ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — Superintendent Sheridan Steele, who has guided the park for more than 12 years, will be retiring in the fall.
Steele confirmed Thursday that he would be ending his career in the National Park Service although with several major projects still in the works, such as the new land acquisition and campground opening at Schoodic, he has yet to select an exact date.
Steele came to Acadia in 2003 after the retirement of Superintendent Paul Haertel.
Along with his routine duties at Acadia, and serving as an international ambassador to other park systems around the world, Steele has hosted numerous dignitaries during his tenure. They include President Obama and the First Family, First Lady Laura Bush, numerous members of Congress, various Interior Department secretaries, and, most recently, Speaker of the House John Boehner.
“Sheridan’s leadership at Acadia over the past twelve years has been extraordinary,” said Friends of Acadia (FOA) President David MacDonald. “He has brought a very rare combination of big, bold vision as well as focus and determination to get things done. He has been the best friend and partner that an organization like ours could have – fully committed to the worthy goals of the Park Service, but also very attuned to the importance of the surrounding communities to Acadia’s history and success,” he continued. “He will be missed – but his many contributions to Acadia and FOA will continue to grow and resonate for many, many years.”
Steele, will be honored at a cocktail buffet at the Bar Harbor Club on Monday Sept. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. The Board and Council of Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park will host the celebration along with a committee of individuals and non-profits including Maine Coast Heritage Trust and FOA.
According to a statement from Mark Berry of the Schoodic Institute, from the earliest days of his tenure as park superintendent 12 years ago, Steele demonstrated resounding leadership and clear vision. “He saw the importance of the Schoodic District to Acadia National Park, the need to protect adjacent lands from development, its future as a location for education and research, and its value as an addition to the visitor experience in Acadia as a whole,” Berry said.
After his retirement from the Park Service, Steele will continue to pursue various projects connected to the Schoodic District. Steele and his wife Barb live in Mount Desert.
Tickets for the retirement reception are available for $125 per person through RSVP@SchoodicInstitute.org, or by calling (207) 288-1339 or (207) 288-1360.