- Exploration & Discovery
National Parks Foundation — Meeting at Acadia National Park
Supporting natural resource education via Acadia’s Schoodic Education and Research Center
The striking scenery and diverse resources of the rugged coast of Maine have long attracted the attention of travelers and conservationists around the world. Early 20th Century visionaries and philanthropists recognized the importance of preserving the land for perpetual use by the public and donated the land that became Acadia National Park (http://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm ), the first national park east of the Mississippi River. Today Acadia protects more than 47,000 acres, including Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the U. S. Atlantic coast. Forty-five miles of rustic carriage roads, the gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, weave around the mountains and valleys of Acadia and provide visitors sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape.
In August 2014 the board of the National Park Foundation convened in Acadia National Park. An important focus of the meeting was support of the park’s Schoodic Education and Research Institute (SERC: http://www.schoodicinstitute.org ). SERC is a nonprofit organization created in 2004 to support scientific research in the park and throughout the coastal Maine region. The Institute is one of 20 research and learning centers located at national parks across the United States. It is dedicated to providing professional development for teachers and to educating students to about conservation of our natural and cultural treasures. A current focus of research projects at SERC is the impact of climate change on park ecosystems. The institute is part of the national phenology network: https://www.usanpn.org
Speakers at the board meeting included David Rockefeller Jr (former chair of the National Park Foundation), Sally Jewell (Secretary of the Interior), Jon Jarvis (Director of the National Park Service), and Sheridan Steel (superintendent of Acadia National Park).
One of our hikes at Acadia was the Great Head circuit with Sheridan and Barb Steel.