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Spring 2014 Updates

Friends of Acadia President David MacDonald, 2014 Park Pass Art Contest winner Jacob Legutko, and Acadia National Park Revenue and Fee Business Manager Ryan McKelvey (left to right).

Friends of Acadia President David MacDonald, 2014 Park Pass Art Contest winner Jacob Legutko, and Acadia National Park Revenue and Fee Business Manager Ryan McKelvey (left to right).

Acadia Park Pass Art Contest  

Every year, Acadia National Park sponsors a contest among local schoolchildren to create the artwork for the park’s annual entrance pass, with Friends of Acadia providing a $50 prize for the winner. This year, Mount Desert Elementary School eighth grader Jacob Legutko’s iconic drawing of the Porcupine Islands was selected from among hundreds of entries to adorn the park’s new wallet cards, which will replace the window decals used in past years. ANP revenue and fee business manager Ryan McKelvey and FOA president David MacDonald made the award presentation on February 4th at Mount Desert Elementary School.

McKelvey says that as many as 8,000 park visitors will purchase the annual pass with Legutko’s drawing on it. In addition, he notes that the park hopes to display artwork from some of the contest finalists at Acadia’s Bar Harbor Village Green Information Center this summer.

 Be an Acadia Centennial Partner 

Do you represent a business, agency, or nonprofit organization that might want to help celebrate and support Acadia’s Centennial Celebration in 2016? The Acadia Centennial Task Force would like to know about you. Almost forty organizations including schools, museums, libraries, and other nonprofits—such as the Jackson Laboratory, the Maine Community Foundation, the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, and Schoodic Arts for All— have signed on to be Acadia Centennial Partners. The guidelines for what it takes to become a partner will soon be available. They will include a commitment to produce a program, event, product or affirmation that celebrates the partner’s relationship to Acadia and that ties to the theme of “Acadia’s Centennial: Celebrate our Past! Inspire Our Future!” You don’t have to be located in the region to be a partner. For more information, contact Stephanie Clement at stephanie@friendsofacadia.org.

 Acadia Winter Trails 

The Acadia Winter Trails Association (AWTA) volunteers worked hard this winter to keep Acadia’s carriage roads groomed for traditional cross-country skiers and skate skiers. One volunteer, Mark Fernald, had logged an incredible 98 hours of grooming time by the end of March. Cold late winter temperatures helped prolong the snowpack, and skiing opportunities lasted until late March. A challenge this year was aging equipment; at least two of the snowmobiles required major maintenance repairs. Friends of Acadia owes great thanks to Alan Farnsworth and the Acadia National Park maintenance team for keeping the snowmobiles and grooming equipment in operation, as well as to the family of Leila Bright for the endowment that helps support the program. If you enjoyed skiing this winter and would like to make a contribution to the effort, please contact the Friends of Acadia offices at 207-288- 3340.

 Canon U.S.A. Renews Partnership for Wild Acadia 

In January, Canon U.S.A. renewed its commitment to Friends of Acadia’s Wild Acadia program, pledging $150,000 in 2014 to support restoration, research, and outreach initiatives in and around Acadia National Park. This is the second year of partnership with Canon for conservation projects in the park. The grant enables FOA and Acadia National Park to hire experts to better manage invasive plants in the park, revolutionize water quality monitoring at Jordan Pond, and use digital video and photography to share conservation events and programs with a broad audience. New for this year’s program is a greater role for the Acadia Youth Technology Team in natural resource protection efforts in Acadia. The ultimate goal of Wild Acadia is to ensure that the park’s natural resources are protected for today’s visitors and the many millions who will visit in the years to come.

 Spring Events 

ACADIA QUEST 2014

The classic experiential scavenger hunt returns! What better way for kids and families to explore Acadia together than through the fun and varied challenges of the Acadia Quest. For 2014, teams will “collect” experiences on Acadia’s trails, carriage roads, water bodies, and unique destinations to complete the Quest, earn their Quest badge, and be entered in the grand prize drawing the first weekend in November. Some new surprises are in store for veteran Questers, and challenges for all ages and ability levels.

