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Accomplishments

2013 Accomplishments

Trails & Carriage Roads

  • Inaugurated the Trenton Community Trail, behind the Acadia Gateway Center, and protected the surrounding 216-acre forestland with a conservation easement before donating both trail and forest to the Town of Trenton
  • Funded the installation of a watershed-friendly culvert under the Eagle Lake Loop carriage road, to help the carriage road surface withstand severe rainstorms and protect native fish habitat
  • Enabled the much-needed restoration of the Deer Brook Trail on Penobscot Mountain, with a gift from a private donor
  • Granted $219,262 for maintenance of Acadia’s carriage roads and $379,035 for restoration, construction, and maintenance of Acadia’s hiking trails

Tomorrow’s Stewards

  • Grew Acadia’s Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program from 3 to 7 teacher-rangers, bringing Acadia and conservation-themed lesson plans to thousands of schoolchildren and educators nationwide
  • Took an important next step in the Acadia Youth Technology Team program, developing protocols for evaluating the effectiveness of the AYTT’s innovative projects; and hired the AYTT’s two team leaders and five of the six teenaged interns, who implemented new projects such as digital 3-D modeling of park historical artifacts
  • Registered almost 200 teams of kids and their families in the hugely popular “Trail Quest,” encouraging them to discover and challenge themselves on Acadia’s historic hiking trails in the 2013 edition of the Acadia Quest experiential scavenger hunt

Preserve & Protect

  • Helped realize permanent protection for the privately-owned Schoodic Woods, a 1,400-acre forest and wetland bordering Acadia’s Schoodic District— an achievement more than 16 years in the making
  • Stepped up assistance to Acadia’s invasive plant management program with support for new positions in the park and a complementary, community-based invasive plant mapping and removal initiative
  • Funded a forward-thinking water-quality monitoring program at Jordan Pond, Maine’s clearest lake, taking 7,700 measurements in 2013 (compared to 219 in the previous 72 years)
  • 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
  • Testified before Congress on the importance of federal investment in our national parks and delivered 2,492 signatures on a petition asking Congress to end the federal budget gridlock that closed Acadia in October

Milestones

Jordan Pond from South Bubble

1991-1996: 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

 

By the Numbers*

Number of members: 3,725
Grants to the park and communities since 1986: $20 million
Island Explorer ridership since 1999: 4.98 million
Number of FOA-funded seasonal staff serving Acadia National Park annually: 162
Number of full-time staff: 10
Endowments and other investments: $23.4 million
Annual operating budget: $2.99 million
Magazine: Friends of Acadia Journal (3 issues annually)

* as of January 2014

 

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