In some traditions, February’s full moon is known as the “snow moon.” That certainly is true in Acadia just now! Blanketed in some 50 inches of snow from four record-setting snowstorms, the park is a true winter wonderland. With continuing cold and more inches in the 10-day forecast, now is the time for a weekend outside in Acadia (if you live nearby) or a weekend trip to Acadia (if that’s on your winter to-do list).
So it’s no surprise that we’re thinking about snow-based activities—especially the cross-country ski trails on Acadia’s historic carriage roads. With an enthusiastic group of volunteer groomers, and maintenance and fuel funded by Friends of Acadia’s Elizabeth R. (Leila) Bright Endowment, the carriage roads are an amazing way to experience the park’s sparkling wintertime beauty. But the volunteers are hard-pressed to manage heavy snowfalls—if you love skiing in Acadia, read below for an opportunity to help them make skiing more enjoyable for all.
Indoors where it’s warm, there’s plenty happening as well. This E-News tells some of what’s going on this month at Friends of Acadia and Acadia National Park—curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and enjoy!
Acadia Centennial Website: Friends of Acadia, together with the Acadia Centennial Task Force, is excited to announce the launch of a new website to celebrate and promote the yearlong 2016 celebration of the founding of Acadia. Found at www.acadiacentennial2016.org, the site features historical and visitor information about the park, information for organizations and individuals wishing to get involved in the celebration, media resources including an image library of historical and scenic photos, a secure donation platform to for gifts in support of centennial projects in Acadia, a timeline of the history and pre-history of Acadia, and listings of those already involved, the Acadia Centennial Partners (ACPs). A second phase of the site, due to launch in June 2015, will add a searchable event calendar for centennial events and a searchable listing of official centennial merchandise and services.
Our thanks to the Maine Community Foundation and Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, whose support helped make the centennial website possible.
Acadia Winter Trails: Are you loving the record-breaking snow on Acadia’s carriage roads this winter? Do you want to celebrate the good work the volunteer groomers do to make skiing in Acadia enjoyable for all? If so, please make a donation to support their efforts and help secure needed equipment upgrades, for more efficient grooming, which leads to more time on skis!
The Acadia Winter Trails Association’s (AWTA) volunteer groomers have matched the intensity of the snowfall with their dedication to grooming. A group of 11 volunteers have already put in 180 hours this season (as of this morning!). On average, one loop takes 5 hours to pack and track for skiing. To complete an entire section (either Hulls Cove Visitor Center or Brown Mountain Gatehouse) takes approximately 10 to 15 hours to groom, with 20 to 30 hours needed after a storm.
The Leila Bright Endowment includes an equipment fund, which purchased new snowmobiles and other equipment in recent years. These new machines are performing beautifully! Unfortunately, the older equipment can’t keep up with this heavy snow and we need to supplement the equipment fund to upgrade. The family of Leila Bright took the program to a new level. Now, with so much visitor use and a great cadre of groomers, we are ready to take another schuss forward!
Donate online now or pick up an AWTA envelope at a trailhead the next time you ski. Please include “AWTA Equipment Fund” in the comment line.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend: Join an Acadia National Park Ranger on Friday, February 13 for Tic Tac Snow, a Winter Treasure Hunt, to discover signs of the season. Take a close look at plants, water, and animal life. After the ranger program, Camp Beech Cliff will host a free campfire with s’mores. For ages 3 to 6 and their caregivers.
“Tic Tac Snow” will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. at Camp Beech Cliff, 264 Beech Hill Road in Mount Desert. Meet at the Eagle’s Nest gymnasium 15 minutes prior to the program. Please come prepared for snow and cold weather to enjoy the outside activities. If you have questions, contact Cynthia at 207-288-8812 or Cynthia_ocel@nps.gov. Groups of 6 or more, please call in advance to reserve your space.
This event is part of the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. Friends of Acadia has been pleased to be a part of the Maine Outdoor Coalition since the event’s inception in 2012.
Bid on a Richard Estes Tour and Tea: We will be offering to the highest bidder a private tour for four with guest curator Patterson Sims of the upcoming Richard Estes exhibit at NYC’s Museum of Art and Design (MAD). Estes is a world-renowned photorealist painter and longtime Friends of Acadia member. In addition to the tour, tea with Patterson and Richard at Maison Kayser will be included, at which the winning bidders can continue their discussions of photorealism, painting, and Acadia National Park. The tour and tea will be available at a mutually convenient time between March 10 and April 30, 2015.
Bidding starts at $1,000. Bidding will close at Noon EST, Monday, March 9, 2015. To place a bid, please contact Lisa Horsch Clark at email@example.com or 207-288-3340 or return a completed absentee bid form by fax to 207-288-8938. Bidding is open to all who are interested. [“Sand Beach” painting courtesy of Richard Estes]
FOA on the Hill: Friends of Acadia President David MacDonald joined Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele and a group of FOA volunteers and members in Washington, D.C. last month. They visited each member of Maine’s Congressional delegation to share information about funding and legislation affecting Acadia, receiving a warm reception. Says MacDonald, “Maine’s legislators understand what Acadia adds to our state’s economy and quality of life, and I think they appreciate having up-to-date information and insights to help them work toward legislation that will benefit the park.”
The Senators and Representatives also noted how important it is for them to hear from constituents about their support for parks. If you would like to be more active in receiving information on how to be in touch with federal and state lawmakers through Friends of Acadia’s Advocacy Network, please sign up on our website.
“Only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” —Ruth Stout
Header Photo: New snow, groomed trail at Eagle Lake. Friends of Acadia photograph by Aimee Beal Church.