Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters Thanks Senators King & Collins for Introduction of Access Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2022

Contact:
Sam Deeran, Acting Executive Director
Email: sam@friendsofkww.org

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters Thanks Senators King & Collins
for Introduction of Access Act

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, an official philanthropic park partner to the national monument, is grateful for the introduction of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Access Act – an access bill that was recently introduced by co-sponsors Senator Collins and Senator King of Maine. Senator King’s press release is linked here

“We thank Senator Collins and Senator King for their leadership,” said Sam Deeran, Acting Executive Director for the Friends group. “They have worked together to create bipartisan legislation that is good for the national monument, the surrounding communities, and the visiting public. We look forward to opportunities to improve access from the Millinocket area.” 

The bill allows the National Park Services to acquire land from a willing, interested seller – and only a willing, interested seller – to increase access to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, with a focus on access from the south including the communities of Millinocket and East Millinocket. In addition, the National Park Service would be granted authority to purchase or lease facilities for a park headquarters, staff offices, and visitor services outside the boundary of the monument.

“Access from the south would be a critical addition to the monument that will help to improve the visitor experience and increase the positive economic impact in the region, particularly for Millinocket and East Millinocket. Our Senators have stepped up to support Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities by delivering increased appropriations and through the introduction of this bill,” continued Deeran. “We will continue to match their work by investing in park infrastructure, providing opportunities for local youth, and supporting visitors.”

Last year, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters opened the new Lunksoos Campsites – doubling tent sites accessible by car. The Katahdin Learning Project has led youth programs resulting in over 8,000 student experiences. Last month, Maine Audubon and the Friends group released the new birding hotspot map for the national monument. 

Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters will be hosting the 6th Anniversary Celebration of the national monument on Aug 27, 2022 at New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket. More information is available at www.friendsofkww.org/anniversary

July eNewsletter

Anniversary, Birding, WaYS, and more!

Summer is in full bloom at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Wildflowers are buzzing with pollinators, mushrooms are popping, and, yes, the humidity is socked in (though there are fresh rivers and ponds to cool off in!). We’re keeping pace with summer’s bloom and busy with many updates we’re eager to share with you today.

You’re invited to the 6th Anniversary Celebration! Registration is open for our 6th Anniversary Celebration of the designation of the monument on Saturday, August 27, at New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket. We can’t wait to gather as a community to celebrate our shared accomplishments and look forward to an exciting future. And, of course, to toast to our friends, summer, the monument and communities connected to it. Tickets are $25 per adult, and children 17 and under are free. There will be a live performance by Firefly the Hybrid (who delivered this amazing performance during the New Moon Teachings series), local food, Maine Beer Co. beer, daytime adventures, and more. Visit our Anniversary Celebration page for more details and to buy your tickets today.

*New* Birding Hotspot Map produced by Maine Audubon and Friends – All summer long, we’ve been working with our friends at Maine Audubon to highlight the national monument as a premier birding location and all-around some of the best access to the north woods in Maine. Following a fun and educational bird walk in the monument on June 26, we’ve teamed up to release this new Birding Hotspot Map, available on the Audubon website. For all you birders and wildlife observers, Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is calling on community scientists to help them document the plants, animals, and insects that can be found in the monument and in the greater region. Current species checklists can be found on the monument websiteeBird is the best place to share your bird lists and iNaturalist can be used for all plants and animals and is great if you have photos. When using eBird, please add lists to the specific locations within the monument.

Photo of a Moose among a stand of dead trees
Sometimes when you’re out looking for birds, you’ll find a moose! Photo courtesy of Nick Lund, Maine Audubon

Wabanaki Youth in Science (“WaYS”) – The WaYS group is back for their third summer at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Friends, NPS staff, and WaYS work together to establish procedures that sustain the program in addition to on-site, in-kind, and financial support from Friends. The WaYS crew works and learns in the monument and Acadia National Park. By bringing Cultural Knowledge and western science together while working on ancestral lands, crew members gain work experience through natural resources, cultural resources, and trail work projects. After two weeks at Acadia National Park, the crew has arrived at Katahdin Woods and Waters to work with NPS employees and education volunteers on natural resource projects. They have participated in water quality testing with Penobscot Department of Natural Resources and dragonfly-mercury sampling with NPS.

