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2018 Accomplishments

Trails & Carriage Roads

  • Funded National Park Service carriage road crews and contractors who opened up four historic vistas, repaired joint mortar on four carriage road bridges, and completed overhead cutting on 8.5 miles of the carriage roads.
  • Sustained Acadia’s trails by helping the park rehabilitate important sections of the Beech Mountain trails, the Gorham Mountain Trail, the Kane Path, the Seaside Path, the Valley Cove Trail, and the Bubble and Jordan Ponds Path, including the re-construction of a northward spur from the intersection with the Canon Brook Trail.
  • Grew the capacity of FOA’s volunteer programs by hiring a full-time Stewardship Coordinator who expanded regular volunteer programs to the trail system at Schoodic and enabled more than 1,200 individuals to contribute 9,887 hours maintaining Acadia’s trails and carriage roads.

Tomorrow’s Stewards

  • Employed a team of nine Summit Stewards who contacted 29,096 visitors on the trails and on Cadillac Mountain, repaired 840 cairns, assisted with 15 Search and Rescue operations, and helped manage the closure of the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road 50 times due to automobile congestion or accidents.
  • Fostered the next generation of park stewards by funding a workshop for four local elementary schools to work with the National Park Service, the Acadia Teacher Fellows, and the MDI Regional School System to plan outdoor classrooms and develop associated curricula.
  • Encouraged public connection to Acadia National Park through the work of the Acadia Youth Technology Team (AYTT) who captured high-quality photography and videography with equipment donated by Canon USA. The AYTT helped Acadia National Park attract 120,000 new Instagram followers and more than 500,000 weekly views.

Wild Acadia

  • Protected Acadia’s native forests and habitats by funding the work of Acadia’s Exotic Plant Management Team who surveyed 1,149 acres of the park, treated 27 invasive plant species, such as Norway maple and glossy buckthorn, at 99 sites across Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Peninsula, and surrounding islands.
  • Increased public understanding and discussion about the causes, impacts, and anticipated frequency of unusual weather events, such as the dramatic flooding and freezing in the Great Meadow.
  • Contributed to the long-term data record about Acadia’s water resources by funding stream flow and water quality monitoring at seven sites in the park, supporting water level monitoring in the Great Meadow, and funding the Jordan Pond buoy that provides a continuous stream of water quality data from April to November.

Preserve & Protect

  • Encouraged public dialogue about Acadia’s Draft Transportation Plan through social media and information sessions at area libraries, and broadly shared FOA’s support for the draft concepts of the plan.
  • Provided testimony to Congress in support of legislation that would direct new funding to address the National Park Service backlog of deferred maintenance projects, estimated at $65.8M in FY2018 at Acadia.
  • Testified against a proposal by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to remove most of the state from interstate partnerships to control air pollutant emissions that contribute to smog in Maine.
  • Supported two Recreation Technician positions to help the park maintain a comprehensive visitor use monitoring and management program through tracking trail usage, downloading data from automobile traffic counters, analyzing bike/pedestrian usage at Schoodic, surveying public opinion about the visitor experience, and updating visitation calculations.


An Island Explorer bus on the Park Loop Road1991–1996: Raised $3.4 million endowment to maintain the park’s 44-mile carriage road system in perpetuity

1997: Led negotiations to avert a clear-cut on 1,600 acres adjacent to the park’s Schoodic District

1998: Achieved, with the park, a first-in-nation jetski ban on all ponds inside a national park

1999: Co-developed and co-funded the fare-free, propane-powered Island Explorer bus system

1999–2001: Raised $13 million for Acadia Trails Forever, making Acadia the first national park with an endowed trail system

2002: Obtained $1 million from L.L.Bean to support the Island Explorer; subsequent renewals brought total L.L.Bean funding to $4.5 million

2007: Purchased and protected 25 acres on Acadia Mountain, threatened by development
2010: Successfully lobbied the Maine legislature to limit open carry of firearms in Acadia

2011: Celebrated Friends of Acadia’s 25th Anniversary with a grant to pilot the Acadia Youth Technology Team

2012: Inaugurated the first phase of Acadia Gateway Center in Trenton, giving the Island Explorer bus fleet a permanent home maintenance and administration facility

2013: Completed the Duck Brook Connector Trail, fulfilling the original Acadia Trails Forever goal of establishing five village connector trails

2013: Helped realize permanent protection for the 1,400 acres of intact forest and wetland of Schoodic Woods

2015: Marked the 25th anniversary of Take Pride in Acadia Day, Friends of Acadia’s most critical stewardship event

2016: Matched a Centennial Challenge Grant that provided funding to bring 1,461 students and their teachers to Acadia for ranger-led boat excursions

2016: Provided leadership and support for the Acadia Centennial, joining with 453 Acadia Centennial Partners to collectively host more than 150 events and create more than 125 Centennial products

2016: Completed a $26.5-million campaign to launch Acadia into its second century

2018: Raised $388,810 to help facilitate the transfer of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse to the park and make needed repairs and renovations to the structure

By the Numbers*

Number of members: 4,806
Grants to the park and communities since 1986: $30.2 million
Island Explorer ridership since 1999: 7.8 million
Number of full-time staff: 15
Endowments and other investments: $48.4 million
Annual operating budget: $4.4 million
Publications: Friends of Acadia Journal (3 issues annually), Annual Report, E-News (11 issues annually),

* as of December 31, 2018

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