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2014 Accomplishments

Trails & Carriage Roads

  • Rehabilitated the 2.2-mile Asticou & Jordan Pond Path, once traversed by adventurous rusticators walking to the Jordan Pond House for tea, using Acadia Trails Forever funding and hundreds of hours of labor from FOA stewardship volunteers and the Acadia Youth Conservation Corps
  • Completed the Quarry Path and the Otter Cove Trail, offering Blackwoods campers car-free access to trails
    on Gorham Mountain and beyond, and held a trail inauguration ceremony on National Trails Day
  • Enabled the clearing of historic vistas along the carriage roads, including all of the vistas on the Around Mountain Loop and Day Mountain, using volunteer effort to maximize the work of the park’s specialized vista crew
  • Recruited, equipped, and led volunteers who gave 14,837 hours of labor to Acadia; granted $215,000 for maintenance of Acadia’s carriage roads and $317,378 for restoration, construction, and maintenance of Acadia’s hiking trails

Tomorrow’s Stewards

  • Supported 32 internships for teens and young adults in Acadia National Park, and leveraged FOA funding to attract an additional $50,000 directed by Interior Secretary
  • Demonstrated, through the Acadia Youth Technology Team’s evaluation program, that youth internships measurably increase teens’ appreciation for Acadia National Park as an institution and the likelihood that they will grow up to be environmental stewards
  • Provided transportation grants and other support to the Schoodic Education Adventure, enabling 545 students and teachers from 20 schools throughout New England to attend the field-based residential outdoor education program at Acadia National Park
  • Donated funds and professional video equipment to support the Acadia Centennial film project at Mount Desert Island High School

Preserve & Protect

  • Initiated a comprehensive watershed-based monitoring and rehabilitation program at Cromwell Brook and completed a full baseline analysis of conditions throughout the watershed, inside and outside park boundaries
  • Celebrated the 5-millionth rider on the Island Explorer bus service, and marked several ridership records including the highest ridership in one year and two separate 9,000-rider days
  • Replaced light fixtures at Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds with new night-sky-friendly lighting
  • Initiated the Acadia Centennial Task Force, a collaboration of Friends of Acadia, Acadia National Park, and others, to plan celebrations and initiatives for the park’s centennial in 2016
  • Piloted the Cadillac Summit Stewards internship to reduce visitor impacts on Cadillac’s delicate alpine environment, with inspiring support from donors at FOA’s 25th Annual Benefit Auction
  • Hired four Ridge Runners in Acadia, who educated 5,736 Acadia visitors in Leave-No-Trace principles, constructed 24 new Bates cairns, rebuilt 108 more, and dismantled 348 visitor-built cairns


IMG_1773_edit1991-1996: Raised $3.4 million endowment to maintain the park’s 44-mile carriage road system in perpetuity

1997: Led negotiations to avert a clear-cut on 1,600 acres adjacent to park’s Schoodic District

1998: Achieved, with the park, a first-in-nation jet-ski ban on all ponds inside a national park

1999: Co-developed and co-funded the fare-free, propane-powered Island Explorer bus system

1999-2001: Raised $13 million for Acadia Trails Forever, making Acadia the first national park with an endowed trail system

2002: Obtained $1 million from L.L.Bean to support the Island Explorer; renewals in 2006 and 2011 brought total L.L.Bean funding to $3.25 million

2007: Purchased and protected 25 acres on Acadia Mountain, threatened by development

2009: The accomplishments of Acadia Trails Forever’s first 10 years include 5.6 miles of village connector trails built; 1.8 miles of abandoned trails reopened; more than 3,000 steps, 16,760 square feet of walls, and 259 culverts repaired or constructed.

2010: Successfully lobbied the Maine legislature to limit open carry of firearms in Acadia

2010: Partnered to publish Plants of Acadia National Park, a comprehensive field guide to more than 800 species found in Acadia

2010: Established a formal relationship with the Wild Gardens of Acadia to ensure their future viability

2011: Celebrated Friends of Acadia’s 25th Anniversary with a grant to pilot the Acadia Youth Technology Team

2011: With Acadia Land Legacy’s purchase of 43 acres on Lower Hadlock and Round Ponds, protected 17 parcels of privately-owned land inside Acadia’s borders since 2005 with Acadia Land Legacy partners

2013: Inaugurated the Duck Brook Connector Trail, fulfilling the original Acadia Trails Forever goal of establishing five village connector trails

2013: Inaugurated the first phase of the Acadia Gateway Center in Trenton, giving the successful Island Explorer bus fleet a permanent home in a Gold LEED-rated maintenance and administration facility

2013: Inaugurated the Trenton Community Trail and protected the surrounding 216-acre forestland with a conservation easement before donating both trail and forest to the Town of Trenton

2013: Funded a forward-thinking water quality monitoring program at Jordan Pond, Maine’s clearest lake.


By the Numbers*

Number of members: 4,379
Grants to the park and communities since 1986: $21.5 million
Island Explorer ridership since 1999: 5.48 million
Number of FOA-funded seasonal staff serving Acadia National Park annually: 169
Number of full-time staff: 11
Endowments and other investments: $25.6 million
Annual operating budget: $4 million
Publications: Friends of Acadia Journal (3 issues annually), Annual Report, E-News (12 issues annually),,

* as of January 2015


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