Once again, as the traffic to National Parks increases yearly, I am driven to ask: “How are they fulfilling their mission statement?” Of course, every park has a different approach, but the mission is the same.
“The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.” (source: nps.gov)
I have already explored Arches National Park, and this time, I have decided to look at one of my favorites: Acadia National Park
We will start by breaking down the mission statement. I summarized the statement in the previous article as such: “Basically, they are committing to the conservation of the land, as it is naturally, without impairing it, in order to keep the area in the same or better condition for future generations. This is for education, enjoyment, and inspiration.”
Next, lets explore how Acadia is fulfilling this mission.
The National Park service was founded on the ideas of conservation. These ideals are still the driving force behind the system today. Recently, the park has added a data buoy into Jordan Pond, to monitor the water quality. In addition to this, Acadia has a many programs in place to promote conserving the areas for the future. These include community outreach for volunteers in park maintenance, and prescribed burns. These controlled fires help control the amount of brush, and prevent massive, uncontrolled fires. To learn more about this, check out the page here. Acadia is also partnered with the organization, “Friends of Acadia”. This organization promotes volunteering for the conservation of the park, and occasionally helps fund park projects. Check out there website here.
Acadia allows for many areas of pure, uncensored nature, and promotes the exploration of all the surrounding areas. The park has a great deal of hiking opportunities, in order to explore the vast variety of landscapes on Mount Desert Island. They advertise the ability to take in the beauty of the mountains, cliffs, forests, beaches… the list goes on. As with all parks, they are also concerned greatly with the safety and well being of visitors. Therefore, they advocate for the use of caution, and ensure that patrons are educated in the dangers around the park.
Acadia is a park full of education opportunities in many fields, from science to history. You will find this information littered all around the island. They utilize a junior park ranger program for children, as motivation for learning more about the park. There is also a bookstore in the park, loaded with resources for further education of the culture, history, and sciences that happen around the area. They promote hands on learning, with a variety of hiking trails, bike paths, and various other activities.
Naturally, the Acadia is loaded with opportunities for enjoyment. Carriage Roads are great for hiking, biking, and photography. For those who wish to enjoy the nature of the area, the opportunities are provided. For people interested in climbing, there is a variety of mountains on the island. The beauty of the park is the fact that many of the activities within are beginner level, making it a great place to start.
I personally believe that National parks cannot be held responsible for the lack of inspiration in their visitors. Their primary responsibility is to provide a medium, with which, people can become inspired. And Acadia National Park excels at this.
This park is a fantastic option for people young and old. The variety of beginner level activities is ideal for finding a new passion or hobby. I personally was inspired to start climbing, with thanks due to this park. I climbed my first mountain here, and now have a passion that I can’t imagine living without. Regardless of your interests, this place is perfect for experiencing nature at it’s finest.