Volunteers share the excitement at the annual Friends of Acadia Take Pride Day. PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF ACADIA

Volunteers clean up, Take Pride in Acadia

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — More than 400 enthusiastic volunteers turned out on Nov. 7 for the 25th year of Take Pride in Acadia Day. Together, they raked miles of carriage roads in 19 locations with beautiful weather to support the event. Rakes in hand, they fanned out across Acadia’s historic carriage roads to clear fallen leaves from road surfaces and drainage to reduce erosion and washouts during the freeze-and-thaw cycles of a coastal Maine winter. This saves maintenance costs and allows the roads to dry out faster, permitting pedestrian and bicycle access earlier in the season.

Approximately half of the volunteers were young people from schools including College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine, Husson University, Mount Desert Island High School and Ellsworth High School, as well as scouting groups and other youth groups. Other participants include a corps of stewardship volunteers who have been coming to the event for many years, plus a number of retired Acadia National Park staff. The event also involves staff from every division of the park.

Following the morning’s work, a hot meal of chili, cornbread, cider and cake was served, the day’s traditional “CCC + C” lunch, recalling the Civilian Conservation Corps members who did so much work in Acadia in the 1930s.

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