Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 56

There’s tremendous recreational opportunities available right now, including new hiking, biking and crosscountry ski trails, mixed-use trails for horses, campsites and picnic sites and a loop road that offers spectacular views of Mount Katahdin. There’s also the rough and pristine East Branch of the Penobscot River that has paddles perfect for any experience level, from smooth flood plains to white water. The land is open for visitation, weather permitting, for a sneak peek of what a national park and recreation are could be. Maine is home to one of the most popular national parks in the country with Acadia. Combined it with a second, interior park and all of Maine stands to benefit from increased visitation and economic activity. That means new jobs and opportunity for young people to stay in northern Maine or come home to pursue careers. There’s still a lot of work to do to build a plan for the national park and recreation area, and we’re committed to listening to stakeholders and making sure their questions are answered. As more and more people join the conversation, support continues to grow. We’d love to hear from you and add your voice to the chorus working to make the idea of a national park and recreation area stronger. Lucas St. Clair is the president of the board for Elliotsville Plantation Inc., a private foundation that has proposed creating a new national park and recreation area in Maine and supporting it with a $40 million endowment. 54 SPRING 2015