Maine Conservation Corps (“MCC”) Environmental Stewards – With thanks to the National Park Foundation Service Corps fund, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters has allocated funds to support two MCC Environmental Stewards who will help with NPS trail work this summer! One steward is here already and is working in the monument with Christopher “Dewey” Loft, Facility Manager at NPS, as their site supervisor.

Professional Development with Katahdin Learning Project – Katahdin Learning Project recently hosted two professional development opportunities for local educators and outdoors professionals. On June 28 and 29, we hosted the annual Teacher Camp to help educators implement place-based learning into their work. Ten teachers will be moving forward with community place based education projects in the region. On July 13 and 14, Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness Venture Team Leader, Nyle Sockbeson, and our own Elise Goplerud teamed up to facilitate a Leave No Trace trainer course for Katahdin region outdoor professionals. During these two days of hiking and camping, participants thoughtfully discussed wilderness ethics, low-impact recreation, and our role as outdoor educators. We practiced new techniques, tested out lessons and activities with each other, and, of course, no LNT trainer course is complete without a hilarious conversation on proper human waste management!

Ripple Effect – As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it. This month we’re highlighting recreational opportunities in the Katahdin Region!

  • Resources to visit Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
  • Bike Maine 2022: Lincoln – This year, the annual BikeMaine Weekend includes curated routes through the Katahdin region! Click here for registration (open through Aug 18) and more information for single-day rides or the full 3-day weekend. In addition to the daily rides, BikeMaine has worked with the town of Lincoln to schedule programming for the weekend including gravel rides, a farmers market, and a Maine Beer Company beer & wine garden. Registration for these programs can be found on the “Calendar” page of their website here.

Community Outdoor Fun – Katahdin Gear Library, Age Friendly Millinocket, Katahdin Area Trail, Millinocket Memorial Library, and OSI have teamed up to provide fun for local communities this summer. Each of the following programs meet weekly at the Katahdin Gear Library (215 Penobscot Ave, Millinocket): Women’s Trail Run is every Tuesday at 7am until Aug 16, the Group Mountain Bike Ride is every Wednesday at 6pm until Aug 17, and the Age-Friendly Community Walk is every Thursday at 8:30am until Aug 18! Learn more on the Katahdin Gear Library Facebook page.


Sponsor Spotlight – 6th Anniversary  – This month, we’re sending extra-special thanks to the businesses and organizations supporting our 6th Anniversary Celebration next month!

Presenting sponsor Maine Beer Company

Katahdin sponsor Richardson’s Hardware

Lookout sponsors Bangor Daily News, Down East Magazine, Elliotsville Foundation, Inc., L.L.Bean, National Parks Conservation Association; Deasey Sponsors Burt’s Bees, Haley Ward, NEMO Equipment, New England Outdoor Center; Barnard sponsors F.A. Peabody, Katahdin Trust, Lee Auto Malls, Trust for Public Land; and Hathorn sponsors Appalachian Mountain Club, Bangor Savings Bank, Ellis Family Markets, Gideon Asen Law, Maine Audubon, and Natural Resources Council of Maine.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on July 14, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

June eNewsletter

Trip planning, Bird Walk, Excavator, and more!

The gates across the park are open – providing entry to drive the Loop Road, hike to Deasey Pond, bike to the Lookout View, paddle the East Branch, and so much more. Access to these places is important and we believe the national monument provides some of the best public access to the north woods in Maine. And yet – this park has only been managed as a unit of the national park service for a little over five years, and so we’re committed to working to improve infrastructure and support visitation. This month, we write with some tools that will help make planning your next trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters easier.

