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.
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.
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.