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Celebrating a Century of Conservation and Looking to the Future

The creation of Acadia National Park is often noted as a significant landmark in what we might today refer to as Maine’s Conservation Movement. It’s impossible to visit there and not be impacted by the beauty of the place, but also by the foresight it took to conceive of a National Park. Think about it: the world was a very different place a hundred years ago. Many people could not have imagined that this country wasn’t big enough to accommodate unlimited growth and development. Thanks goodness some could.

This summer, many people will take part in the celebration of Acadia’s 100th year. It’s great to look back, but this is also an opportunity to look ahead. As an Acadia Centennial Partner, Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) is hosting a lecture about the future of land conservation in the MDI region with nationally recognized speaker and conservationist Peter Forbes.  The event takes place on July 21st at 5 pm at Gates Hall on the campus of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. MCHT President Tim Glidden, who will participate in the dialogue with Center for Whole Communities founder Peter Forbes, notes, “Increasingly, land conservation efforts are being driven by the needs of communities. I look forward to this public discussion with Peter about how conservation groups can meet the diverse needs of communities in the 21st century—and what better place than on MDI, which has a century of positive experiences and lessons about how conservation can serve communities.”

Conserving the jewels of the MDI region has created a legacy of lasting value. Yet significant elements of this iconic landscape remain at risk. At the same time, communities in the MDI region and across Maine face mounting challenges ranging from changing economics and aging populations to rising sea-levels and demographic shifts. “We’re at a crossroads for the future of land conservation,” said Peter Forbes, “The impact on communities is a critical part of the equation.”

How will we create a conservation movement that seeks to conserve healthy landscapes while at the same time increasing the well-being of the human communities that depend on and shape the landscapes of which they are a part? It’s a question we might all ponder, and discuss with each other. We hope you’ll be part of the conversation.