This May, as part of celebrating his 100th birthday, David Rockefeller Sr. has announced his plan to donate 1,000 acres on Mount Desert Island to the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island.
Even on an island rich with scenic vistas, the view up Long Pond from Route 3 in Seal Harbor is breathtaking. Tucked amidst rolling meadows and framed by the granite dome of Penobscot Mountain, Long Pond is the centerpiece of a view that is at once expansive and intimate.
The spectacular beauty of the place might suggest that the land is within Acadia National Park. In fact, the 1,000 acres surrounding Long Pond had been privately owned by Mr. David Rockefeller, who with his wife Peggy, generously placed the land under a permanent conservation easement with Maine Coast Heritage Trust in 1993.
The Long Pond easement directs that the entire property – including much of the pond’s watershed, four prominent hills, mature forest and valuable wetlands – remain forever free from development and accessible for hiking, cross-country skiing, skating and sledding. The property’s many miles of carriage roads and trails are a destination in and of themselves, and also provide a popular connection to the Park.
Now, Mr. Rockefeller has stated that he will donate the property to the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island, which manages two other public gardens on MDI. MCHT’s role will not change. As holder of the Long Pond easement, MCHT’s responsibility is to ensure that the land remains undeveloped and accessible. In a world filled with change, it is comforting to know that, through time, this natural treasure will change very little.