Friends of Acadia
In A Nutshell:
Friends of Acadia preserves, protects, and promotes stewardship of the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality, and distinctive cultural resources of Acadia National Park and surrounding communities for the inspiration and enjoyment of current and future generations.
Why They Rock:
- Each year 3,000 volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours to projects in the park, cleaning drainage along carriage roads, maintaining trails and vistas, and constructing new village connector trails.
- In 2010, they supported 36 programs with nearly $1 million in grants to the park and surrounding communities, including $240,000 to carriage road maintenance, $20,384 to trail maintenance, and $206,945 to the Island Explorer bus system…woah!
- Gorgeous scenery and abundant recreational opportunities draw over two million visitors each year, making it one of America’s top ten most popular national parks.
50Give is in a relationship with Bar Harbor, Friends of Acadia, and the Holbrook House B&B…okay, it’s complicated because I LOVE them all! The beauty and charm of the island is part of my crush…although the trail of people who brought 50Give to Maine, and my hosts are ‘Winning’ (thanks tigerblood sheen)!
I was scheduled to work in the cold rain on the trails of Acadia National Park so I layered up like a water-proof burrito, although plans changed as well as my wardrobe: blue jumpsuit, steel-tip boot guards, and hi-tech ear muffs…a man in uniform – sizzle. My chill volunteer contact Jim drove me to the Acadia work shed in the mountains to repair/build sign posts for the trails and carriage roads – thank you Rockefeller’s for creating a park paradise!
The shed crew included: Kip, Bob, Jerry, and Jim…we dominated with paint retouching, sanding, carving, drilling, and high-fives! We were having fun so if a sign leads you the wrong way in Acadia then you can curse 50Give, or be positive and say: “I took the path less traveled…(while cursing)”. The day ended and Jim gave a quick ‘locals’ tour of the park – wish I had a summer day to sit on top of Cadillac mountain to watch the sun rise…photo will do!
The ‘love’ trail that got 50Give to Bar Harbor, and warm hospitality during my stay went like this: Steve (friend from University of Richmond), -> William (Steve’s friend from the Appalachian Trail),-> Barbara (mother of Billy; set-up volunteering/housing), -> Michelle/Eric (innkeepers at Holbrook House – Michelle is the daughter of Barbara). The Holbrook is a very quaint B&B, and I was lucky to meet philanthropic/green locals fixing up the place before the busy season started – I pitched in with moving furniture and was a taste-tester for afternoon desserts…hello blueberry brownies (the town is oozing with blueberries – even in your beer)! Below are some hotspots if you plan to visit the region (don’t plan, do it…Jack and Coke…do it!):
- Jordan’s (blueberry pancakes…their logo has a chef sporting a muffin head – enough said)
- Trailhead Café (miss you chocolate croissants from magicland)
- Walking trail around Bar Harbor Inn (a must see…ocean to your left, mansions to your right…rocks on the ocean for meditation).
- McKays (thank you Barbara & Bill for burger night)
- Geddy’s (gracias Michelle & Eric for the chowda and blueberry beer show)
Friends of Acadia is a fitting name for the amazing love the community gives back to this beautiful region….50Give felt the same friendship from the people of Bar Harbor. Everyone involved with the Maine stop understands the land, waters, and sky doesn’t need us to live; and trashing the world is a foreign concept. Thank you friends for the reminder: we all belong to one home, the only home – so please be her friend.
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller