Pathmakers - Acadia Youth Conservation Corps


Acadia YCC members


Over the much of 2016 I’d like to share with you a series of environmental portraits from my recent art residency with the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.   This amazing experience provided me the opportunity to spend time and make photograph with an exceptional group – the park trails crew.  My intent is to document these individuals, their dedication to their work, and their connection to the natural surroundings of the park.  I also (fingers crossed) hope my photography celebrates these behind the scenes people, while highlighting the importance of stewardship and land management in ensuring the long term integrity of our shared natural heritage, and its role in connecting people to nature. 

This first photograph is of members of the Acadia Youth Conservation Corps, which is made up of high school students that work as part of the trails crew under park staff supervision.  A wonderful example of partnership, the non-profit group, Friends of Acadia, provides salaries and equipment supporting the Corps, while the National Park provides leadership and training.  Corps members are folded into the Acadia Trails Crew, making true improvements to Acadia’s trails, reconstructing stone drainages and retaining walls, clearing vistas, cutting wood at campgrounds, and assisting wherever else needed.  My impression is that the Youth Conservation Corps is life changing for many participants, giving the chance to better understand personal depths and to be part of a work team focused on a greater good.  These kids proved to be exceptional without question, and I am fortunate to have had a bit of their attention to put face to their efforts.  Some of the power of the program is seen by a number of park staff having been funneled back.  Pretty cool.  Thank you AYCC for all that you do!

Lastly, I want to remind you that 2016 is the centennial of the United States National Park Service.  Get out to visit your favorite park and appreciate!

Hasselblad 500C medium format SLR + Zeiss 80mm lens + Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 black and white film