Friends of Acadia

Rating: 4.96 stars   50 reviews


43 Cottage St PO Box 45 Bar Harbor ME 04609 USA


Friends of Acadia preserves, protects and promotes stewardship of the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality, and distinctive cultural resources of Acadia National Park and the surrounding communities for the inspiration and enjoyment of current and future generations.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Friends of Acadia

Rating: 5 stars  

Friends of Acadia is a top notch organization in every way: it has a clear mission broadly shared by the organization's membership and Board; visionary leadership that listens to the community and its members; collaborates actively with other like-minded nonprofits; works to support Park priorities where appropriate; careful stewards of donations and funds; thoughtful in taking positions and key issues; and knows how to make being active in the organization fun and rewarding. From picking up trash along the roadsides, family fun day, to the annual benefit auction, this is a an exceptionally well-run and effective group.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was born and grew up on Mount Desert Island, so love of Acadia is my birthright. When i came home to the island in 2006 to life the last best third of life, I quickly joined Friends of Acadia. I have done regular volunteer work on ANP trails and carriage roads, done spring roadside clean-up on the island, written often for the FOA Journal, become a donor within my means, brought several friends into Friends and, since 2010, serve proudly and a member of the FOA Board, where I chair the Advocacy Committee. I am currently part of a team doing a full review of the FOA Strategic Plan. FOA gives me a community through which I can express values and commitment deeply important to me as a life-long conservationist. The strength and dedication of the FOA professional staff and the quality of my colleagues on the FOA Board make my investment in Friends a joyful natural act.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Most of my friends on MDI are Friends. It is a part of our community life and our way on investing in our commons. I hear what FOA means to them every day.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand our membership, make even more use of social media, build our financial resources to defend and support the park, create a fund to support the professional development of the staff, build the FOA brand, and deepen the bond between Friends and the communities that surround Acadia.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Friends of Acadia (FOA) provides the margin of excellence for all who visit and experience Acadia National Park in Maine. Working with the National Park Service, FOA has helped to conserve or purchase and donate to the Park many acres of private land within and adjacent to Park boundaries to preserve the natural surroundings. FOA has secured private donations to keep a free, seasonal, hop-on, hop-off propane bus system (over 2 million riders to date) that has taken hundreds of cars out of the Park and off surrounding roads, and reduced CO2 and other air pollutants by tens of thousands of pounds. Miles of trails and carriage roads have been maintained with over $1 million from FOA, many of which my wife, Mary Ann and I hike with great delight each year. Mary Ann and I pick up roadside litter on Earth Day, courtesy of FOA organizing 400 volunteers on Mt. Desert Island, where the bulk of Park acreage is located, and we both volunteer at the FOA office for various jobs throughout the year.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the outstandingly well maintained trails, and carriage roads in the Park that course through woods, fields, and mountains. It is nature at its best, but with accessability to virtually all visitors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

As a volunteer who tabulated the 900+ returns from an in-depth FOA survey in 2010 of members, volunteers, and non-member community residents, the overwhelming consensus is for FOA to continue doing exactly what it currently does. Speaking as a Board member, there are few changes of significance that I would make beyond working to grow the membership of FOA. Even as I write this, I am on a Membership Task Force that is evaluating how best to do exactly that.

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