Frequently Asked Questions

What is there to do at Fort Williams Park?

The opportunities for all ages are almost endless. They include:

  • View the historic Portland Head Lighthouse
  • Hike
  • Explore military ruins
  • Enjoy great food from the food carts
  • Go birding
  • Paint
  • Walk a dog
  • Watch crashing waves on the rugged coast of Maine
  • Fly a kite
  • Play at the beach
  • Watch a soccer game or tennis match
  • Climb on the rocks
  • Photograph
  • Visit the Lighthouse Museum

What is there for children to do at Fort Williams Park?

In addition to the above, children can:

  • Play at either of two playgrounds
  • Find geocaches
  • Explore the Children’s Garden (coming next year)
  • Go sledding in winter
  • Ride bikes on Park paths
  • Play a soccer or baseball game

Why was the Fort Williams Park Foundation established?

The mission of the Foundation is to preserve and enhance the natural and historic resources of Fort Williams Park for future generations. To meet this mission, the Foundation’s goals are to provide funding support and stewardship for selected projects in the Park which enhance the condition of the Park, and to establish an endowment fund, the income from which will be used to maintain the park in an optimal state of repair.

Who is responsible for the Park?

  • The Cape Elizabeth Town Council has ultimate responsibility for the Park, which is Town property.
  • The Advisory Commission (FWAC) is appointed by the Town Council to monitor the capital needs, maintenance and operational policies of the park and make resulting recommendations to the Council. It provides partial funding for work in the Park using money raised from activities within the Park.
  • The Cape Elizabeth Public Works Department implements the recommendations of the FWAC directly or through sub-contractors.
  • The Fort Williams Park Foundation, an independent tax qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization, raises money from sources outside the Park to provide supplemental funding for FWAC recommended projects.

What projects have been identified for Foundation support?

Completed

  • Arboretum: Cliffside
  • Arboretum: Lighthouse View Landscape
  • Informational signage at Kitty’s Point
  • Engineering study of the parade ground bleachers
  • Feasibility study of Battery Blair restoration
  • Engineering study of Goddard Mansion

Approved

  • Arboretum: Master Plan
  • Arboretum: Children’s Garden

Proposed

  • Arboretum: Cliff Walk Landscape

The Museum at Portland Head Light is an IRS qualified charitable organization. Why is the Foundation needed?

The charter of the Museum at Portland Head Light requires that all profits from the operation of the museum and gift shop be used to maintain the lighthouse, the museum and adjacent grounds. The Foundation supports other areas of the Park.

What fundraising activities will the Foundation undertake?

The Board of Directors explores all possible avenues of fundraising including: capital campaigns, annual fundraising, merchandise sales, special events, private foundation grants, government grants, and bequests.

Why should anyone outside Cape Elizabeth contribute to the Foundation?

Traffic studies have shown that less than 15% of the visitors to the Park are residents of Cape Elizabeth. The Foundation seeks support from the Greater Portland area and beyond to achieve its goal of free and open access for everyone.

How popular is Fort Williams Park?

Somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people visit the Park each year.

How can I make a donation to the Foundation today?

Click the button below to donate to the Fort Williams Park Foundation.
Donate to Fort Williams Park Foundation

I would like to help with the Foundation and its projects. What do I do?

The Foundation counts on volunteers and donations to make its horticultural, ecological, and historical projects happen.  You may contribute in multiple ways:

  • Make an unrestricted gift
  • Make a gift designated for a specific project
  • Make a bequest
  • Make a gift of securities
  • Make a gift of your time

Donate VolunteerContact Us

Are contributions and bequests to the Foundation tax deductible?

The Fort Williams Park Foundation is a tax qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization, incorporated in the State of Maine, which is neither controlled by nor financially supported by the Town. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Please consult your tax advisor for additional information.

Where can I find out more about the Foundation?

For additional information, you may contact the Foundation’s Office at 207-767-3707, send an e-mail to the Foundation using the Contact Us Page, or write to the Foundation at PO Box 6260, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107.

 

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