The city of Portland recently purchased a parcel of land in the Riverton neighborhood that will add just under an acre to the Riverton Trolley Park, helping to preserve the land and views in the historic park.

“The Trolley Park is a gem within our park system and we are thrilled to be able to afford additional park space and protection for this public location in the growing Riverton neighborhood,” Danielle West, Portland’s interim city manager, said in a statement announcing the purchase on Monday.

A dog walker enjoys the Riverton Trolley Park in 2021. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The new park space will provide “significant wildlife habitat with mature white pines, water quality protection for the Presumpscot River, and protects the viewshed,” the statement said.

Riverton Trolley Park is a 19-acre park located off Riverside Street and Forest Avenue. The park opened to the public more than 120 years ago and the city has applied for a $250,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for a rehabilitation project that would include a mountain bike flow trail, a renovated entrance and parking lot, new signage, repairs to the Little League field and other upgrades.

The Land Bank Commission approved the purchase of the new 0.9-acre parcel at 834 Riverside St. in February and recommended to the City Council that the land be added to the park. The council voted 8-1 in March to approve the purchase, with $23,000 of the cost coming from a donation from Allagash Brewing and the remaining $27,000 from the Land Bank Fund.

Jon Kachmar, a commissioner on the Land Bank Commission, said Monday that while the new parcel is small, it will help preserve the view, water quality and quietness in that corner of the park.


The parcel is adjacent to areas that were historically home to a croquet field, theater and a trout pond and natural spring. Kachmar said residents and visitors to the park in the late 1800s and early 1900s would go to there to seek solitude and to get away from busier parts of the city.

“If (this new parcel) were developed it could be a very different view, setting and experience for park users,” he said.

Although the council approved the sale in March, Kachmar said it was only recently finalized.

Allagash has been brewing in the Riverton neighborhood not far from the park since 1995, the city’s announcement said.

“We’ve been here since we opened,” Rob Tod, founder and brewer, said in the release. “And a lot of our employees live right here. Helping out with the Trolley Park was an important opportunity to help make our community a better place for everyone.”

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