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Abby Garden

About the Preserve

Our Mission

The mission of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve is to conserve and share the beauty of our historic lands and gardens. 

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

Asticou Azalea Garden

Thuya Garden

Little Long Pond & Natural Lands

Our Vision


Core Values


  • Adhering to exceptional horticultural and ecological practices.

  • Ensuring memorable visitor experiences.


  • Caring for our stakeholders and staff.

  • Providing financial accountability.


  • Welcoming all people into our landscapes.

  • Engaging in generous collaborations with our neighbors.


  • Promoting a sense of wonder, discover, and joy.

  • Honoring the stewards who came before us.

Who We Are

Land & Garden Preserve exists for those who want to connect with nature, to be inspired and restored, and to contribute to the conservation and sustainability of some of the most beautiful, historic public lands and gardens in New England. Through stewardship, education, and tremendous care, the Preserve nurtures the essential interconnections between humanity and nature.


Land & Garden Preserve thoughtfully manages, cares for, and stewards 1,400 acres of historic natural lands, gardens, and trails on Mount Desert Island, Maine, between Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor, abutting Acadia National Park.


Born out of a profound love for the land and a desire to share it, the Preserve welcomes members and visitors of all ages who not only want to experience awe-inspiring natural beauty, but who also care as deeply for the environment as the people who work at the Preserve do. The Preserve and its people are rooted in a deep culture of respect – for humankind and its connection to nature, for stewardship and environmental integrity, for history and legacy.


The Preserve itself is a paradox, a contradiction. It is a nostalgic step back in time, and yet it maintains a keen focus on botanical innovation, horticultural excellence, ecological health, and best practices in environmental sustainability. A balance of historic preservation and future-focused thinking, of careful protection and public openness.


The Preserve attempts not to overly explain itself but quietly allows visitors to explore, discover, and question on their own. The Preserve is an invitation to wonder, to think, to learn. There is magic here. There is history. There is joy. All ready to be experienced and interpreted one visit at a time.

Photo credits: Julie Burwell, Kenn Chandler, Jonathan DelCollo, Katherine Emery Photography, Kari Heistad, Jack Ledbetter, Larry Lederman, the staff of the Preserve

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