Celebrating Accomplishments & Honoring Members at Annual Meeting
July 6th, 2023
July 6th, 2023
The celebratory spirit abounded during last night’s Friends of Acadia Annual Meeting.
More than 300 ‘friends’ of Acadia National Park gathered for Friends of Acadia’s 2023 Annual Meeting at the Bar Harbor Club to celebrate Friends of Acadia’s impact for the park and recognize stand-out community members for their service to the organization and Acadia.
As luck would have it, late afternoon thunderstorms moved on while the meeting was underway, allowing guests to connect and catch up on the patio following the meeting.
The meeting began with opening remarks from Friends of Acadia Board Chair Jack Kelley and President and CEO Eric Stiles.
Stephanie Clement, Vice President of Conservation, recapped a year of robust work in Acadia National Park, including these 2022 achievements:
Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider shared goals for the park’s future and the exceptional relationship between Friend of Acadia and Acadia National Park.
Three awards were given this year to community members or groups whose work and dedication to Friends of Acadia and the park deserve recognition.
Local Girl Scout Troop 760 received the Excellence in Volunteerism Award for their many hours spent picking up trash at Friends of Acadia’s Earth Day Roadside Cleanup, and raking leaves from Acadia’s carriage roads in all types of weather at Take Pride in Acadia Day. A, and for serving as excellent role models for a new generation of park stewards. Troop members Rose Hear, Nahia Marcial, Erin Murphy, Ruby Pagan, Ellen Rand, Rebecca Rand, Sydney Schneider, Sierra Sheehan, Caroline VanDongen, Isla Preston-Schreck and Jolene Ryerson were there to accept the award and share their experiences.
Anne Kozak received the Acadia Inspiration Award for her insightful coverage of Acadia National Park issues as a long-time reporter for the Mount Desert Islander and the Bar Harbor Times, as well as for her historical knowledge and craftsmanship that led to the publication of two Images of America books about the Wild Gardens of Acadia and the history of Acadia National Park. Anne’s 50 years at the Wild Gardens of Acadia—whether watering and weeding habitats, raising money to support garden operations, or engaging new audiences and park visitors in a love of Acadia’s native plants — will long be remembered.
Friends of Acadia’s outgoing Board Chair Jack Kelley received the Marianne Edwards Distinguished Service Award, Friends of Acadia’s highest honor, for his steadfast leadership on the Friends of Acadia Board for more than 13 years. Jack fulfilled multiple board roles from Chair of the Governance Committee to Board President. He has supported and encouraged countless young people as they began their careers through experiential education in Acadia National Park, and he shared his knowledge and expertise from the construction industry as Friends of Acadia invested in important park infrastructure projects, including seasonal housing. Jack supported both the board and staff through Friends of Acadia’s presidential leadership transition and onboarding of new president Eric Stiles. Jack is known for his willingness to help and lend a hand with any task.
Thank you to all who came to celebrate with us, and thank you to all Friends of Acadia members, volunteers, and friends for all you do for Acadia!