ACADIA NATIONAL PARK – The park may not yet have hired a coordinator for its nascent education and learning center at Schoodic Point, but it did reach a significant step Monday toward its continuing effort to fully implement its plan for the facility.
Acadia officials on Monday handed out the first public copies of its drafted general management plan for the 2,366-acre Schoodic portion of Acadia to the park’s advisory commission.
The purpose of the 185-page document, according to the plan’s executive summary, is to define direction for the 2,366-acre Schoodic portion of the park, which includes a 100-acre former Navy base where Schoodic Education and Research Center would be located.
The plan lays out three possible scenarios for development of the former military facility, which was home to a Navy base for 67 years up until 2002. The options include implementing no new programs at the site and managing it as it is; having a research and education facility that is run solely by the park service; and having a facility run jointly by the park service and a nonprofit entity made up of one or more research organizations – the last of which is the option most preferred by park officials.
The official release date of the plan on Friday, Sept. 17, marks the beginning of a 60-day period during which the public can submit comments about the draft plan to the park, according to Acadia Park Planner John Kelly. A public meeting on the plan will be held Oct. 20 at Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan, he said.
“This is a big step in moving ahead,” Kelly said of release of the draft plan.
Starting Friday, the plan will be available online at www.nps.gov/acad/schoodic/home.htm, according to Kelly. Hard copies can be obtained in person at park headquarters on Route 233 in Bar Harbor or by contacting Kelly at 288-8703.
Though the park has not determined which option it will pursue, things have been busy this summer at the former Navy base, the planner said. He gave each commission member a list of 16 organizations that have held 35 events or programs at the Schoodic site since May of this year.
“We had a very full schedule this summer,” Kelly said.
In other business, park officials told the commission they are probably a couple of months away from hiring a coordinator for the Schoodic site.
Kelly said after the meeting that he and two other Acadia officials have received and are reviewing 145 applications for the position, which will have an annual starting salary of $58,665.