Planning Your Trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

  • Camping Reservations on Recreation.gov – Our partners at the National Park Service have prioritized making camping reservations easier by setting up the national monument on Recreation.gov. Start by visiting the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Camping and Huts section and clicking on Build Itinerary. Then you can add your group size and start reserving campsites and lean-tos across the park. On June 25th, it’s the Great American Campout at national parks across the country. You can join visitors across the country enjoying special places on this day celebrating camping!
  • National Park Service App and website – You can get the most up-to-date information on the NPS website and now on the NPS App. Download the NPS App here, and gain the tools to experience more than 400 national park units. The app can be used to track progress on the river, trails, and roads, even when offline. Be sure to make the KAWW map available offline before your trip.
  • Visitor Contact Stations in Millinocket and Patten – The Visitor Contact Stations offer monument maps and publications along with trip planning assistance. The Millinocket Contact Station is open daily from late May through early October from 8 am to 4pm at 200 Penobscot Ave. Starting in July, the Patten Visitor Contact Station (located in the Lumbermen’s Museum) is open from 10 am to 4 pm at 61 Shin Pond Rd, closed Mondays. For operating hours, please visit here.
  • Support from Friends’ staff – Feel free to reach out to Friends staff for help planning a trip! June is a great month to try out canoeing and kayaking in the national monument (bugs are less likely to follow you while you’re out on the water!). Paddling is accessible from the Lunksoos Tent Sites area with a boat launch that gets you out onto a flatwater section of the East Branch of the Penobscot River.

Bird Walk with Maine Audubon and Friends on June 26th – Did you know that Katahdin Woods and Waters is home to a large diversity of birds? Members are invited to discover the amazing birding opportunities the monument has to offer on an exclusive bird walk with Maine Audubon’s Nick Lund and Friends staff! On our walk, we will discuss what makes the monument such a great place for birding, identify birds, and help you get to know the monument better. All experience levels are invited! For more information and to register, click the link here.


Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters staff recently gathered for Wear Your PFD to Work Day. We paddled upriver to the Big Seboeis campsite (in our PFDs!) from Lunksoos and then came back for a meal at Craig’s Clam Shop – now open for the summer season in Patten, Maine.


Friends gifts “Mini”-Excavator to National Park Service – Maintaining logging roads, especially in an area with many streams, brooks, and rivers that are vital to Atlantic salmon passage, is a lot of work. To help the National Park Service keep up with constant culvert maintenance needs, Friends gifted our friends in the maintenance department at NPS a CAT brand Mini-Excavator. This gift was made possible with support from the National Park Foundation and supporters like you! If you find yourself coming across the CAT doing work this summer, or other NPS maintenance staff, please say thank you! They’re working hard to maintain and improve access all across the national monument.


Ripple Effect – As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it. This month we’re highlighting influencers and organizations that speak to important moments in June, particularly pride month and Juneteenth.

  • Atlantic Black Box Project – This Juneteenth we encourage those who call New England home to think critically about how the northeast is connected to slavery by engaging with the work of Atlantic Black Box Project. The organizers ask “Why have we been telling certain stories about New England and not others? How did we come to unknow the region’s deep complicity in the institution of slavery and systems of oppression?”
  • LGBTQ+ in the Outdoors: A conversation between Elyse Rylander and L.L. Bean – Our friends at L.L. Bean are using their platform to elevate LGBTQ+ voices, including Elyse Rylander (founder of OUT There Adventures). The conversation covers obstacles LGBTQ+ folks face in the outdoors and how important the outdoors can be to shaping people’s lives. Check it out!
  • Inclusive whitewater day – On June 12, Penobscot river whitewater enthusiasts gathered for a discussion on how we can create a more inclusive whitewater community. If you would like to find out more or support this discussion, visit the Inclusive Whitewater event page.

    Sponsor Spotlight

    Many thanks to Katahdin Trust, supporting Friends since 2018, for their yearlong sponsorship at the Barnard level.

