ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Saturday morning saw 300 volunteers brave drenching rain to put in a morning’s work at the annual Take Pride in Acadia fall cleanup day.
Together, volunteers raked fallen leaves from drainage areas on nine miles of carriage roads in 18 locations. Now in its 28th year, the event is sponsored by Friends of Acadia and facilitated by Acadia National Park to support maintenance of the historic carriage roads.
This community effort greatly reduces erosion and costly wash-outs on the carriage roads from the rains, ice and thaw cycles during winter and spring. This year, organizer Paige Steele of Friends of Acadia said, “the constant rain showed volunteers instant proof of their hard work as they opened culverts blocked by leaves, allowing storm water to rush under the carriage roads during the event rather than over it.”
Many of the volunteers are young people from schools including the University of Maine, Husson University, and Boys- and Girls- Scout groups. Community groups included the Downeast Outing Club, Footloose Friends, LL Bean, Schoodic Institute, and Sea & Mountain Hiking Club.
In addition to the groups, more than 36 individuals from all over New England participated in the soggy yet festive day.
Following the morning’s work, a hot meal of chili, cornbread, cake, and cider was served—the day’s traditional “CCC + C” lunch, recalling the Civilian Conservation Corps members who did so much work in Acadia during the 1930s.
Take Pride in Acadia Day was sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, The Bluenose Inn, Burdick & Associates Landscape Design, Dawnland, Evergreen Home and Hearth, Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, The First, The Gallery at Somes Sound, Galyn’s, John Williams Boat Company, Knowles Company, Lynam Agencies, Machias Savings Bank, MDI Hospital, Pedego Acadia, and Window Panes.
Transportation for volunteer groups was donated by Acadia National Park Tours, Coastal Kayaking, Downeast Transportation/Island Explorer, and National Park Sea Kayak.
“Friends of Acadia and Acadia National Park are very grateful to all who made Take Pride in Acadia Day a huge success,” Steele said.