A scene from the Asticou Azalea gardens in Northeast Harbor in 2019. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Gardens closed, pond grounds open



MOUNT DESERT — “We would like to be able to share our gardens with you this summer if it does not jeopardize the safety and health of anyone,” Rodney Eason, CEO of the Land & Garden Preserve, said in an April 23 posting on the organization’s website. 

The preserve owns and maintains Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, all in Northeast Harbor. 

As of now, Eason said, the gardens remain closed and the gates are locked. 

“We have a minimal number of staff working each day to perform seasonal maintenance,” he said. “For the safety of our staff, please do not try to enter the gardens now. 

“The dates for opening our gardens are currently being evaluated as we learn more about how we can safely open.” 

Asticou Garden typically opens at the beginning of May, and Thuya Garden in early June. In recent years, the Rockefeller Garden has been open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from mid-July through early September. 

Little Long Pond 

The meadows and woods surrounding Little Long Pond remain open from dawn to dusk. 

“Thank you for seeing Little Long Pond as a place for essential activities and adhering to requests for physical distancing,” Eason said. “Please…stay at least six feet apart. Step off trails to let others pass.” 

A work crew began an erosion control project along the southeastern side of the pond last week. 

Because of that, Eason said, “The lower carriage road leading to the boathouse will be seeded and closed to visitors for the next six weeks. Please do not go beyond any fencing and signage to allow new grass the necessary time for proper germination.” 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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