Getting to Know Acadia

JacquelynJensonBy Jacquelyn Jenson, Acadia National Park Centennial Social Media Intern

Growing up in Duluth, Minnesota, I developed a love for nature at a young age. Some of my first memories include scrambling along the rocky shores of Lake Superior and exploring the north woods. I carried this admiration into my adult life, finding respite by the lake or solace in the forest.

When I decided to move away and experience more of the world, I looked for a place that would nurture my love of nature and introduce me to people and landscapes that would challenge my ideas. I stumbled upon a small rugged school called College of the Atlantic nestled near Acadia National Park on an island off the coast of Maine. I had high hopes this place would offer the challenges I sought, so I packed up and moved to Maine.

To a Midwesterner like me, seeing Acadia for the first time was like a fairy tale. Its moss covered mountains dissipating into North Atlantic waters weren’t like anything I’d ever seen before. Getting used to it was an adjustment, but a pleasant one. I found myself constantly referring to the ocean as “the lake,” and could not wrap my mind around the rapid changes of the tides. Over time, these things became normal, but new discoveries never stopped as I began developing a deeper relationship with this place. I noticed a certain heaviness in the air that doesn’t exist in the freshwater air I grew up breathing. I’ve come to love this heaviness; I like to think of the breeze as the breath of the sea, salty and heavy with stories from a long journey.

Living near Acadia offered many of the challenges I sought and others I could have never imagined. It’s shown me that being brave and fiercely independent can give life to endless possibilities; that patience and solitude can reveal inexplicable beauty; that keeping an open mind is imperative in a world that is constantly evolving; and most importantly it has been an endless source of inspiration.

Now, one year after earning my degree in Human Ecology, I am learning and growing as a young artist in Maine. Thanks to support from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Crafts Association, I am working as a glassblowing apprentice with Linda Perrin at Atlantic Art Glass. Acadia has been a huge source of inspiration for my work as an artist in glass and other media. I am also extremely lucky to have landed this position with Friends of Acadia doing social media for Acadia’s Centennial celebration. This position will give me the opportunity to share exciting moments and events with people and organizations that also love Acadia. A lot of people have worked very hard planning what seems like the biggest birthday party of all time, and being able to work with them on this vision for the park is an incredible experience.