Hays to talk about a century of park volunteerism

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Park Stewardship Volunteer Mike Hays will give a talk about the history of Acadia National Park volunteers when he visits the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m. as part of the park’s centennial celebration.

Hays will discuss the work volunteers do to maintain and improve the park. Volunteers are responsible for maintaining, restoring and reopening trails and carriage roads. His talk will begin with the founding of the park and will cover the relationship between the park, individual volunteers and volunteer organizations. His discussion will concentrate on volunteer activities before WWII, the changes in patterns of visitation from the end of WWII to the late 1970s, the “perfect storm” of visitation growth and infrastructure and funding declines through the 1980s, the resurgence of public support through volunteerism during the 90s and the current partnership between the park and its volunteers.

Hays is a longtime volunteer, working on trails and carriage roads since 1995. He has been a volunteer crew leader since 2004. His curiosity about the people who have volunteered to help maintain the trails and carriage roads at Acadia National Park over the years lead to this research.

“With the help of other volunteer crew leaders, Friends of Acadia and historical records, I think I understand the whos, the whats, the whens, the wheres and maybe even the whys,” said Hays.

Call the library at 244-7065.

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