Carrying On The Tradition of Giving


The first thing Tyler and Drew Doggett did when they visited their grandma and granddad—Jean and Jack Gosnell—was to climb Flying Mountain. It was tradition.

The weeklong visit to their grandparents in Southwest Harbor each summer was full of tradition. They hiked, ate blueberries, explored, ate lobster, played cards at the house, and went to bed—waking the next day to do it all again. Sometimes they’d include boat adventures up Somes Sound, tide pooling, canoeing, and visits to the Jordan Pond House among their daily activities. It was the same thing every year, but the boys, now men with families of their own, said it never got old.

Jean and Jack Gosnell in Southwest Harbor

Tyler and Drew loved visiting Jean and Jack with their mother Terry Gosnell Doggett each year, and that Acadia experience early in their lives created a significant passion for nature and national parks. That love for national parks born in Acadia inspired them years later to take a 14,000-mile trip across the country to visit national and state parks and other natural areas. They were amazed by the diversity of protected areas, and it made them appreciate even more those special experiences they had with family in Acadia.

Though years have passed since they visited Acadia as a family, their memories of the mountain landscapes—far different from where they grew up in Maryland outside of Washington D.C.—are still crisp. Drew still talks about the fresh air, beautiful moss, and cool breezes coming through the window at night, and how he felt like all his senses were coming alive when visiting Mount Desert Island. He considers it the gold standard of living and wants his children to have similar experiences in Acadia and with nature.

The Doggett family also wants others far beyond their family to experience the simple pleasures they had at Acadia. In 1997, the John G. and Jean R. Gosnell Foundation was established to carry on Jean and Jack’s tradition of giving and to honor their legacy. The foundation is focused on ensuring present and future generations have access to educational opportunities and experiences in nature, particularly addressing the most vulnerable natural environments that are at risk.

For the last six years, through grants made by the Gosnell Foundation, the family has supported an array of programs at Friends of Acadia, including the volunteer program, Friends of Acadia operations, greening the equipment at Acadia, and seasonal workforce housing.

These investments in Friends of Acadia will ensure Acadia has the staff, volunteers, and resources that it needs to be protected for many generations to come. The board and staff at Friends of Acadia appreciate the longtime support of the Gosnell Foundation and all it has accomplished to preserve Acadia now and far into the future.


LISA HORSCH CLARK is Vice President of Development and Donor Relations.