As Acadia National Park launches into the busy summer season during its centennial year, the park will receive a major boost from L.L.Bean, which on Tuesday will announce a $1 million commitment to Friends of Acadia in support of the Island Explorer bus system.
Acadia National Park
With spring migration over and fall shorebird migration a couple weeks away, this is the lazy part of the birding year. It’s time to float placidly on a northern lake and listen to the loons. Everyone from Henry David Thoreau to Aldo Leopold has tried to describe the song of the loon, all failing miserably compared to the experience of actually hearing it on a foggy dawn.
National parks can be an incredible crucible for science, according to a Maine entrepreneur who has launched a “Second Century Stewardship" initiative for the National Park System. Helping to drive the campaign is a feature-length film and a collaborative effort to more powerfully engage science in America’s national parks.
As a birder and naturalist, I have a love/hate relationship with roads and parking lots in national parks. On the one hand, it’s not difficult to agree with Ed Abbey that all pavement is the opposite of progress. Roads kill things outright and bring more tourists, a certain percentage of which will be destructive in their own way. Then I stop and think about the best birding spots I’ve found in the parks – and a majority of them of were either in a parking lot or within sight of some kind of pavement.
While George Bucknam Dorr had the wherewithal to travel extensively about the world and do anything with his life, he came to cherish the landscape of Mount Desert Island along coastal Maine. It was a lifelong connection spurred by childhood vacations on the island, one that spawned a tireless, and selfless, campaign to both conserve the island’s landscape and, more importantly, see it included within the National Park System.
June brings full leaves, family guests, and, this year, the rising tide of the Acadia Centennial. Well more than 400 partners have stepped up to offer an event, product, or their support for the yearlong, community-based, world-welcoming celebration of the 100-year-old national park. This month, Acadia National Park lovers can join these partners in art, birding, science, music, history, puppetry, garden design, baseball, and ice cream—all to celebrate America’s favorite place.
It was mere happenstance, two events more than 2,000 miles apart, but the irony was inescapable: At a time when the Western United States is losing a "football field worth of natural area" to development every 2.5 minutes, an opportunity to set aside nearly 100,000 acres in the Northeast as part of the National Park System was deemed within reach.
The call to “celebrate our past, inspire our future” has struck a chord with organizations, businesses, and individuals in the Acadia National Park region, the state of Maine, and beyond—so much so that nearly 400 have signed up as Acadia Centennial Partners to help build the yearlong, community-based celebration.
Matt Holly is a lifelong parks and maps enthusiast. He put his interests together and created the website National Park Maps, which now has more than 1,000 free maps.