Fostering Safe Connections to Acadia
STAYING CONNECTED DURING COVID-19. In a year that challenged all of us, Friends of Acadia helped the park meet its mission of preserving Acadia while keeping visitors safe. Friends of Acadia also helped those who couldn’t travel during COVID stay connected through vivid imagery from the Acadia Digital Media Team and adaptation of the Friends of Acadia Benefit and Annual Meeting to virtual events.
ACADIA RESILIENCE FUND. Friends raised over $300,000 for the Acadia Resilience Fund, enabling Acadia National Park to hire a Visual Information Specialist and acquire equipment to conduct virtual educational programming for students and others when they couldn’t visit in person.
RESERVATION SYSTEM PILOT. Friends of Acadia helped Acadia National Park plan and engineer the site improvements and safety plans needed for the reservation test at Cadillac Mountain and the Sand Beach entrance.
VISITOR USE MONITORING. Friends of Acadia staff helped gather data on trail usage, traffic counts, and reservation system statistics, including parking turnover, spill-over into other park destinations, and visitor experience.
A COMPREHENSIVE ACCESSIBILITY STUDY was launched as part of an effort to improve access at the park for people with disabilities.
Trails & Carriage Roads
JORDAN POND BOGWALK. Friends of Acadia’s stewardship team and volunteer crew leaders completed reconstruction of the 4,066-ft bogwalk ahead of schedule. The rebuild, which began in 2016, made the trail safer and more beneficial to the fragile lakeside ecosystem.
TAKE PRIDE IN ACADIA DAY. 165 volunteers from 17 groups participated in the 30th annual Take Pride in Acadia Day. In socially-distanced and COVID-safe ways, crews worked on over 12 miles of the carriage roads.
SUMMIT STEWARDS contacted more than 20,000 visitors through informal encounters, trailhead posters, and visitor activities in Acadia, and educated 11,156 individuals about Leave No Trace. They also repaired 948 cairns and dismantled 735 visitor-built rock stacks.
INVASIVE PLANT MANAGEMENT TEAM. Friends of Acadia’s support helped the park begin the removal of glossy buckthorn in a 14-acre stand at the Bass Harbor Marsh and monitor biodiversity before and after implementation.
MARSHALL BROOK CULVERT REPLACED. Friends of Acadia helped the town of Southwest Harbor replace an undersized culvert in the Marshall Brook watershed with a larger, climate-adaptive structure that will accommodate greater runoff flow and connectivity for wildlife.
ACADIA TEACHER FELLOW & TEACHER COLLABORATORY. Education Rangers partnered with local teachers to develop curricula that integrates outdoor and nature-based education in area schools.
OUTDOOR CLASSROOM GRANTS were made to six outdoor classrooms at public schools surrounding Acadia, enabling them to provide safe outdoor spaces for students to connect with the park and associated ecosystems.
NATURE STUDY KITS. 2,500 Nature Kits were distributed to all K-8 grade students in surrounding communities to assist families and schools in outdoor discovery during COVID.
GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOORS ACT PASSED. Friends of Acadia supported the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which will provide federal funding for park infrastructure maintenance and land acquisition.
By the Numbers*
Raised for Acadia Resilience Fund: $316,785
Grants to the park & communities: $34 million since 1986; $1.04 million in 2020
Dedicated volunteer hours: 3,790, Valued at $91,756
Publications: Acadia Magazine (quarterly), Annual Report (July), E-News (monthly), www.friendsofacadia.org
Facebook & Instagram followers: 40,000 & growing
* as of December 31, 2020