Rec Techs Assist the Park with Research on Visitor Use & Impact
Millions of visitors enjoy Acadia National Park each year. Since 1996, Friends of Acadia has employed Recreations Technicians to assist park staff in efforts to understand visitor use data and trends.
Recreation Technicians, or Rec Techs as we call them, extend the research projects and data collection that the park can do by maintaining traffic and trail counters, mapping social trails, administering visitor questionnaires, and preparing monthly visitation reports.
They also assist with special projects, such as inventorying trail bridges, completing winter visitor use studies, monitoring parking lot turnover, and counting bicycles at Schoodic. Recreation Technicians frequently collaborate with universities on social science research that contributes to the knowledge about recreation patterns in the park.
By gaining greater knowledge about visitor usage and impacts, the park can manage resources differently if needed, implement education initiatives to change visitor behavior, and design future research projects to refine data and analyze trends.
The goal of the Recreation Technician program is to ensure a higher-quality visitor experience for everyone. Friends of Acadia’s Recreation Technicians are valuable contributors to the park’s visitor use research program and gain valuable work experience as well.