Friends of Acadia
March 30, 2011
Friends of Acadia is known to everyone on Mount Desert Island as the organization that works to preserve the natural resources of Acadia National Park. I have admired and supported FOA for years but have only recently, as a volunteer in the Wild Gardens of Acadia, had the opportunity to work closely with their board and staff . The Wild Gardens are gardens of native plant communities located within Acadia National Park. They began in 1961 as a volunteer project of the Bar Harbor Garden Club and have been sustained by volunteers since that time. As the Gardens grew and visitation increased it became increasingly difficult for volunteers to maintain them and the Gardens’ volunteers, fearing for the future, appealed for help from Friends of Acadia, an organization sharing the Gardens’ volunteers’ commitment to conservation of the Parks resources and to volunteerism. Friends of Acadia embraced the project and, working with the National Park, established in 2010 the Wild Gardens of Acadia Committee of Friends of Acadia. In the short time since the formal affiliation I have watched the Wild Gardens, always beautiful and always an asset to the Park, begin to realize their potential. Today a professional gardener, not volunteers, oversees the workings of the Gardens and guides the work of a student intern. Volunteers have been freed to serve as docents for the thousands of visitors and they help with the weeding and gardening when needed. They work with the Head Gardener to plan habitat restoration and with Friends of Acadia to plan for the future. Volunteers continue to help raise funds but now they have guidance and support in their efforts. Friends of Acadia, The Wild Gardens, and the Master Gardeners of Hancock County jointly published a guide to the native ferns last summer. Friends of Acadia has provided a structure in which these activities, and many others, are planned and support with which they are executed. Most importantly the Wild Gardens of Acadia, because of its association with Friends of Acadia, is assured of a future.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have personally experienced the results of this organization in my personal life as I enjoyed the Park or taken the free Park Bus established by Friends of Acadia. I have also seen the Wild Gardens of Acadia greatly expand its usefulness to the Park and its visitors through the efforts of Friends of Acadia.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I really cannot think of changes that I would make.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
Yes. I think it has made me a better team player.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
Relieved and fulfilled.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & As a Wild Gardens Volunteer for 35 years I advocated for an association with Friends of Acadia and then worked to help make the trasition happen,.