Today, U.S. Senator Angus King, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, attended the groundbreaking of Acadia National Park’s new maintenance facility. The 32,000-square-foot building funded by the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) that King and Pingree championed, and will allow the park to eliminate over $4 million in deferred maintenance and repairs. They were joined at the event by Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau.
At the groundbreaking, King and Pingree lauded the success of the Great American Outdoors Act, thanked Acadia staff for their work, and highlighted the importance of investing in America’s National Parks. Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider praised the Maine delegation for their leadership on the historic legislation and shared how the new facility is critical to supporting the mission of Acadia National Park.
Senator King and Congresswoman Pingree break ground on Acadia National Park’s new maintenance facility.
“Acadia National Park is truly one of America's most extraordinary treasures. Every year, the Park brings millions from around the world to experience Mount Desert Island’s awe-inspiring beauty, enjoy ‘The Way Life Should Be’, and support small businesses across our state,” said Senator King and Congresswoman Pingree. “The recent record visitation has taken a toll and led to increasing maintenance needs and demands on staff at National Parks across the country. The bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act was crafted to address these growing maintenance challenges, improve visitor experiences, and ensure our parks are preserved for generations to come. We were proud to attend today’s maintenance facility groundbreaking with Deputy Secretary Beaudreau to see the firsthand impacts of the GAOA and how it is investing in Acadia’s future. Thanks to the hardworking staff at the Park and this historic legislation, the future of Acadia in good hands.”
“For more than two decades, critical infrastructure improvements at Acadia have not received the attention they deserved, a result of inadequate funding that has left staff with insufficient facilities to work from,” said Deputy Secretary Beaudreau. “But now, thanks to a $32.6 million investment from the Great American Outdoors Act, a new, modern, year-round maintenance facility will provide ample parking, new roads, spacious storage and upgraded utilities. This new investment will also help support more than 425 jobs and contribute $92 million to the nation's economy.”
“This moment is nearly 20 years in the making – and it’s hard to believe it’s finally here,” said Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “We are all eager to see this facility come to life over the next two years. It will allow us to be better stewards of Acadia’s diverse built environment: ranging from our historic carriage roads to our visitor centers, and everything in between.”
The new maintenance building, funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), will be a state-of-the-art 32,000-square-foot building with shops, equipment storage, meeting rooms, and offices. The project will also demolish more than 20,000 square feet of unsafe park structures and eliminate $4.4 million of deferred maintenance and repairs. Maine’s National Park units – Acadia National Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument – generated an economic benefit of more than $770 million in 2021 and supported over 7,000 jobs.
Senator King and Congresswoman Pingree have been longstanding advocates for preserving Maine’s public lands. In August 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act, introduced and championed by theMembers was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation provides full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks, national wildlife refuges, and national forest lands.