BAR HARBOR — Acadia Corporation has maintained its membership with Friends of Acadia (FOA), a philanthropic partner of Acadia National Park, since 1988, and donates 2 percent of profits from its Acadia Park Company Store to the park annually.
“For all of my years at Friends of Acadia, I’ve always had a partnership with the Acadia Corporation,” said FOA Director of Development Lisa Horsch Clark.
Under the presidency of David Woodside, the Acadia Corporation, founded in 1932, is a retailer with several shops on Mount Desert Island. Woodside is passionate about donating to the park.
“Many of the people who are working today that have been here for so long stayed and are part of it because of the association with the park,” said Acadia Corporation Vice President Todd Graham.
The company once operated in the boundaries of Acadia National Park when it ran a concessionaire business, selling tea and popovers, as well as a gift shop at the Jordan Pond House in Seal Harbor for decades. Acadia Shops also ran the Cadillac Mountain Gift Shop.
When the contract at Jordan Pond House ended, the Acadia Corporation wanted to continue with contributions to the park. During the park’s centennial year in 2016, the Acadia Corporation purchased a Bar Harbor building, which became the home of its Acadia Park Company Store.
“It’s sad for us not to be in the park, so this is a way to turn that into something more positive and still make it very meaningful for us to give back running a store that is about the park,” Graham said.
The store on 134 Main Street celebrates everything about Acadia National Park, from local food to hiking trails.
“We decided that our Acadia Park Company Store would give 2 percent of its sales to FOA as a way to continue celebrating what the park means to us,” Graham said.
FOA, founded in 1986, is a conservation organization that preserves and promotes stewardship of Acadia National Park. Through volunteerism and funding, FOA assists with the needs of Acadia National Park that the U.S National Park System cannot fulfill.
“Many national parks have friend groups. I’d say we’re in the top 10,” Horsch Clark said.
Graham was happy to note that the 2 percent earned from the store has generated over $40,000 for FOA.
With the money, Acadia Corporation and FOA fund a park feature in need of attention. FOA often takes the park’s climate initiative into consideration when using the money, but this year, Acadia Corporation’s gift will go toward the trail system.
“The park is important to us – not just our business, but who we are as well,” Graham said.