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Summer 2015 E-News


Frog at the Wild Gardens of Acadia
Dear Friends:

It’s mid-August, and though Bar Harbor crowds and Cadillac Mountain congestion sometimes make headlines, the peace and tranquility of Acadia still surround us in so many settings and in so many ways. Water lilies are blooming, the blueberries are ripe, the Precipice Trail has reopened, and summer nights are perfect for stargazing.

Just as in the park, the pace at the FOA office quickens during this season. We have many events and activities that complement our mission of preserving and protecting Acadia. Our largest event, The Friends of Acadia Annual Benefit, concludes this week with online bidding for select items ending this afternoon, Thursday, August 20. You can view the items up for auction here. You can also be a part of the Benefit by watching our video about vista restoration on Acadia’s motor and carriage roads. When the roads were designed by John D. Rockefeller Jr., they featured scenic vistas that afforded views from picturesque to outright stunning—showcasing the mountains, ocean, beaches, streams, and forests of Acadia. Today, many of the vistas are overgrown, with trees and shrubs obstructing the views and compromising this rich cultural resource. You can contribute to their restoration and ongoing maintenance; just select the designation “Vista Restoration and Maintenance” on the donation form.

Whether relaxing (like the frog pictured above) in the shade at the Wild Gardens of Acadia, breathing in the ocean air on a breezy granite mountaintop, or just taking in the view from one of the park’s 300+ vistas, we hope you are able to find a quiet escape outside the hustle and bustle of summer and take a moment to appreciate the beauty and liveliness of all that surrounds you.

Sheridan Steele Saluting an Outstanding Leader and Friend: Our longtime partner and friend at Acadia National Park, Superintendent Sheridan Steele, who has guided the park for more than twelve years, will be retiring this fall. Says Friends of Acadia President David MacDonald, “Sheridan’s leadership at Acadia over the past twelve years has been extraordinary. He has brought a very rare combination of big, bold vision as well as focus and determination to get things done. He has been the best friend and partner that an organization like ours could have—fully committed to the worthy goals of the Park Service, but also very attuned to the importance of the surrounding communities to Acadia’s history and success. He will be missed—but his many contributions to Acadia and FOA will continue to grow and resonate for many, many years.”

David’s full comments and appreciations appear in the Summer 2015 Friends of Acadia Journal. From all of us at Friends of Acadia: Thank you, Sheridan! 

2015 Summer JournalSummer 2015 Journal Online: The newest Friends of Acadia Journal is on its way to mailboxes around the country—but you can read it now in PDF format online. Read articles about tracking birds, new roadside exhibits, Mr. Dorr’s wanderings, subalpine trailwork, car-free Acadia, and more. We’ll be featuring selected articles online in the coming weeks; keep an eye on our Facebook page.

The Journal cover features a photo of waves crashing against the rocks at Great Head by FOA photographer-at-large Tom Blagden. Enjoy! Read the Journal here»

Celebrating Starry Skies: The 7th Annual Acadia Night Sky Festival—one of the premier night sky events on the eastern seaboard—is set for September 10 through 14, 2015, and is already packed with a full schedule of events. The festival keynote speaker is Dr. John A. Grant III, a geologist for the Mars Exploration Rovers since 2002. With workshops, internationally recognized speakers, and hands-on experiences, there truly is something for everyone from families to the serious amateur astronomer. Visit the festival website here »

Charity Navigator Four Star RatingFour Stars for FOA! Friends of Acadia has once again achieved Charity Navigator’s top rating of four stars. Charity Navigator rates charities by evaluating their financial health, their accountability and transparency, and other factors.

The 4-star rating provides members and potential donors additional assurance that Friends of Acadia is a “sound investment” in good works for Acadia. View Charity Navigator’s report on Friends of Acadia here »

Acadia at 99: FOA President David MacDonald recently spoke in Southwest Harbor as part of the annual Claremont Concert and Lecture Series, discussing the challenges facing Acadia including transportation infrastructure, bureaucracy, funding, and climate change. Listen to the speech here »


How Do You Get Around in Acadia?  

Acadia National Park is collecting public input for a multi-year planning effort to address many of the transportation and visitor use issues within the park. Click here to submit your thoughts about transportation in Acadia, through September 16, 2015.

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Header Photo: Northern green frog at the Wild Gardens of Acadia. Friends of Acadia photo by Julia Walker Thomas.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Confucius