Acadia Quest registration will open in May. Visit the Friends of Acadia website then for details and to register. Teams can register any time throughout the season—we’ll see you out on the Quest!

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY

Come celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 7th, 2014 with the inauguration of the Quarry Path and Otter Cove Trail, connecting Blackwoods Campground with Ocean Drive and the Ocean Path through Otter Cove. Construction of these trails was funded in part through Friends of Acadia’s Acadia Trails Forever endowment. The Acadia Youth Conservation Corps and many Friends of Acadia volunteers helped National Park Service crews build them.

On June 7th, trail enthusiasts will meet for coffee and breakfast snacks at 8:30 a.m. at Fabbri Picnic Area. Around 8:55, the group will move toward Otter Cove Causeway for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A trail work project is also planned that morning following the ribbon cutting for those who are interested. This is a free event but pre-registration is requested for planning purposes. To register, contact Stephanie Clement at 207-288-3340 or stephanie@ friendsofacadia.org, or register online at www.friendsofacadia.org.

WILD GARDENS OF ACADIA PLANT SALE

The Wild Gardens of Acadia benefit plant sale will be held on Saturday, June 14th at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church on Mount Desert Street in Bar Harbor. The sale is the largest fundraising event for the gardens each year, helping to support maintenance, internships, and educational activities. If you are looking for perennials, annuals, vegetable seedlings, or special plants to help fill in those holes in your garden, come by St. Saviour’s between 9 a.m. and noon on June 14th. Your purchases will help ensure that thousands of Acadia’s visitors will be able to learn about Acadia’s native plants in habitats representing those found in the park. For more information, contact Stephanie Clement at 207-288-3340 or stephanie@friendsofacadia.org.

Montana and North Dakota Are Missing! 

If you have friends or family in Montana or North Dakota, please encourage them to become members of Friends of Acadia, or consider a gift membership for their next special occasion. Their membership will extend our base of support to all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.

At the end of 2013 Friends of Acadia had 3,725 members—a record in FOA’s history. In addition to representing nearly every state in the US, members live in 14 foreign countries: Australia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Federated States of Micronesia, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. About a quarter of FOA members have year-round residences in Maine. Fifteen percent of members live in Massachusetts, 10% in New York, and 9% in Pennsylvania.

Gift memberships start at $40. The benefits that will accompany your gift include a year’s subscription to the Friends of Acadia Journal and a packet of six full-color “Greetings from the Heart of Acadia” note cards, produced especially for Friends of Acadia. To order a gift membership, please visit our secure online donation pages at www.friendsofacdia.org or call Sharon Broom, FOA development officer, at 800- 625-0321.

 News of Friends 

NEW FRIENDS ON THE BOARD

The Friends of Acadia Board of Directors elected three new members at its November 2013 meeting: Chris Fogg, Jill Goldthwait, and Jan Kärst.

Chris Fogg is the executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since 2006. Before coming to Bar Harbor, Chris had more than 20 years of diverse travel and tourism experience, most recently as vice president of travel and tourism for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and president of the Vermont Attractions Association, where he lead the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s lobbying efforts on travel, tourism, and transportation issues. Chris is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a degree in tourism management. He currently serves on the Board of Downeast and Acadia Regional Tourism, the Bar Harbor Cruise Ship Committee, and the Hub of Bar Harbor. He lives in Trenton with his wife Erin (herself a former FOA staff member) and sons.

Jill Goldthwait grew up in New Jersey, graduated from the University of New Hampshire, and obtained a degree in nursing from Cabrillo College in California. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga, she moved to Maine in 1978 and worked as an emergency room nurse at Mount Desert Island Hospital. Jill served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for 9 years prior to serving in the Maine Senate, from 1994-2002. In 2012, she retired from her position as director of government affairs at The Jackson Laboratory, a position she held for nine years. Jill writes a weekly political column for the Ellsworth American and the Mount Desert Islander, and serves on the board of the Maine Seacoast Mission and Educate Maine. She and her husband Sheldon live on Mount Desert Island. Jill decided to serve on the Friends of Acadia Board because “I spend a lot of time in the park. I’m happy to lend a hand to Acadia and its future.”

Jan F. Kärst was born and raised in Cologne, Germany. He studied economics at University of Konstanz (Germany), and graduated with a degree in economics from Colorado College and an MBA from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Jan moved to New York in 1987 to work with W.P. Carey & Co., a real estate investment trust, and in 2003 he became a founding partner of W. P. Carey International LLC. He serves on the boards of the Carey Center for Global Good and Friends of Atlantik- Brücke, both located in New York. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Hilary and three young children. They are in the process of building a seasonal home in Seal Harbor. Says Jan, “Hilary and I have spent our summers on Mount Desert Island for the last thirteen years. I consider it a privilege to enjoy the park no matter the time of the day—either for a morning hike or bike ride, or boat trip to Schoodic, or a late night trip to the top of Cadillac with my family in tow with sleeping bags to look at the stars. This natural beauty deserves not only our respect, but also our strong sense of fiduciary duty to act as its ambassadors in order to preserve the park for the generations to come.”

FOND FAREWELLS

Longtime staff member Terry Begley stepped down at the end of January, after more than 18 years of service to Friends of Acadia. In that time, Terry took on nearly every aspect of this organization’s work, from administrative and office work, to fundraising, to coordinating projects and events. Terry has connected thousands of kids and volunteers with Acadia and left her imprint on many wonderful trails, programs, and events here over the years. Last year’s dedication of the Trenton Community Trail is just the latest example of a project that simply would not have been possible without her dedication. All of us at Friends of Acadia wish her the very best in her new adventures.

Len Bobinchock, Acadia’s deputy superintendent for the past 25 years, retired at the end of March. Len had been with the National Park Service for 43 years, and served as acting superintendent of Acadia on three different occasions. In 2006, the Department of Interior awarded Len its Meritorious Service Award, and in 2008 Friends of Acadia awarded him the Marianne Edwards Award for Distinguished Service, citing among other things his “balance, judgment, and unflappable good humor.”

Acadia Superintendent Sheridan Steele has said about Len’s service, “For 25 years, Len has been involved in virtually everything the park has been involved in. We’ve made great progress because of Len’s ability to handle daily operations in such an exceptional way.” In an interview on WNSX radio, Len cited Acadia’s great relationship with Friends of Acadia as one of the achievements of which he is most proud. Thanks, Len—you should be proud, indeed.

IN MEMORIAM

Dr. Robert (Bob) Massucco Sr. died peacefully on January 21, 2014, at his home in Somesville, and with him passed a significant chapter of Acadia’s winter trails history. Bob was the original Acadia groomer. In the 1980s he started grooming the carriage roads for cross-country skiing, first dragging a bedspring behind his own snowmobile to pack down the snow then setting tracks with a homemade contraption built of two-by lumber and metal guides. Bob assisted with the establishment of the Acadia Winter Trails Association and continued to groom with the group for many years. His input on equipment and technique was invaluable, and his passion for cross-country skiing was legendary. After seeing dental patients all day, Bob would clear trails late into the evening. After the biggest winddriven snowstorms, Bob recalled, he would use his chainsaw to cut through fallen trees and even through snowdrifts to get up the carriage road on the east flank of Penobscot Mountain.

Bob Massucco’s legacy can be seen in the parked cars overflowing Acadia’s carriage road lots on sunny winter weekends, in the growing popularity of skate skiing (which generally requires groomed trails) in the area, and in the enthusiasm of winter trails volunteers who can’t wait for the season’s first snowfall. All at Friends of Acadia will remember, with awe, Bob’s contributions to the wintertime enjoyment of Acadia’s carriage roads.