     

    We share gratitude for Down East Magazine for their generous sponsorship at the Lookout level!

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on June 14, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

May eNewsletter

April showers bring May flowers… but May brings more than just flowers! May brings newborn moose calves with their gangly legs and awkwardness, fiddleheads and blazing green leaves, relentless chicks begging for food, and swelling water levels in our rivers. What are the signs of renewal and growth that you look forward to each May?

Painted trillium wildflower
Painted trillium by Elise Goplerud

In our forests, spring is a time for growth. And why not also a time for personal and professional growth as well? Read on to learn how Friends is supporting professional and personal growth in the Katahdin region and how you can sign up!

Teacher Camp (in person) – Registration is open!

June 28th-29th 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at Taylor’s Katahdin View Camps and Campground, Stacyville. Educators are invited to join the Katahdin Learning Project for a two-day workshop to learn how to integrate place-based learning into your lessons. Place-based learning is applicable to all educators, and this two-day workshop is not restricted to just classroom teachers. Participants have the opportunity to pursue micro-badges and CEU’s. Register today: www.friendsofkww.org/teachercamp

Wabanaki REACH Training (virtual)- Registration is open!

June 13th 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Access to this training is a benefit of your membership and provided free of cost! “This program is an interactive experience in which we engage in a story of particular events in the history of 400 years of colonization of Wabanaki people by Europeans in this territory now called the state of Maine. This highly engaging experience requires our full participation in order to genuinely increase our understanding of colonization and what it means for current descendants and future generations; to reflect on what story we are writing for our grandchildren.”  Register for the training here.

Leave No Trace Trainer (in person)

June 23-24th and July 13-14th (Both courses are FULL! Email elise@friendsofkww.org to be added to the waitlist.) Friends is hosting several Leave No Trace trainer courses this year. These two-day courses teach wilderness ethics and minimal impact recreation skills to outdoors people of all experience levels. Friends’ Program Associate Elise Goplerud, and Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness Project Venture Team Lead Nyle Sockbeson are co-leading these training sessions for outdoor professionals in the Katahdin region.

Trip Planning

Taking a trip to the Katahdin region and trying something new is great for personal growth! In May, fish are biting and river levels are typically high, though take note, levels this year are running lower than ususal. If you haven’t spent time on one of the rivers in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, we can help you plan a trip. May is National Water Safety Month. Prepare yourself for your time on the river by learning about water hazards and water vessel safety. Gates to the national monument are still closed to vehicles due to mud season, but they typically open in late May. You can get the most up-to-date information on the NPS website and now on the NPS App. Download the NPS App here and gain the tools to explore more than 400 national park units. The app can be used to track progress on the river, trails, and roads, even when offline. Be sure to make the KAWW map available offline before your trip. Tip: Track your progress down the river and never miss the portage trails!

Katahdin Brook aerial view
Katahdin Brook by Elise Goplerud

Ripple Effect

As Friends here in the Katahdin Region, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from Katahdin Woods and Waters and the communities connected to it.

Fiddlers and Fiddlehead Festival- Patten, ME May 21st 11:00 am- 4:00 pm Join us for this local festival on May 21st for good food, amazing music, beautiful crafts and lots of fun at the Patten Lumberman’s Museum. You’ll be able to catch all of Friends’ staff at this event sharing the emcee role, facilitating kids’ games, and at our booth. Come say hi!

Katahdin Region Outdoor Trainings – Registration is open!

Friends is collaborating with several other groups in the region to create a collection of professional outdoor training courses in the Katahdin region. This is part of the efforts of the Working Communities Challenge as a way to bolster the outdoor recreation workforce in the region. These different groups will be facilitating courses in swiftwater rescue, wilderness first aid, mountain bike leadership, trail work and several others. Take a look at what is being offered and sign up here: www.outdoorsi.org/katahdin-trainings

Sponsor Spotlight

We welcome Gideon Asen with gratitude for joining us in 2022 at the Hathorn level.

