A 37-acre tract of land along Lower Hadlock Pond on Mount Desert Island in Maine has been transferred to Acadia National Park thanks to the work of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Friends of Acadia.
The land includes 1,600 feet of frontage on the pond and a network of trails that has been used for quiet recreation for more than 100 years, according to a release from the two groups. Since 2005, FOA and MCHT have been working in partnership to raise money and acquire privately held lands inside Acadia's boundaries as they become available from willing sellers.
'Congress intended that these private lands inside park boundaries be part of Acadia National Park,' said Acadia Superintendent Sheridan Steele. 'We're fortunate that partners such as MCHT and FOA, and individual donors, are willing to help the National Park Service acquire these inholdings and ensure they are permanently preserved as part of our collective American heritage that millions of visitors come to enjoy each year.'
MCHT and FOA worked in partnership since 2009 to acquire the land around Lower Hadlock Pond and assure a permanent conservation outcome.
'It is extremely gratifying to be a part of a project that adds to Acadia's legacy of conservation'especially for such a beloved community resource as Lower Hadlock Pond,' says MCHT President Tim Glidden.
Conservation of the land has ensured continued public access to the pond and surrounding trails as well as protection of the water supply for the community of Northeast Harbor. The partners originally purchased the land from the Mount Desert Water District. The proceeds allowed the Water District to make capital improvements in water delivery infrastructure and ensure a clean public water supply for years to come.
'Friends of Acadia had many local supporters for whom Lower Hadlock Pond is a very special place. We're grateful that their generosity helped FOA and MCHT purchase the property and donate it to the park. We're also very appreciative for the assistance of the Maine congressional delegation in supporting the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which provides critically important federal funding for land acquisition in Acadia,' said David MacDonald, president of Friends of Acadia.
LWCF funds were used at various stages of the project to conserve portions of the property. Contributions from community members and private foundations helped MCHT and FOA secure the remainder of the property and donate it to the park.