2016 Friends of Acadia Annual Report
Change at Acadia is perpetual—but also relative. Fortunately we’ll never experience upheaval like these lands did 420 million years ago, when volcanoes created the park’s pink granite and confetti-like “shatterzone” rock. Nor will we see the tremendous glacial abrasion that shaped Acadia’s lovely mountains and valleys. That said, Acadia experienced a lot of change in 2015, with the retirement of park superintendent Sheridan Steele, the gift of the Schoodic Woods property and campground to the park, and the number of visitors leaping upward—within a context of greater changes caused by climate instability and shifting cultural and economic forces, even as Acadia celebrates its centennial.
And then what? If you peel yourself from Sargent’s sun-baked ledges and head down toward Gilmore Peak, was Sargent the destination—or a starting point for another great hike? With 2016 behind us, we can feel this shift: Acadia’s centennial year wasn’t the ending point after all, but the beginning of the next big journey.
Not to downplay the importance of 2016. Between the beyond-all-expectations success of the Acadia Centennial celebration and the tremendous response to our Second Century Campaign, which passed the $25 million goal in the final days of December, Friends of Acadia couldn’t be better equipped for what lies ahead. In particular, the great people we had the privilege of working with last year means more friends for Acadia, bringing more skills, more ideas, and more enthusiasm to help solve the park’s most pressing and significant challenges.
Interest in Acadia and our national parks is at an all-time high, for better and for worse. Record visitation, overloaded parking lots, hikers wandering off-trail to find their own peaceful corner of Acadia—we can see these examples as problems, or view them as indications of how much people love this very special place on the coast of Maine.
Fortunately, 2016 has given us the tools and investment needed to turn perceived threats into positive outcomes for our beloved park. With thanks to our members, donors, and volunteers—and as described in the following pages—Friends of Acadia ended the year on solid ground, fiscally and organizationally. Thank you for being part of the solution, and for joining us on the exciting journey ahead.
Edward L. Samek, Chairman of the Board
David R. MacDonald, President and CEO