Gideon Asen logo

Thank you Maine Beer Company for supporting Friends since 2017! MBC is a true champion in 2022 at the Katahdin level.

Maine Beer Company logo

Sponsors provide crucial funding that supports our mission and work–such as training, educational programming, and community partnerships. To learn more, visit friendsofkww.org/sponsorship or contact sarah@friendsofkww.org.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on May 24, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

April eNewsletter

April is the ______ month, depending whom you ask. It is certainly the messiest. Those of us with dirt driveways, pets to walk, or children fond of puddles spend much of it whisking gravelly mud out the front door, back into the warming yard. Housekeeping of a more serious order is underway for many birds returning to Katahdin Woods and Waters from their winter homes. The roads may yet be gated or too muddy for driving (check conditions here), but locals and visitors venturing into the monument by foot to birdwatch will be rewarded. Download Friends’ Bird Checklist before you go, and consider taking part in community science endeavors–your data can help park service staff learn more about the monument’s ecosystem.

Spring Membership Appeal

Check your inbox for a very special letter from Steve Richardson, Friends’ board vice-president and local leader. Now is the time to renew your support for everything Friends will do in 2022–from resource protection to visitation to youth programming, and so much more!

Friends’ Board Endorses Legislation

At the March 29th convening, the board of directors voted to endorse three bills that are being presented this session in the Maine State Legislature: LD1626LD906, and LD585. The three bills address Wabanaki tribal rights and activities, and more information is available from the Wabanaki Alliance.

Wabanaki Reach Training available to Members

Have you wondered what it means to “decolonize” your thinking? Would you like to learn more about Wabanaki issues and perspectives? Friends will again partner with Wabanaki REACH to offer their Interacting With Wabanaki-Maine History training on two dates this spring: May 24th, 5-7 p.m. and June 13th, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. This program will deepen your understanding of Wabanaki history since colonization and inspire reflections on the story we are writing for your grandchildren. Stay tuned for a registration link via email soon!

April Vacation Camp

Friends’ place-based learning program Katahdin Learning Project is partnering with the Millinocket Memorial Library for another Vacation Kids Camp. Kids will not only have a fun, safe place to go during April school break, they will also learn about the environment around them and practice giving back. Each day features a theme including: outdoor skills, creative critters, nature games, astronomy & atmosphere, and Earth Day. A week of engaging lessons will culminate with a community Earth Day project!

Save-the-Date for Teacher Camp

Katahdin Learning Project will host its popular Teacher Camp June 28-29th in the Katahdin region. Teacher Camp is for any educator who is interested in engaging their students in place-based learning. Educators will learn the principles and foundations of place-based learning, see examples and then make a plan of their own. For more information and registration, contact Education Director Kala Rush at kala@friendsofkww.org.

Ripple Effect – Partner News and Notes

As the non-profit philanthropic partner to our National Park Service unit, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from inside Katahdin Woods and Waters. In this monthly section we also share community “ripples” highlighting the work of connected organizations.

Open NPS jobs at KAWW

We join NPS and dark-sky advocates everywhere in celebration of International Dark Sky Week–April 22-30. April is the perfect time to plan your astro-tourism trip to the only IDA-designated Dark Sky Sanctuary east of the Mississippi River, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument! Whether you are a seasoned stargazer or newly curious, you’ll find much to help you enjoy and protect this natural, cultural, and economic resource in the Night Skies section of nps.gov.

Learn more: Access the recording and resource list from our 2021 Stars Over Katahdin virtual presentation here.

