FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 23rd, 2019
Cell: (207) 899 – 9983
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Community Gathers to Celebrate Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at
3rd Anniversary Celebration
This year’s festivities take place as the Monument makes progress improving infrastructure and the visitor experience and helping to revitalize the Katahdin Region.
Patten, ME — Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters (Friends) and Maine Beer Company will kick off the 3rd Anniversary Celebration of the establishment of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument this weekend. The events taking place on Friday and Saturday include over 200 participants and organizers are encouraging the public to enjoy the beautiful late-summer weather through guided and self-guided Monumental Experiences.
“We’re proud with the progress our Monument has made in only three years,” said Friends’ Executive Director, Andrew Bossie. “Signs are going up, visitation continues to increase, planning is underway, and local communities are realizing the educational and economic benefits of this special place; we’re excited about the future of the park and for the gateway communities of the Katahdin Region. This weekend we raise a glass with the village it takes to raise this Monument – the people, foundations, and businesses who make this place what it is and what it will be.”
The Saturday night celebration, presented with Maine Beer Company, will include dinner from New England Outdoor Center, Maine Beer Company’s Woods & Waters IPA, live performances from the Magic 8 Ball Quartet, and the raffle, live auction, and silent auction of outdoor gear, experiences, and memorabilia. Following a speaking program and awards ceremony, guests will get the chance to experience the exceptional night skies of the area with John Meader, astronomy expert and operator of Northern Stars Planetarium.
Guests are invited to take part in one of four guided Monumental Experiences during the day before the Saturday celebration. Visitors can enjoy a hike up Deasey Mountain, a hike up Barnard Mountain, a family hike at New England Outdoor Center, or a flintknapping demo with Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Chris Sockalexis.
“These August days provide a great opportunity for visitors to strike a connection to the landscape and its history and culture. Our work begins and ends with folks appreciating this incredible public resource,” said Bossie. “In our third year as a non-profit and third year of this park, we’ve worked hard to improve the visitor experience. Just this year, we released a new bird checklist, co-published a new edition of the Map Adventures map of the Monument, and started ground-truthing maps for a new paddling guide. We’ve also provided 1,000 young people with outdoor educational experiences through the Katahdin Learning Project and an inaugural youth conservation corps this year.”
Visitors to the Monument will witness recent infrastructure improvements including a new bridge over Katahdin Brook built by local students working for the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps, improved trails along the Loop Rd at Deasey Pond and the Esker Trail built by Appalachian Mountain Club, and new trail signs put up by the National Park Service. And the long-awaited road signs leading to the Monument should start going up before the year’s end according to Park Superintendent, Tim Hudson.
“It’s been an inspiration for the Katahdin Region to have its youth improving accessibility in the Monument that neighbors their communities,” said Bossie. “The Baxter Youth Conservation Corps is the first youth corps to work in Katahdin Woods and Waters and they’ve made an immediate and meaningful impact, rebuilding a highly trafficked bridge over Katahdin Brook to Orin Falls. We can’t wait for visitors to check it out.” Bossie went on to explain that funding from The Wilderness Society empowered the partnership between the two Friends groups that support the neighboring parks.
During a short speaking program on Saturday evening, National Park Service Superintendent Tim Hudson, Maine Beer Company Co-owner Dan Kleban, Elliotsville Foundation Executive Director Lucas St. Clair, Friends Board President Molly Ross, and Friends Executive Director Andrew Bossie will be sharing remarks. Friends will also be presenting three awards. Receiving the award for Excellence in Volunteerism will be Vicki Richardson of Patten, who has been a stalwart park service volunteer and with her husband donated their family home as an administrative building for the Monument. The award for Outstanding Public Service will go to Chris Sockalexis, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Nation, who has played a critical role in the park’s management planning process and helping the public understand the historical and cultural significance of the Monument and surrounding lands. And the Conservation Colleague award will go to Friends of Baxter State Park, who partnered with Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters to bring the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps to the Monument.
The event is being generously supported by sponsors and individuals from around the Katahdin Region, Maine, and beyond. Maine Beer Company is co-presenting the event for the third time in as many years. To drive visitation to the Monument and attendance at the Anniversary, Down East Magazine has published advertisements for the party in their July and August editions. The Bangor Daily News has published promotions in its print and online publications to help drive visitation to the event, the Monument, and the surrounding communities. Maine business sponsors New England Outdoor Center, L.L. Bean, Lee Auto Malls, and Katahdin Trust are 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. Conservation-minded organizations and businesses, including The Wilderness Society, Patagonia, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Appalachian Mountain Club, and National Parks Conservation Association, who have played a critical role in encouraging public engagement during the Monument’s management planning process are continuing their support of the Monument through sponsorship of this event. Lastly, the local photography firm Pamola Creative donated their trove of photos from the short film “Monumental,” photos which Friends uses to showcase the exceptional beauty and ecological vitality of the Katahdin Woods and Waters.
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.