Friday, October 31, 2014

Acadia National Park: Public Meeting to Discuss Increases in Park Entrance and Camping Fees

Acadia National Park officials will hold a public meeting to discuss possible fee increases in 2015.

The current park entrance fees have remained unchanged since 2004. In response to a service-wide effort to standardize entrance fees, the National Park Service has updated the standard entrance fee rate schedule. The proposed increases in park entrance fees will allow park managers to invest in the improvements necessary to provide the best possible park experience for its visitors. Additional revenue will also enable the park staff to enhance visitor services in preparation for Acadia’s centennial celebration in 2016.

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or to holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access or Military Passes. These passes may be obtained at the Park.

Entrance Fee Type               Current                Proposed

Annual Pass                             $40                      $50

7-day Vehicle Pass                  $20                      $25

7-day Motorcycle Pass            N/A                     $20

7-day Per Person Pass              $5                       $12

Similar to the park entrance fees, Acadia’s campground fees have not changed in over a decade. With the new Schoodic Woods Campground opening in the summer of 2015, the park completed a comparison of facilities, services, and rate structures to similar private and public campgrounds in the area. Using this same study, the park is proposing to increase the rates at Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds at this same time. Based on the comparable campgrounds in the vicinity of the Schoodic Peninsula and Mount Desert Island, the park arrived at the rates in the table below.

Camping Fee Type                         Current                Proposed

Walk-in Tent Site                              $14                       $22

Tent/Small RV Site                           $20                       $30

RV with electric                                 N/A                      $36

RV with water and electric                N/A                      $40

Group                                                 $50                       $60

“We certainly want to keep recreational use of the park affordable but we also have an obligation to keep our prices in line with surrounding campgrounds,” said Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele. “Eighty percent of the money collected from entrance and camping fees stays right here in Acadia to improve facilities, infrastructure, and visitor services.”

Acadia National Park is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area. The NPS Natural Resource Stewardship and Science office conducted a study in 2012 showing more than 2.43 million park visitors contributed over $200 million in economic benefit for the communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 3,089 jobs in the local area related to tourism.

“We invite the public to share their thoughts and comments at the public meeting or to send their comments to us if they can’t attend,” stated Superintendent Steele. A public meeting will be held on the second floor of the Bar Harbor Town Office at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 12th. 

Comments can also be submitted by email to, or to the address below:

Superintendent Sheridan Steele
ATTN: Fee Change Comments
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Comments submitted by mail or email are welcome at any time; however, to be part of the evaluation for the proposal for the fee change they should be received no later than December 8, 2014. If you have any questions about the proposed changes to the entrance fee structure or campground fees, please contact Sarah Milligan, Acting Fee Business Manager, at (207) 288-8781.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Conference Will Plant Seeds for Farm to School

Conference Will Plant Seeds for Farm to School

The third annual Maine Farm to School Conference will take place at Ellsworth Elementary and Middle School on Saturday November 1st, from 9am to 4pm. The conference is organized by the Maine School Garden Network, the Maine Farm to School Network, FoodCorps Maine, and Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, in partnership with Healthy Acadia and Ellsworth Public Schools.

The aim of the conference is to bring educators, school food service staff, and farm to school and garden organizers together to share best practices from around Maine and the country. Workshops will include: Local Purchasing and Processing; School Orchards; Seed Saving; Best Cafeteria Practices; Boat to School; Extending the School Garden Season; Waste Reduction and Cafeteria Composting; and much more. Speakers will include: Chelsea Simpson of the National Farm to School Network; Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb; and John Piotti, President of Maine Farmland Trust.

In previous years this hugely successful and popular conference has taken place in Unity and Portland. This year, conference organizers are pleased to bring it to a new region of Maine. “This is an incredible opportunity for teachers, school cooks, parents, students, and school administrators from the Downeast region to hear from state and national level experts on Farm to School, as well as to share their wealth of experience from the region’s growing Farm to School movement” says Katie Freedman, Food, Farm and Nutrition Program Manager at Healthy Acadia.

