PORTLAND — Portland Trails’ longtime executive director announced Monday that she will leave 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. She said she will begin her new job 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’s also a time to celebrate.”

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

During her time with the organization, Portland Trails increased its trail network to nearly 35 miles of connected walking and biking paths, in Portland and neighboring Falmouth, Westbrook and South Portland.

Portland Trails launched the Schoolground Greening initiative, to bring safe, natural playgrounds to Portland-area schools; published its first “Portland Trail Maps and Trail Guide,” and completed capital campaigns that led to the purchase of 68 acres on the Presumpscot River and land for Portland’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 is on strong footing, it still needs the support of the community to raise money 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]