In celebration of the 100th Birthday of Acadia National Park, and as a part of the year-long celebration of the National Park System, The Knowles Company would like to share exciting news! The Schoodic Institute and Camp Beech Cliff have joined together to co-sponsor the 2016 Winter Festival! The Festival begins February 26, 2016 at the Schoodic Institute located on the breathtaking Schoodic Peninsula, about 45 minutes from Bar Harbor. The events will then shift to Mount Desert Island from March 2-6 to culminate in 10 full days of more than 50 events (to be announced soon on the Acadia Centennial website, here)
About the 2016 Winter Festival co-sponsors:
The Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating an understanding and appreciation for nature and is one of 19 Research Learning Centers that have been established by the National Park Service across the U.S.
Camp Beech Cliff is a year-round non-profit that focuses on outdoor education, personal growth, and recreation. They provide summer camps, leadership programs and year-round outdoor education.
Spear-headed by The Acadia Centennial Taskforce, the Centennial’s official kick-off event will be a Baked Bean Supper hosted by the MDI Historical Society and Friends of Island History, on Monday, January 25, 6–8 pm, at the Mount Desert Island High School. Additionally that night, local filmmaker Peter Logue will premiere a centennial film that shares community perspectives about Acadia and will provide an overview of exciting events to come in 2016.
Some fun and educational facts about Acadia, its beginnings and current status
Did you know that Acadia National Park was given Federal status by President Woodrow Wilson as Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916 but was then renamed Lafayette National Park (a nod to the early French influences on Mount Desert Island) February 26, 1919.
Did you know that the park was later again renamed becoming Acadia National Park (January 19, 1929) at the time that Mr. Dorr wanted to add a large tract of land (the Schoodic Peninsula) to the National Park (requiring an act of Congress). The land was acquired from a pair of sisters in England, who objected to the French name of the park; done! Acadia it is.
What is the purpose of the Centennial Celebration? The Centennial celebrates Acadia’s creation as the first National Park in the Eastern U.S. and its growth as a steward for the preservation of our natural resources as well as for the education of the 157,397,615 (and counting…) visitors to our National Park since 1919. Even though many people visit and know about Acadia, its 100th birthday gives us all a chance to refresh the excitement for Acadia and for all the U.S. National Parks.
What do you know about George B. Dorr, “The Father of Acadia National Park?” An affluent Bostonian who fell in love with Mount Desert Island, he was diligent in his commitment to the Island and its preservation, investing much of his energy and life-savings in his quest to protect the lands and culture here.
Did you know… that at a favorite spot of Mr. Dorr, Sieur de Mont Springs, you will find a rock with the words “The Sweet Waters of Acadia”, hand-carved by Mr. Dorr himself near the Spring House that he built.
Another fact: Mr. Dorr held the position of Acadia National Park Superintendent until his death in 1944. Never considering retirement, he did not tire of stewarding the National Park he called home. After his death, the executor of his estate placed a monument honoring him at the base of what is now Dorr Mountain.
The Rockefellers have, for generations, been incredibly committed to the preservation of the Island’s land, water, and culture. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. began acquiring land and developing the carriage roads from 1915 to 1933, which include 50 miles of carriage, horse, foot and bicycle-friendly paths on private land he later deeded to the National Park. His roads and bridges were built using advanced engineering as well as granite quarried here on the Island.
How are the carriage roads and bridges maintained? In addition to using a portion of funds received from entry fees to the park, a generous endowment, managed by the Friends of Acadia, pays to maintain the quality of the roads and bridges Mr. Rockefeller built and to guarantee their continued stability. Volunteers and Park Service staff also maintain the trails.
Did you know that famous landscape architect Beatrix Farrand was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to design planting and landscape plans for the carriage paths?
How did Acadia National Park fare after the Great Fire of 1947? The massive fire destroyed 17,188 acres on Mount Desert Island, 10,000 of which were within Acadia National Park. Fire, though devasting, always creates a re-birth of sorts and seeds carried by the wind to the burned areas sprouted into deciduous trees like Aspen and Birch creating a canopy for the heartier spruce and fir to gain ground as well.
What can I do in Acadia in the winter?? What can’t you do? Acadia National Park is a popular destination for travelers from near and far, averaging over 2 million visitors each year, but it isn’t just for the summer visitor – Acadia offers scores of year-round activities that fit the bill for every visitor, young or old, athlete or not. Skiing, snow-shoeing, snow-mobiling, hiking, running, walking, ice climbing – how about photography, tracking, ice fishing or geo-caching? Read The Knowles Company Broker Lili Pew’s blog about winter activities HERE.
Many hands and hearts created the Acadia National Park that we are so very fortunate to enjoy, and for that collective farsightedness we should all be very grateful. Support your Park, attend Centennial events and continue to experience all Acadia has to offer, appreciate the land and the water, the many cultures that melded it together and, mostly, remember to Leave No Trace.