Finally, we noticed in March that Outside Magazine listed Katahdin Woods and Waters as a top under-the-radar destination of our national parks system–highlighting the dark skies and its part in a “wide swatch of protected lands.” Even in the off-season, with muddy roads and bird songs mostly enjoyed by fellow avians, Friends is deeply committed to supporting NPS and the communities of the Katahdin region in welcoming more visitors each year. We hope that among the visitors in 2022 will be you and your family.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on April 24, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

March eNewsletter

Recent snowshoe trips confirm that winter is not quite done in Katahdin Woods and Waters, but spring is coming on strong! In the woods, the whisper of frozen flakes has been replaced by the drip, drip, plink of melting snow and hopeful cheeps and chirps of animals waking and returning. Likewise, here at Friends the busy work of readying for the next season is underway.

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re joining the National Park Service in encouraging everyone to pause and consider inspiring women who’ve made a difference. It’s a great moment to highlight Roxanne Quimby–a woman who followed her dreams from art student to homesteader, mother, entrepreneur, and ultimately conservationist. “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something,” she’s quipped. We’re so glad that “something” was her work to realize Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Read more about Roxanne’s path to making the largest gift of land in our national parks system’s history from the Burt’s Bees blog.

Snowshoeing Near The Monument

Kids from all over the Katahdin region are joining the Katahdin Learning Project in March on the Seboeis River Trail. Students are learning the fundamentals of winter travel as they learn and practice snowshoeing during this full day program. In addition to teaching skills and sharing the magnificent Seboeis river, KLP is leading thoughtful discussions and activities focusing on positive environmental actions we can all take to ensure these resources are available for generations to come.

Save the Dates!

It’s hard to imagine now, but soon we’ll be shedding our sweaters and dusting off our hiking boots…and getting ready for our summer and fall events in the Katahdin Region. Save the dates and stay tuned for details in the coming months:

6th Anniversary Celebration – Saturday, August 27th

Stars Over Katahdin – Saturday, September 17th

Sponsorship opportunities are available for your business or non-profit organization! Show your support for Friends, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and our communities at a sponsorship level that is right for you. Let’s chat! Contact sarah@friendsofkww.org

Ripple Effect – NPS and Community News and Notes

As the non-profit philanthropic partner to our National Park Service unit, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national NPS colleagues, and share inside news from right inside Katahdin Woods and Waters. We also want to recognize connected partners, so this month we are adding community “ripples” as well.

Click here to view open NPS jobs at KAWW

Following Katahdin Learning Project’s successful inaugural vacation camp at Millinocket Memorial Library, Katahdin Gear Library Assistant Coleman Haskell reports increased interest in the library’s Outdoor Adventure Club, which provides outdoor physical activities like cross country skiing, hiking, and campfire cooking for two hours every Tuesday after school. The library thanks Outdoor Sport Institute and Katahdin Area Trails for their partnership in making the club a success–and we are all looking forward to April Vacation Camp (psst–registration is open)!

Early this month, Governor Janet Mills and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced that six Maine Working Communities Challenge teams have been selected to receive three-year, $375,000 grants to begin implementing proposals that address local economic problems, including lack of work opportunity. Friends is thrilled to be collaborating on the Katahdin Region Working Communities Challenge, which advances local collaborative efforts that build strong, healthy economies and communities in Maine’s regions through local teams working together to improve economic outcomes for all people.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on March 25, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—

Announcement from Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters

Today we share news of a transition here at Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters. Andrew Bossie is moving on to new endeavors after serving as Executive Director for over four and a half years. Deputy Director Sam Deeran has stepped up to serve as Acting Executive Director.

In the words of Board President Molly Ross: “Andy’s departing gift is an organization galvanized for continued success. We thank him for his work to move this organization from its start-up to a long, bright future.”

At our annual meeting on March 3rd, Friends members and the National Park Service staff joined us to celebrate ongoing work made possible through our public-private partnership, which has led to key projects like the new Lunksoos Tent Sites. You can watch an excerpt from the annual meeting here.


