Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters Announces $35M Capital Campaign
May 23, 2023
"Wright-Ryan is serving as Construction Manager, building the Tekαkαpimək Contact Station at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in cooperation with the National Park Service, Wabanaki Advisory Board, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, Elliotsville Foundation, National Park Foundation, and other stakeholders."
KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATERS NATIONAL MONUMENT – Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters is publicly launching A Monumental Welcome, a $35 million fundraising campaign for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The campaign has three goals: providing funding for a visitor contact station, priority park projects, and Wabanaki-directed projects. $22.8 million has been raised to date.
The campaign will fund Tekαkαpimək Contact Station at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Funds for this goal also support a new 3.6 mile access road to the site, an eastern lookout, a network of accessible paths and access routes, and state of the art off-grid sustainability features.
Tekαkαpimək translates from the Penobscot language to “as far as one can see” and is pronounced de gah-gah bee mook. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located within the present and traditional homeland of the Penobscot Nation. The land and waters hold special significance to the Penobscot Nation and are inextricably linked with Penobscot culture, ceremonies, oral traditions, language, history, and indigenous stewardship which continues the respectful relationship with the land and waterways that has gone back more than 11,000 years. Katahdin is a culturally significant place to the Wabanaki people where connecting watersheds provide important travel routes for Wabanaki people, comprised of Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations.
Time-limited “Reserved Rights” were written into certain deeds of land allowing for Elliotsville Foundation, Inc. (“EFI”) to construct a visitor contact station on Lookout Mountain. EFI is partnering with a Wabanaki Advisory Board with representatives of the independent Native Nations that constitute the Wabanaki Confederacy – Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe at Motahkomikuk and Sipayik, and Penobscot Nation.
Together, the partners are building a visitor contact station in consultation with the National Park Service that reflects the peoples, natural resources, and future of the Katahdin region.
“Our family is honored to support the next step for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, constructing the Tekαkαpimək Contact Station as a gift to the National Park Service and visitors for generations to come,” said Lucas St. Clair, President of Elliotsville Foundation, Inc. “Through artistry and exhibits created by Wabanaki artists and knowledge keepers, visitors to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will receive a profound welcome.”
The campaign will also fund $2.7 million in priority park projects for the National Park Service. Projects already funded include a renovation of the Mile 6.4 Loop Road Overlook, a sign plan, night sky programming, road maintenance, and more.
“I appreciate the efforts by the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters and Elliotsville Foundation Inc., in beginning this capital campaign. Funding through the campaign will facilitate priority park projects at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, affecting cultural and natural resources, planning efforts, maintenance of facilities, and ongoing work involving roads and trails,” said Mark Wimmer, Superintendent of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. “We look forward to working together to implement these projects to support the development of the monument.”
The campaign’s final goal establishes a $1 million fund for Wabanaki projects as defined by the Wabanaki Advisory Board. The early vision for this fund is to create career pathways for Wabanaki youth. Final funding decisions will be made by the Wabanaki Advisory Board.
The Wabanaki Advisory Board collectively spoke to the projects and campaign: “We as a Wabanaki Advisory Board have been mutually committed to fostering a collaborative partnership with EFI that is needed to create the Tekαkαpimək Contact Station while developing a long-term relationship that will carry into the future.”
With the launch of the campaign, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters is inviting all those who love Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and communities connected to it to support the campaign. The campaign thus far has been made possible by over 200 donors led by leadership gifts from Roxanne Quimby Foundation, Elliotsville Foundation, Inc., Burt’s Bees, L.L. Bean, the National Park Foundation, and NorthLight Foundation. The Quimby Family Philanthropies, Roxanne Quimby Foundation and Elliotsville Foundation, Inc., have challenged donors to take part in this historic campaign with a $10 million commitment.
“Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters is proud to play our part in this campaign in partnership with the National Park Service, Wabanaki Advisory Board, and Elliotsville Foundation, with the support of our growing philanthropic community,” said Brian Hinrichs, Executive Director of Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters. “This campaign provides immediate economic impact, with over 90% of construction expenditures here in Maine, and we look forward to welcoming new visitors who will support the ongoing revitalization of local communities.”
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was created by Presidential Proclamation on August 24, 2016. The 87,500 acres of land was donated to the United States by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby through Elliotsville Foundation, Inc. to mark the centennial of the National Park Service. In 2020, the Monument was recognized for its brilliant dark skies and is the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary on the U.S. eastern seaboard.
The contact station is being built in cooperation with the National Park Service, Wabanaki Advisory Board, Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, Elliotsville Foundation, National Park Foundation, and other stakeholders. Contractors include Wiphunakson LLC, Saunders Architecture, Alisberg Parker Architects, Atelier One, Haley Ward, Inc, Reed Hilderbrand, Transsolar Inc, Allied Engineering, Inc., Tuhura Communications, Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot), WeShouldDoItAll (WSDIA), Split Rock Studios, DCL, Emery Lee & Sons Inc., OBP Trailworks, LLC, Wright-Ryan Construction, Erin Hutton Projects, and Stern Consulting International.
The Tekαkαpimək Contact Station site is an active construction zone and is closed to visitors at this time. The public will be welcomed in summer 2024.