Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resource Stewardship
Sheridan Steele, superintendent
Acadia National Park, Maine
Proactive, community leader, and persistent describe Superintendent Steele's commitment to protecting the unique natural resource values and providing innovative educational opportunities at Acadia National Park.
Steele organized a community partnership to protect 3,200 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the park on the Schoodic Peninsula from resort development, preventing fragmentation of ecologically important plant and animal communities. He established a 'land bank' agreement, supported by property owners and a land conservation buyer, to allow park acquisition of more than 500 acres of privately-owned lands within the park's boundaries.
With Steele's support, focused planning, and the investment of more than $22 million from private partners, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , and the National Park Service, the Schoodic Education and Research Center has become a state-of-the art, outdoor-based, learning environment. He also developed youth programs, including internships and electronic media outreach programs, with financial contributions from the Friends of Acadia and private donors.