PORTLAND — Portland Trails’ long time executive director announced today that she will be leaving the organization next year.

Nan Cumming, who has served the organization for 12 years, has accepted a new position as executive director of the Maine Crafts Association.

Cumming said she will begin her new duties promoting Maine craftsmen and their products on Feb. 1.

“The organization owes an incredible debt of gratitude to Nan. In some ways she is leaving at the top of her game,” said Nathan Smith, one of Portland Trails’ three founding members. “Portland Trails has received national recognition. It’s very strong financially and Nan has been a big part of that. It’s sad she is leaving but it also a time to celebrate.”

A press release issued Monday by Portland Trails touched on a few of Cumming’s accomplishments.

During her 12 years with the organization, Portland Trails increased its trail network to nearly 35 miles of connected walking and biking paths, not just in Portland but in the neighboring communities of Falmouth, Westbrook and South Portland.

Portland Trails also launched the Schoolground Greening initiative, an effort to bring safe, natural playgrounds to Portland area schools.

In addition to those efforts, Portland Trails published its first “Portland Trail Maps and Trail Guide,” and completed capital campaigns that led to the purchase of 68 acres of land on the Presumpscot River as well as land for the city’s Bayside Trail.

“It has been 12 years and I really do believe that change can be healthy,” Cumming said Monday night.

Cumming said that while the organization finds itself on strong footing it still needs the support of the community to raise funds for trail acquisition and maintenance.

“I have no regrets,” she said. “But it is an emotional time for me. I love the people and I loved our mission.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:
[email protected]