The Great Meadow is a 100-acre wetland in the heart of the Cromwell Brook watershed near downtown Bar Harbor. Visitors to the Meadow enjoy outstanding views of Kebo, Dorr, and Champlain Mountains, accessible paths with excellent birding opportunities, and the chance to experience the landscape and history of some of the original tracts involved in the founding of Acadia National Park.
While the Great Meadow is an iconic destination, the combination of an undersized culvert at the outlet, legacy ditches in the Meadow, and an abandoned road has shifted the hydrology and species composition from a healthy wetland complex to a less healthy, low species diversity wetland.
The National Park Service is planning to replace the culvert at the Meadow’s outlet with a bridge designed to improve passage for aquatic organisms and to provide the flow capacity needed for larger storm events anticipated because of climate change.
Friends of Acadia is enhancing the park’s work at the Great Meadow by investing in the restoration of the natural stream channel above and below the new bridge. The legacy ditches in the Meadow will be plugged to retain water during high precipitation events, and the abandoned roadbed will be removed to enable natural flow across the wetland.
These improvements will move the Great Meadow closer to the natural hydrology of a wetland complex, help mitigate floods, improve water quality, and facilitate greater biodiversity.