Meghan Cooper (Development Director), Kala Rush (Education Director), Andy Bossie (Friends’ first Executive Director), and Sam Deeran (Acting Executive Director) returned from a trip to Haskell Hut in 2019. In 2021, Friends added three new staff: Sarah Andre (Development Associate), Ruger Pearson (Admin Associate), and Elise Goplerud (Program Associate). While remote work has kept the staff from grabbing a photo together, we all wish Andy well in his future endeavors! Meghan Cooper (Development Director), Kala Rush (Education Director), Andy Bossie (Friends’ first Executive Director), and Sam Deeran (Acting Executive Director) returned from a trip to Haskell Hut in 2019. In 2021, Friends added three new staff: Sarah Andre (Development Associate), Ruger Pearson (Admin Associate), and Elise Goplerud (Program Associate). While remote work has kept the staff from grabbing a photo together, we all wish Andy well in his future endeavors!


Andy moves on having led the organization through its first strategic plan, delivering accomplishments for both the Monument and surrounding communities. He shared these parting words: “I’ll always be a Friend of Katahdin Woods and Waters. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to give back to a place that has given so much to me. I trust that the Monument and the community will continue to thrive. The day-to-day operations of the Friends staff are stronger than ever.”

Friends, the official philanthropic partner to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is nearing a membership of 1,000 people, works in collaboration with dozens of connected organizations, and is stewarded by a 14-person Board of Directors. Acting Executive Director Sam Deeran has worked for Friends for four years, three as Deputy Director. The staff of six will continue their work to support the organization’s mission as the Board focuses on the strategic priorities for the next chapter.

As we move forward, we share these words from Sam: “We’re inspired to play a part in important work happening here in the Katahdin Region. Relationships are at the heart of that work and so we extend our thanks to all those who are Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters. Partners, collaborators, and supporters are vital to the future of the Monument and communities connected to it.”

February eNewsletter

Winter truly arrived in the Katahdin Region a few weeks ago, bringing frigid temperatures, feet of snow, and all the adaptations (and fun!) that residents and visitors make this time of year. Whether you’ve relaxed into a winter dormancy like our black bears, or joined our river otters in taking full advantage of crisp and sparkling winter days–we have news this month to inspire.


Blue skies and bountiful snow above Katahdin Woods and Waters

Before the recent thaw, blue skies and bountiful snow above Katahdin Woods and Waters. Photo by Elise Goplerud.


Annual Meeting

All are welcome to register now for Friends’ Annual Meeting. We hope you’ll join us from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3rd. Once again we’ll host this annual gathering on Zoom. Friends’ staff and directors will share updates and a sneak peek of events and happenings coming in 2022. “Meet” new Superintendent Mark Wimmer and National Park Service staff–they will join us with the forecast on park infrastructure, planning, and programming.

February Vacation Kids Camp

Friends’ education team, the Katahdin Learning Project, is busy preparing for its inaugural Vacation Camp in Millinocket, partnering with the Katahdin Gear Library. During their February school vacation, local kids will learn while having fun for five days of nature-based programming. This free, full-day camp will cover geocaching, wildlife, wilderness survival, outdoor sports and nature art. A true community effort, volunteers have signed up to teach campfire cooking, hand out scavenger hunt clues, and provide transportation.

Winter #AllInKatahdin Guide

A few warm days can’t stop the winter fun–don’t forget to revisit our Winter Guide produced in 2021 with your contributions! If you recreate in or near Katahdin Woods and Waters this season, share your adventure on social media tagged with #AllInKatahdin so others can see just how much there is to do–from hut-to-hut snowshoeing and skiing to snowmobile treks and so much more.

Ripple Effect – NPS News and Notes

This month, we begin a new feature in our monthly eNews. As the non-profit philanthropic partner to our National Park Service unit, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national NPS colleagues, and share inside news from right inside Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Click here to view open NPS Jobs at KAWW!

In February, Friends staff is joining the NPS in making Black History Month an opportunity for learning. We are reading about the achievements, contributions, resilience, and legacies of Black Americans through stories from more than 400 national parks and communities. Follow along for 28 Days of Black History with us, while we challenge ourselves to consider Black stories in the landscapes of Katahdin Woods and Waters.

