Friends in High Places

Photograph by Benjamin Williamson

[dropcap letter=”W”]hen we asked Martha Stewart where to send her honorarium for guest editing this issue, she asked that it go to Friends of Acadia, the national park stewardship group to which she’d recently made a million-dollar gift. Check out a few other remarkable stats about the organization and the work it does, from shores to summits (and for more, visit


Rides on Island Explorer busses since 1999. FOA partners with the Park Service, L.LBean, and other groups to provide the free transit service. FOA president David MacDonald sometimes catches the bus from Somesville to Bar Harbor on his way to work.


Pounds of trash removed from the Schoodic Peninsula shoreline during a cleanup event last year. Volunteers scooped up soda cans, car tires, and “anything that floats,” FOA communications director Aimee Beal Church says.


Hours volunteered last year via FOA’s drop-in stewardship program, designed, MacDonald says, “for folks who maybe are here on vacation and say, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we went and worked on trails for a couple of hours.’”


Approximate number of Cadillac Mountain ascents hiked by Summit Stewards last year. At the top, the team of college students and recent grads educates visitors about the mountain’s distinctive geology and fragile ecosystems.


Friends of Acadia grants to the park and nearby communities since the organization was founded. Started in 1986 as a small, all-volunteer operation, it now has 13 full-time staffers.


Anti–light-pollution fixtures purchased with FOA money as part of efforts to earn “International Dark Sky Park” designation for Acadia from the International Dark-Sky Association.

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