2012 Friends of Acadia Annual Report
One hundred years ago, George B. Dorr had reason to take pride in the great progress made in conserving thousands of acres of mountains, trails, ponds, and woodlands within a state-chartered organization on Mount Desert Island. “These lands…made a splendid holding for our trustees of public Reservations,” he later wrote, “and on [this] achievement we could, I thought, fairly afford to rest.” But soon after, a politically-motivated move in Augusta to annul the trustees’ charter made Dorr realize “on how unstable a base our Reservations rested.” So he devoted himself over the next two years to forging partnerships in Maine and Washington D.C., strategizing, and inspiring support for the permanent protection of this magnificent landscape through federal designation—first as a national monument and ultimately as Acadia National Park.
A century later, we at Friends of Acadia find ourselves with achievements on which we might also be tempted to rest. Acadia’s trails and carriage roads are endowed for their maintenance (see page 3), the Wild Gardens of Acadia’s new relationship with the park and FOA is promoting exciting work there (page 5), the propane-powered Island explorer bus system has a permanent home (page 8), and is a proven success in relieving vehicular congestion in and around the park and reducing fossil fuel air pollution. A major 2012 achievement, after many years of work, is the thrilling news that a 1,400-acre tract of private land adjacent to the park’s Schoodic holdings will soon have a permanent conservation easement (page 9). And, as in past years, our thousands of members and volunteers gave generously of their time and personal resources toward this national treasure’s well-being. 2012 was by all measures a banner year for FOA’s mission and programs.
But we cannot stop here. As Acadia prepares for its second century, we face challenges including: 1) how to both do more with less and find ways to generate new revenue at a time when federal funding is uncertain, 2) how to protect resources in the face of a changing climate, 3) the need to inspire youth engagement in the parks, and 4) the need to balance protection of the park with its increasing use by a growing population. In 2012 we worked toward positioning Friends of Acadia both to help the park with immediate stress points as well as to realize our longer-term strategic vision, and ensuring that FOA adds unique value to Acadia and the surrounding communities.
As we look ahead to Acadia national park’s centennial celebration in 2016, we are deeply grateful for the generous support and dedicated involvement of our members and donors.
With thanks and appreciation,
Edward L. Samek, Chairman of the Board
David R. MacDonald, President and CEO