More than 160 volunteers pitched in on Saturday, Nov. 7, to show their love for Acadia National Park at Friends of Acadia’s 30th annual Take Pride in Acadia Day.
Socially-distancing pods of volunteers cleared fallen leaves from drainage areas on 12.2 miles of carriage roads in 17 locations. This work reduces costly washouts that occur from rain and ice during the winter and spring.
The event is sponsored by Friends of Acadia and facilitated by Acadia National Park to support maintenance of the historic carriage roads. Individual groups met at pre-assigned parking lots to access carriage roads—a departure from “regular” Take Pride in Acadia Day operations which features a central gathering. The event was scaled-back and decentralized this year due to precautions aimed at preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Park staff and FOA staff worked for several months to incorporate changes and new practices to allow the annual event to take place without increasing the risk of community transmission.
Many of the volunteers were youth from College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine (UMO), and even a local Girl Scout Troop (760). UMO student leader, Sydney Abramovich, brought the school’s Green Team to rake leaves and said, “It’s Acadia National Park, it’s almost pristine. It would be a shame if not everyone could see (the park) the way we see it one day.”
Many helpful community groups volunteer as well, including Bar Harbor Savings & Loan, Downeast Outing Club, Footloose Friends, L.L. Bean, Maine Outdoor Adventure Club, and DPLA Hikers. In addition to those groups, several groups organized themselves specifically for the event — groups made up of current and former park employees, and volunteer crew leaders from FOA’s Stewardship Volunteer Program.
In accordance with Maine CDC recommendations, volunteers were unable to gather en masse and enjoy the traditional lunch, a hot meal of chili, cornbread, cake, and cider.
Take Pride in Acadia Day would not be possible without strong support from the community. FOA thanks this year’s sponsors: Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Bar Harbor Savings & Loan, The Bluenose Inn – Lafayette Hotels, Gallery at Somes Sound, Galyn’s, John Williams Boat Company, Machias Savings Bank, Nelson F. Goodwin Company, and Window Panes.