Since 2000, Friends of Baxter State Park’s annual membership dues, donations, and funds from generous granting organizations have helped us achieve trail restoration, skills trainings, scientific research, historic research, advocacy, publication, youth educational experiences, outreach, and more. Here is a list of recent achievements. Thank you for supporting these important projects!
EDUCATION about the value of wilderness and the Park’s unique nature.
• Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program –Each year ten Maine high school students spend nine days backpacking in the Park’s backcountry, working with two highly qualified wilderness leaders and more than a dozen specialists. This program has been funded through the generous support of the Quimby Family Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation. See Program section of this website for more information.
• Trainings – Friends provided scholarships for “Leave No Trace” training for people who work with youth.
• Publications – In addition to our quarterly newsletter Forever Wild, Friends published and distributed brochures, books, calendars, and more. These help the public develop a deeper understanding of the Park.
• Friends with assistance from L. L. Bean has provided the Park with Naturalist Adventure Packs to lend to visiting families with children. These daypacks are filled with fun activities, materials, books, and supplies to help young explorers have fun and learn in the Park.
• Events and Activities – Friends organizes and participates in activities in and outside of the Park. The Walks in the Park program offers a variety of experiences in the Park with reserved spaces in lean-tos and cabins in all seasons at varied locations. The FBSP Annual Meeting is held in April at the Viles Arboretum in Augusta and hosts a variety of speakers, updates on the State of the Park, reports projects, trail work, and more. Also hikes, food, artwork, and books are featured Special celebrations such as Governor Baxter Day held in Portland in August, 2013 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legacy of Governor Baxter’s gift, with a full day of activities, including visits to Baxter-related sites in the Portland area, hikes, presentations, an art tour, and a reception at the Maine Historic Society.
RECRUITMENT of people to work for the good of the Park.
• Volunteers in the Park – Friends volunteer in the Park, providing extra hands for clean up, trail grooming, and a variety of tasks. Volunteer Page
• Volunteer Coordinator - Friends supported a volunteer coordinator in the Park, who organized a variety of valuable volunteer activities for all ages and abilities.
• Chainsaw trainings – Friends funds Chainsaw Certification for sawyers who put their skills to good use in the Park.
• Safety and Rescue – Friends has sponsored training workshops including “Rigging for Rescue” with Mount Desert Search and Rescue providing scholarships for Park staff and members of Maine search and rescue teams. Friends in partnership with Maine Search and Rescue Association donated a lightweight rescue litter for emergencies in the back-country.
ADVOCACY for the Park’s resources.
• Monitor policy developments – Friends stays informed about issues that might affect the Park. Members have reviewed and commented on the Park Management Plan. Friends continues to urge for and support comprehensive long range planning for trails and the Park’s commitment to use a formal planning process called “limits of acceptable change.” See Position Papers (link) for more info.
• Attend meetings – Friends attends Baxter State Park Authority and the BSP Advisory meetings as well as special meetings that involve the Park.
• Mobilize responses – Friends can muster a letter writing campaign, offer testimonies, and organize an effective response to a variety of issues that might affect the Park.
PARTICIPATION in the STEWARDSHIP of the Park
• Trail Work – FBSP has funded teams of professionals, interns, and volunteers doing valuable trail restoration and reconstruction in the Park during the summer season.
This includes work by the Maine Conservation Corps, funded by a matching Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant. Each Spring FBSP sends chainsaw crews to clear blow downs from trails to free up the Park’s trail crew for other projects.
• Science and Research– Friends supports Science in the Park that provides the Park with valuable data to inform their policies and management. Friends supplemented a Maine Outdoor Heritage grant received by the Maine Natural Area Program to support a Vegetation Mapping Project conducted in B.S.P. in 2011. We have also funded an inventory of the Baxter State Park trail system with the help of a generous grant from the Davis Conservation Fund. Two interns, armed with data-loggers, have covered many miles of trails in the Park, recording location, condition, and noted needed improvements. This valuable information provides the basis for long term planning for trail restoration/reconstruction as well as decision making about future and abandoned trails.