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Giving Tuesday icons for Friends of Acadia
Dear Friends:

As we approach our national day for giving thanks, we at Friends of Acadia are grateful for all of the members, volunteers, partners, and other supporters who make our work in Acadia National Park possible. We’re proud to have earned the confidence of so many people and organizations, who know that we can get the job done when it comes to vital conservation projects in and around the park. And of course, we give thanks for Acadia itself—this magnificent place that provides us with beauty, recreation, and inspiration on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year.

This November E-News has this theme of thanks running throughout it. Thank you for reading!

Sand Beach: donate to vote!#GivingTuesday: What’s your favorite “iconic Acadia” place?  Do you cherish summer days at Sand Beach with family? Can’t get enough of the popovers at Jordan Pond? Have you made it to the Cadillac Summit to see a sunrise, or Bass Harbor Head Light for a sunset? Do you love to hear the boom of storm surf at Thunder Hole, or prefer the waves rolling in at Schoodic Point?

Acadia gives us so much. That’s why “giving back” is such an important message in Friends of Acadia’s work. And now there’s a global day for giving back: the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (December 2 this year) is the internet-powered holiday of #GivingTuesday. Celebrate Acadia’s generosity and give back to the park by donating to cast a vote for your favorite “iconic Acadia” spot—choose from Bass Harbor Head Light, Cadillac Summit, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach, Schoodic Point, or Thunder Hole. The winning place will be posted online on December 3. We hope it will be a fun way to help make a difference for your favorite Acadia icon…and all of Acadia National Park! Learn more here—then mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 2!

Island Explorer’s Record Year: By several metrics, 2014 was a record year for the Island Explorer. Starting with the cumulative milestone of 5 million passengers, reached in June, Acadia’s innovative partnership bus system—still fare-free and propane-powered in its 15th year—hit marker after marker throughout the season. Two 8,000-passenger days in July, the earliest date to surpass 300,000 riders in a season, the first-ever 9,000-passenger day…and to top it off, the Island Explorer ended its season in October having carried more than half a million passengers in and around Acadia National Park this year, for the first time ever.

That’s a testament to the popularity and effectiveness of those white, blue, and green buses, and a testament to the commitment of Acadia’s visitors and area residents to reducing automobile traffic at the National Park System’s most densely visited park. Congratulations to our great partners at Downeast Transportation for their amazing achievements, and thanks to everyone who hopped on the bus this year.

Volunteers raking on the Day Mountain carriage roadTaking Pride in Acadia: Some 350 volunteers showed up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 1,to rake leaves, clear drainways, and help prepare Acadia’s historic carriage road system for winter. Together they raked 9 ½ miles of carriage roads in 21 locations, just a day before the season’s first snowstorm hit the Acadia region! Approximately half the volunteers were young people from schools including College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine, Husson College, and Mount Desert Island High School, as well as scouting groups and other youth groups. Other participants include a corps of stewardship volunteers who have been coming to the event for many years, plus a number of retired ANP staff. The event also involves staff from every division of Acadia National Park.

We’re thankful to all who made the day a success, including the business donors who contributed transportation, funding, and cake. A list of event sponsors and in-kind donors can be found on the FOA website. Photos from the day are at

Gift Memberships for the Holidays: Is there someone on your gift list who doesn’t need any more stuff? Share Acadia with your loved ones and friends this year, with a Friends of Acadia gift membership. A $40 gift package includes a lovely set of six Acadia-themed notecards, along with three issues of the Friends of Acadia Journal, acknowledgement in our “New Members” list, and the pleasure of being a part of protecting Acadia’s magnificent hiking trails, carriage roads, coastlines, mountaintops, and everything in between. Give now »

Pair a gift membership with an Acadia National Park Annual Pass for an extra-thoughtful gift! Park passes are available at the Acadia Winter Visitor Center on the Eagle Lake Road in Bar Harbor, and select locations in the month of December. Call 207-288-3338 for a list of locations. Plus, in-person purchasers can take advantage of Acadia’s December half-price sale and pay only $20 for a pass good through December 2015.

Early snow has us thinking ski

Two snowstorms in November have us thinking about skiing on Acadia’s carriage trails. Volunteers won’t be able to groom until the road bed is fully frozen, but that shouldn’t stop enthusiasts from breaking trails on their own when the snows fly. If you go out, take a moment to report on conditions on our Facebook page. Skiing in Acadia is a community effort, and Acadia’s skiing community will thank you.

Recently in Cobblestones

Acadia’s starry skies, Tales from the top of Acadia, Autumn questions in the Wild Gardens, and the Jordan Pond buoy goes online. Read  Cobblestones, the Friends of Acadia blog, for an inside look at Acadia National Park and the great work that Friends of Acadia staff and volunteers are doing to care for this remarkable place. Thanks to all of our terrific blog writers in 2014!

“If you are grateful for what you have, then Mother Nature will give you more.”
—Yogi Bhajan

Header Photo: Friends of Acadia’s “iconic Acadia” icons for #Giving Tuesday.