—- This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on February 17, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org —-

January eNewsletter

Happy New Year to you and yours! As 2022 begins, we make an important transition together. This Weds, Jan 5th we will be hosting the 12th webinar in the New Moon Teachings series. While this will be the last webinar, we invite you to join us as we gather one more time and consider how our learning will continue into 2022 and beyond.


αkəlo-ssaməwehsit-kisohs, "Moon that provides little- food grudgingly” drum painting by James E. Francis, Sr., Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, Penobscot Nation


αkəlo-ssaməwehsit-kisohs, “Moon that provides little- food grudgingly” drum painting by James E. Francis, Sr., Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, Penobscot Nation

New Moon Teachings: Please join us for New Moon Teachings on Weds, Jan 5th from 5 to 6:30 PM EST. This month’s New Moon Teachings will wrap up the webinar series with teachings from Dr. Imelda Perley Opolahsomuwehs (University of New Brunswick from the Maliseet First Nation). She will be joined for the Q & A and moments of reflection by Suzanne Greenlaw (doctoral candidate at U Maine from the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians) and Andrew Bossie (Executive Director of Friends). To RSVP for New Moon Teachings, please visit our website.

Snowshoeing and Winter #AllInKatahdin: While we’re awaiting a bit more snow for grooming to make XC skiing and snowmobiling happen, now is a great time to snowshoe. The Seboeis River Trail near the north entrance to the park is a newly improved trail in the area and a wonderful place to snowshoe. You can preview the trail with photos posted here on our Facebook. For other ideas about ways to enjoy winter fun, check out the Winter #AllInKatahdin Guide (compiled with over 250 survey replies about the best things to do in the region during the snowy months).

Adventure Fridays with Katahdin Learning Project: Adventure Fridays will be in full swing in January. During Adventure Fridays, Katahdin Learning Project staff travels to Katahdin Elementary weekly for place-based learning programs. These programs are designed to build off each other to increase students’ appreciation and stewardship of nature. Katahdin Learning Project staff designs these programs based on feedback from students and teachers on what they are passionate about. Working with the same students weekly, year-after-year helps KLP make meaningful connections with the students.

2022 looks to be a year where meaningful connections will continue to move us forward together. This month, we will be welcoming Sheldon “Mark” Wimmer as the new Superintendent of Katahdin Woods and Waters. There is growth and transition on the path ahead and we look to walking with Mark and supporters like you.

—- This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on January 3, 2021. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org —-

December eNewsletter

Welcome our new Superintendent, Mark Wimmer! This week, we’re excited to welcome Superintendent Sheldon “Mark” Wimmer as the new superintendent of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. We look forward to working with Superintendent Wimmer, the fantastic park service staff, and a diverse community of partners to preserve and protect these woods, waters, and dark skies. To learn more about Mark, read the NPS press release here. You can also read the Friends press release here.


kči-kisohs - Old moon (Penobscot) drum painted by James E. Francis, Sr., Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation for the Penobscot Nation.


kči-kisohs – Old moon (Penobscot) drum painted by James E. Francis, Sr., Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation for the Penobscot Nation.

New Moon Teachings – Black Ash Basket Making: You’re invited to the next New Moon Teachings on Dec 5th from 6 to 7:30 PM EST. This month’s New Moon Teachings is about Black Ash Basket Making and will feature studio visits with basket makers. We are grateful to host a panel of Richard Silliboy (Micmac basket maker), Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot basket maker), and Gabriel Frey (Passamaquoddy basket maker). To RSVP for New Moon Teachings, please visit our website.

Get to know your Friends team: Friends staff are passionate about the national monument, the Katahdin Region, and getting outdoors together! This fall, as we ask our members to join us in support of our work, we’ll be sharing a little about ourselves and what excites us most about our work. Please visit our Facebook page to read profiles about our staff and the work they do with your support.

—- This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on December 1, 2021. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org —-