Acadia's Plants, Student Naturalists, and a Conservation Movement

Schoodic Institute Science Communication Specialist Catherine Schmitt presents at Beatrix Farrand’s Garland Farm.

In the 1880s, a group of college students called the Champlain Society spent their summers camping on Mount Desert Island and surveying fauna and flora. Charles Eliot, who later became a landscape architect, organized the society and worked closely with Edward Lothrop Rand, who led the group’s botanical work. The pursuit of plants on Mount Desert Island by Rand, Eliot, and their fellow Champlain Society members, and specifically their encounters with “The Woods,” led to growing concern for the future of nature, inspiring a global land conservation movement that included creation of Acadia National Park.