Conference registration costs $20, and is now open at A local foods lunch will be provided by Ellsworth Public Schools. For more information contact Ken Morse, Maine Farm to School Network Coordinator, at or 393-0134. 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Harbor House Happenings October 2014

Harbor House Happenings
October 2014
Halloween Party  
Save the date for our annual Community Halloween Party on Saturday, October 25th from 5:30-7:30 pm.

We will need a few volunteers for decorating and helping with games. If you are interested please contact Crystal at  244-3713 or email her at
Lifestyle Change Program

Harbor House has partnered with the MDI Hospital to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program known as the "Lifestyle Change Program". This program consists of 16 weeks of one hour sessions followed by  4-6 months of one hour a month meetings. The goal of this program, with the help of Dieticians, Physical Therapists, Health Coaches and Personal Trainers is to aid participants in adopting a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise that will keep you on the path of wellness and the prevention of Diabetes. 

This program starts onFriday, October 10th and meets weekly 1:00-2:00pmat Harbor House's Main Street building. 
To sign up for this program please contact Heather Lewis at MDI Hospital 
Health & Fitness 


Lisa Tweedie has earned the Certified Cancer Exercise Specialist Advanced Qualification through the Cancer Exercise Training Institute.  She attended a 2 day training at the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston, Maine. Lisa will be instructing a free class called BE ACTIVE at the 
Harbor House Fitness CenterTuesdays 1:00-1:45Oct. 21Dec. 23.  All levels are welcome as long as you have a medical clearance from a physician prior to starting.  For more information contact Lisa Tweedie, 207-244-9555, or

For a full list of our classes 
check our website
 For more information contact Lisa at 244-9555 or email at
Youth Sports Athletics
Harbor House will be sponsoring travel basketball teams again this year. If you have a child in grades 3 through 6 who is interested in playing on a travel team, please contact Harbor House so we can determine the level of interest in this program. Call us at 244 - 3713.
We are also looking ahead to the beginning of our youth basketball program in December. If you would be interested in coaching one of our youth teams, helping out as team manager, or refereeing some of ourSaturday games, please contact our Sports Director Mark at
Children's Center Children's Center

Happy Fall from the Children's Center!  As always, it is a busy time here at the Center.  Fall is bringing lots of outdoor exploration, observations of the changing season and a variety of science experiments.  Space is currently available in our Busy Bee room (3's & 4's) and in our Dragonfly room (Pre-K), full or partial weeks.  Our Ladybug Room (18-36 months) is currently full but we are accepting names for our waiting list,as we will have some Ladybugs moving into the Busy Bee room in January.  If you would like to learn more about the Children's Center or would like to schedule a visit, call Mary Ellen at 244-9824.
During the month of October, Children's Center families will be selling "Mixed Bag Design" products to raise money for the Center.  The star products from Mixed Bags are reusable shopping bags of various sizes and designs.  These bags are made from recycled materials, they are sturdy and stand up while you are filling them!  You can order through a Children's Center family or staff (you pay no tax or shipping and HHCC earns 50% ) or you can order on line at pay tax & shipping and HHCC earns 40%).  You are welcome to stop by the Center on Herrick Road to check out our display of samples. If you have questions, call 244-9824.
Youth Center
underground logo
There has been a significant change to the layout of the Youth Center this year. Mark and Crystal's former office has been converted into a "Quiet Zone" where kids can get away from the bustle and excitement of the game room for more focused activities. It is a place where they can read, work on homework, quietly use their personal electronics, or just collect their thoughts. It has quickly become a popular place and clearly filled an important need for the Underground.

Besides providing a fun and comfortable place to hang out after school,the Underground also offers a variety of enrichment programs over the course of the year. One popular program that will be starting up again this week is Cafe Book. Cafe Book is a collaboration between the Underground and the Southwest Harbor Library that makes it convenient for students to get across the street and benefit from another valuable community resource. A librarian will pick participants up from the Underground on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30, then walk them over to the library, where they can enjoy a simple snack while reading, working on homework, listening to an audiobook, and using the computer or any of the many resources our library provides. Participants are walked back to the Underground by 5:00, or parents can pick their children up at the library.

Parents, please remember that while participation in the Underground Youth center is totally free, we do ask that you fill out a new registration form each year. This ensures that our information is accurate and up to date.