Jacob Johnson of Saco paddleboards with his dog Murphy shortly after sunset at Pine Point in Scarborough on September 21. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

In response to growing concerns within the Pine Point community in Scarborough regarding population growth, a newly formed nonprofit organization, People of Pine Point, Inc., said the group aims to address various issues, ranging from traffic safety to beach environmental health and cleanliness.

Mark Dresser, president of the group, said the group formed in response to a collective need for a stronger community voice, and  it has garnered support from residents and is set to make a significant impact on the Pine Point community.

Dresser said the initiative was prompted by the long-standing perception that Pine Point has been overlooked by the town. Heidi Davis, a board of directors’ member, said “I feel that Pine point needs this group to work with the town to make the community safer for all of us and to take care of our beach so that generations to come can enjoy this magical area. The beach is for everyone, and everyone should feel welcome.”

“Pine Point is an important area of Scarborough which consists of one of Maine’s longest and most beautiful beaches. The importance of protecting and improving the beach community environment encouraged a group of residents to bring this idea forward, which was met with support from residents within the community, and from that came the People of Pine Point, Inc. organization,” Dresser said.

The People of Pine Point, Inc. aspires to make the town more responsive to Pine Point’s unique needs. Dresser said, “There is a feeling that getting organized as a group of seasonal and year-round residents will get us more attention and action.” The group seeks to emulate successful models from neighboring areas, such as community organizations in Higgins Beach and various homeowners associations.

The group’s short-term goals include addressing health and safety concerns within community roads and the beach. They said initiating better communication with the Scarborough Police Department is a priority. The People of Pine Point, Inc. plan to collaborate with the Scarborough Climate-ready resiliency project, starting in 2024.
Davis said, “Our goal is going to be to work with the agencies that we need help from. For example, we have heard that traffic /speeding is a big issue for the community so we are meeting with (Police Chief) Mark Holmquist to devise a solution. Also people have asked for the beaches to be patrolled so we hope to have that addressed so that everyone feels safe at the beach. We will form committees to work with agencies in regards to erosion and hopefully receive some of the sand when they dreg the river next year.”


Diversity within the group, Dresser said. “It gives a voice to all residents throughout the community. Building a sense of community and allowing anyone to bring forward concerns or issues.” He said the group wants to ensure the interests of all, including of those who have lived at Pine Point for decades are included. “Having seen the transition of Pine Point over the past 40 to 50 years, we felt a responsibility to recognize those families that have lived in homes before the house boom within Pine Point and afford them a place within this coalition to voice their concerns and issues.”

Diversity is key to the success of the group, Davis said. “The power of this group comes from the people who love Pine Point. We have families that have lived in Pine Point since it was established, we have local business owners, summer people, clamming families, fishing families etc. are all part of this group and anyone is welcome to join. I honestly think this group is going to do wonderful things for the community.”

Membership is open to both full-time and seasonal residents, acknowledging the distinct needs of each group, Davis said. “By bringing a coalition of all the stakeholders within Pine Point, we will only add to building mutual respect as to how we as a community can protect and improve the community.”

The People of Pine Point, Inc. plans to hold membership drives and social events. The group is already registered with officers and board members, set to meet via Zoom. They also plan to hold logo design contest for a logo for a People of Pine Point, Inc. T-shirt. They aim to post bulletins to keep the community informed.

The organization plans to hold periodic meetings to determine and prioritize issues. Dresser said the next immediate steps after formation include a review of FEMA maps, updating safety concerns with the police and fire departments, and initiating a membership drive.

Interested individuals can join or contribute by contacting PeopleofPinePoint@gmail.com.

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