SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Anne Kozak and Susan Leiter, authors of “The Wild Gardens of Acadia,” will speak about their book at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
Founded in 1961 at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park, the Wild Gardens of Acadia display, preserve, propagate and label native plants in areas simulating natural plant communities. The gardens, which originated from a competition in growing native plants sponsored by the Bar Harbor Garden Club, continue to be developed and maintained by volunteers in partnership with Friends of Acadia and the park. Each of the gardens’ 13 habitats, ranging from mountain to beach to bog to deciduous and coniferous woods, displays plants native to the park.
Since the founding, park visitors have come to the gardens to identify plants they have seen on walks or hikes or to learn more about cultivating native plants. Many of the images in this book are drawn from the extensive photograph collection of the Wild Gardens of Acadia and illustrate the growth of the gardens.
Kozak began volunteering in the Wild Gardens of Acadia in 1973. While she initially worked in many of the gardens’ habitats, and with Leiter developed plantings along the stream bordering the Wild Gardens, for the last 15 years, she has worked to secure funding for the gardens and to ensure their long-term viability. She is currently the co-chair of the Wild Gardens committee.
Leiter has volunteered in the Wild Gardens of Acadia for over 40 years. She served as co-chair for 22 years. She took particular interest in the Coniferous Woods and was among the first to recognize the need to plan for the future of the Wild Gardens. In 1997, the Maine Educational Media Association recognized Leiter as the Library Media Specialist of the Year for her work at the Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor, where the library bears her name.
Books will be for sale and signing to benefit the Friends of Acadia for the Wild Gardens endowment, which funds educational incentives as well as the head gardener position. Call the library at 244-7065.