sustained regimen of beneficial exercise. The program meets two times a week for six weeks, and in addition to exercise it has educational and a nutritional components and serves as a support group. Groups meet in the spring and fall and walk the trail at their own pace in small groups that facilitate sharing and support, thus fostering a very important social contribution to recovery.


SETA Progress

By Judy Haley

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

The summer of 2013 was a busy one for members of SETA, a subcommittee of ETA! Their enthusiasm and dedication were boundless, as the volunteers set up displays and presentations to spread the word of the Eastern Trail and build support at many seasonal outside events and celebrations, emphasizing that the ETA is now concentrating on bringing the trail to and through their towns and villages. Without exception, these York County missionaries reported successes and are eager to continue the efforts for better trail awareness moving south.


The Happiest Bridges in Maine?

By John Andrews

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

On September 28, 2011, Maine Turnpike Authority dedicated its Eastern Trail bridge, which it had built to close the most challenging gap in the Eastern Trail, a bridge that would allow the ET to connect the southern York County towns of Kennebunk, Wells, North Berwick, South Berwick Eliot and Kittery with the northern towns of Arundel, Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough and South Portland.

It’s also the happiest ET bridge, one of smiles and blasts— as you can see in these photos of two Kennebunk boys as they welcome truckers who often cause ecstatic joy with their friendly horn blasts. Thousands of drivers pass daily under the Turnpike’s ET bridge, noting not only the trail’s progress but also the salute provided by energized ET users. Bring your children or grandchildren there to welcome Maine’s truckers, and don’t be surprised if they send a blast your way.


New bridge links Maine, N.H.

The opening of the Memorial Bridge renews a connection between Kittery and Portsmouth.

The Associated Press

ETA at the Memorial Bridge Reopening!Judy Haley and Tom Littlefield lead the ETA contingent at the reopening ceremony.PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — New Hampshire and Maine celebrated the opening of a new bridge Thursday that has become a steel symbol of their past cooperation and their commitment to future commerce.

The $81.4 million Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, replaces one that was built in 1923 and closed two years ago.

As she did 90 years ago at age 5, former Portsmouth mayor Eileen Foley did the ribbon-cutting honors, riding across the bridge in a golf cart with a bouquet of flowers on her lap. The crowd cheered as she cut the ribbon, then sang "God Bless America."

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan noted that the bridge includes state-of-the-art technology to meet the needs of modern commerce and travel, yet echoes the look and feel of the original.


Biddeford Savings Puts ET on the Map(s)

By Scott Marcoux

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

2013 ET Off Road Brochure CoverMap Brochure CoverAn off-road greenway is of little use to travelers without a way for them to navigate it, right? The ETA is continuously looking to disprove the local adage that “you can’t get there from here” [add appropriate downeast accent] with additional tools to show trail users where they are, and where they are going.

In addition to various resources available on our website, and our popular full-color Trail Guides, the ETA this year introduced a quick trifold map that outlines all the completed off-road sections of the ET. Better still, it is free because it is fully funded by Biddeford Savings Bank.


What's All That Construction?

by Bob LaNigra

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

What is all that construction going on in Scarborough??

You may have noticed considerable evidence of construction at the Pine Point Road and Black Point Road intersections with the ET. I talked with the Scarborough Town Planner, Dan Bacon, and learned that the town has funded upwards of $400,000 for construction at those crucial points to improve traffic flow and, more important, to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bikers using the Eastern Trail.


Memorial Bridge Opening

By Judy Haley

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

If you build it, they will come! And so they did … by the thousands in Kittery and Portsmouth on August 8, 2013, to participate in the opening of the new Memorial Bridge! Although the morning was overcast with bad weather threatening, spirits were not dampened! Motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, boaters, kayakers— they all began arriving before 7:00 AM. Flags were raised, banners were flying, and excited chatter was deafening; until, that is, the band started to play and the parade of dignitaries, began to march from the Kittery side of the bridge to Portsmouth, where the ribbon cutting ceremony was to be held!

Oh, what a day it was! Everyone coming together to celebrate the completion of this much heralded and loved gateway! Of the three bridges connecting Kittery and Portsmouth, the Memorial Bridge alone can boast provisions for pedestrians and cyclists!


Bringing the Trail South

By Marianne Goodine, Treasurer, Eastern Trail Management District

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

With the Eastern Trail making its way southward, a very energetic group of trail enthusiasts has been meeting monthly in Wells to collaborate on ways to continue the trail. This group represents the Southern Eastern Trail Alliance (SETA) and consists of representatives from Wells, North Berwick, York, Kittery, and South Berwick.

The group is focused on ideas for fundraising and getting more exposure for the trail. During the summer of 2013 we set up an informational booth at local events such as the Kittery Block Party, Senior Expo in Kennebunk, Wells HarborFest , and the Millfield Festival in North Berwick. We are currently seeking interested individuals to become members of the Eastern Trail Alliance.


Spreading the Word about the Eastern Trail

By ETA President Bob Hamblen

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

In the next to last week of October I hit the jackpot. No trip to Foxwoods, or Oxford for that matter, involved. And I haven’t bought a Powerball ticket … uh, ever. Instead, I had the opportunity to chat about the Eastern Trail at three separate events, and this wasn’t a case of the ETA begging for a chance to set up a table so we could try to sell folks on the Trail.

Nope, the ETA was actually invited to attend three meetings and participate in panel discussions; these groups really wanted to hear about the Trail, even though, per a show of hands at the latter two events, the majority of attendees were already familiar with the ET.


Maine Lighthouse Ride Kitchen Volunteers

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

This is the thing about a good meal: it’s like a play. If it’s done right, there’s an enormous amount of hustle and bustle behind the scenes, but all the audience usually sees—and enjoys--is the wonderfulness of the end product. As a result, those behind-the-scenes workers, whether they are costume designers or cooks, don’t always get the recognition they deserve. (all photos by Jim Bucar)

Patti PoolePatti PooleSo let’s hear it for the “lunch ladies” of the ETA’s Maine Lighthouse Ride!— as they jokingly refer to themselves. Though they often go unseen by many of the riders, without them the end of the ride would be a lot less organized, efficient and friendly, and the riders a heck of a lot hungrier.

In 2008 the MLR base of operations moved to Southern Maine Community College (SMCC). Since that time, their leader, Patti Poole, has volunteered to plan, coordinate, and help prepare the end-of-the-ride meal. Mind you, most of the time she was also acting as the overall Volunteer Coordinator, a job she gratefully passed on this past year. Luckily for Patti, and for the MLR, for several years she has had a regular crew of volunteers—Pat Buckley, Cookie Kalloch and Jean Dufour—to make the task, if not easy, fun and well organized.

Cookie KallochCookie Kalloch“We’re a well oiled machine,” Patti notes. “The core four of us have been doing it together for so long, we have it down.” Her crew says it’s Patti’s organizational skills that make it all run smoothly.

None of them remembers exactly when they started volunteering to help with the ETA, and they all became involved via different paths. Some came to the ETA via friends: for Patti it was Carole Brush, executive director of the ETA; Cookie thinks Jean brought her in; while Jean points to John Andrews, President Emeritus of the ETA, as her connection—a chain reaction of volunteerism. Others took a more direct route: Pat says she heard about a trail, thought it was a great idea, and called up the office to ask how she could help.


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