David Rockefeller is one of the largest private employers in Mount Desert, with about 20 year-round and 15 seasonal workers who take care of all his properties, many of which are in Seal Harbor.
The crew is known as Greenrock, but Greenrock isn’t any type of formal entity. It is just a group of people who work exclusively for Rockefeller.
“We’re basically a maintenance outfit,” said Doug Hopkins, who has been with Greenrock for 25 years and the manager since 2000. “We do the landscaping, the grounds, the buildings.”
They take care of Ringing Point, Rockefeller’s home and 16 acres of land in Seal Harbor; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden; Bartlett Island in Western Bay; and Buckle Island in Blue Hill Bay. Much of their time and energy is devoted to maintaining the roughly 1,000 acres around Little Long Pond, which Rockefeller announced last month he is giving to the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve (See related story.)
“We will have a service contract with the garden preserve, so there won’t be much change from what we’re doing there now, maintaining the carriage roads and mowing and everything,” Hopkins said.
The Greenrock crew also takes care of about a dozen other Rockefeller-owned properties that include guest houses, workshops and storage buildings. And they operate a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse. Several of Rockefeller’s children have properties in Seal Harbor, which Greenrock helps out with from time to time.
Greenrock includes two full-time carpenters and a full-time mechanic.
“We have 35 or 40 vehicles that need to be maintained, so we have a shop to do that plus welding and other things,” Hopkins said. “We’re pretty self-sufficient. But we do depend on a lot of local plumbers, electricians and painters to help us out.”
Hopkins said he and the rest of the Greenrock employees feel almost like members of the Rockefeller family because that is how they are treated.
“They are spectacular people. The whole family is nice, and it all begins with Mr. Rockefeller,” Hopkins said.
“He’s an easy person to work for, very modest and humble. He’s just a great person.”