Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Celebrated 5th Anniversary

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Andrew Bossie
Executive Director
Email: andrew@friendsofkww.org

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Celebrated 5th Anniversary
Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, the official philanthropic partner of the national monument, hosted the celebration of community, the land, and notable developments since its designation in 2016.

Patten, ME — Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters (Friends) and Maine Beer Company presented the 5th Anniversary Celebration of the establishment of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (KAWW) over the weekend. The events engaged over 200 participants, where the public was encouraged to enjoy the late-summer weather through guided and self-guided hikes and excursions, and came together Saturday evening for an outdoor program with speakers highlighting the growth in visitation and infrastructure improvements of the last five years. Friends and supporters marked the evening with gratitude for community and recognition of the beauty, ecology, and cultural resources of the monument and region.

“We are honored to be together at five years with a community that supports and lives in relationship with this land,” said Friends’ Executive Director Andrew Bossie. “As the official philanthropic partner to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Friends is grateful for the many hands, hearts, and minds giving time, talent, and treasure in a community effort to lift up this special place and the aspirations of people connected to it.”

Attendees of Saturday night’s celebration spread out on blankets and camp chairs on the lawn at Shin Pond Village in Mt. Chase and enjoyed picnic-style fare with Maine Beer Company’s Woods & Waters IPA on tap. A surprise performance from contemporary powwow drum group the RezDogs welcomed guests, and the Fogtown Family Band provided music throughout the evening. A brief spoken program included Friends’ Bossie and Board President Molly Ross, Park Superintendent Tim Hudson, and James Francis, Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation for Penobscot Nation.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was created in 2016 by presidential proclamation, following a philanthropic gift of more than 87,500 acres to the United States. Five years after Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt’s Bees personal care products, and her son, Lucas St. Clair, donated and mounted the effort to have the land designated and protected, a toast was offered by now Friends Board Director St. Clair.

“We are a growing community that has come to embrace and support the monument since the designation with generosity and meaningful relationships,” said St. Clair. The generosity of the Quimby-St. Clair family extended to the incorporation of Friends in 2017, and has inspired generous support from foundations, corporations, and individuals and families in Maine and nationwide.

Since the establishment of the monument, access to Katahdin Woods and Waters has increased for visitors seeking the remote natural experiences provided within. “Five years ago, it was difficult to find the entrance,” said Hudson in his remarks. “Now we have new and improved accessible trails, double the number of drive-in tent sites, improved portage trails for paddlers, and of course, road signs – all because of the hard work and generous contributions of park staff, the Friends, and a growing and diverse community of volunteers, donors, and partners across the Katahdin Region, Maine, and the country.”

This year’s Anniversary Celebration will be Hudson’s last in his role with the National Park Service; he is retiring this fall. “Tim’s life and career have been dedicated to the Park Service and conservation of our national treasures,” Ross noted. “His tenure at Katahdin Woods and Waters has been our good fortune.” Ross emphasized Hudson’s leadership and know-how and his unwavering commitment to the protection of the natural, cultural, and historic values for which the monument was established.

Friends thanked Katahdin level business sponsors Richardson’s Hardware, L.L. Bean, and Burt’s Bees; Lookout level sponsor Haley Ward; Deasey level sponsors Frenchies’ Natural Products, Katahdin Trust, Lee Auto Mall, and National Parks Conservation Association; and many others for supporting the weekend’s festivities with proceeds benefiting Friends programs to attract and support park visitors, improve park infrastructure, and encourage revitalization efforts of the region. Friends expressed gratitude also to Media sponsors DownEast Magazine and Bangor Daily News for promoting the event through print and digital ads and content.

Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters is a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization made up of individuals and businesses who are committed to the mission to preserve and protect the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality and distinctive cultural resources of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and surrounding communities for the inspiration and enjoyment of all generations. To become a member or to learn more, go to www.friendsofkww.org.