Blagden, Olson to celebrate Acadia at Jesup



BAR HARBOR — Photographer and author Tom Blagden Jr. and essay author and contributor Ken Olson will be at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. for an author talk and to sign copies of “Acadia National Park: A Centennial Celebration.”

The book, published in conjunction with Friends of Acadia, displays stunning photographs of Acadia’s habitats along with essays about the unseen story of Acadia, including its history as a national park, the families that played a critical role in its creation, the past and current importance of private stewardship and its status as a unique park forged in a particular time and place in history.

“To see Acadia through [Blagden]’s eyes is an incredible gift. He captures a certain slant of light or tone of color in spots that I speed by every day. The takeaway for me is clear: slow down, observe, appreciate, protect,” said David MacDonald, president of Friends of Acadia. “[Blagden]’s work reminds us that a delicate and wild Acadia exists beyond the motor roads and parking lots, and these natural communities represent the very foundation of our park. Blink and you might miss them. Blink and they might be gone.”

A professional nature photographer for over 40 years, Blagden has worked primarily in Maine, South Carolina and Costa Rica. His photographs have appeared in national conservation calendars, as well as in exhibits and magazines, including on the covers of “Smithsonian,” “Audubon,” “Outdoor Photographer,” “Nature Conservancy” and “Sierra.” He also is a recipient of the National Outdoor Book Award for his 2003 exhibit-format volume on Acadia National Park. He is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and the North American Nature Photography Association. Olson and Blagden previously collaborated on “First Light,” which won a National Outdoor Book Award.

For more than a decade, Olson was the president and CEO of Friends of Acadia, where he helped established Acadia as the first national park to have an endowed trail system, banned jet skis from Mount Desert Island, co-created the Island Explorer bus, quadrupled Friends’ investments to $18 million and granted $1 million yearly to park and community projects. Olson earlier headed the AMC Hut System in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, directed The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, was president of American Rivers and held faculty lectureships at Yale and Wesleyan. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, was named an honorary ranger by Acadia National Park and was granted an honorary degree from College of the Atlantic for “outstanding contributions to human ecology.”

Books will be on sale at the Jesup that night, with a percentage of sales donated to the library. Sherman’s is a co-sponsor of this event. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].

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