Introducing America’s Newest National Park: Camp Nelson


Five weeks ago, a new national park joined the ranks of our National Park Service system: Camp Nelson National Monument in Nicholasville, Kentucky. The park, located about 20 miles south of Lexington in Jessamine County, commemorates the African American soldiers who resided at Camp Nelson during the Civil War. 

Originally established as a Union Army supply depot in 1863, Camp Nelson also served as a military recruiting ground and training center, a hospital, and a refugee camp for fleeing slaves.

Here at Chimani, we think Camp Nelson is a great addition to the National Park Service system. Here are the reasons we think it’s worth a visit.

It’s Nature and History Combined

With 380 acres of land, a network of trails, a Civil War museum, and reconstructed barracks, Camp Nelson has something to offer nature lovers and history buffs alike.

Set amid the rolling hills of pastoral Kentucky, Camp Nelson offers five miles of hiking trails within the park boundaries. Along the way, walkers can witness military earthworks and fortifications, created in defense of the camp, and historical information marked by interpretive signs.

Fort Jones Overlook Trail is the longest hike at 2.3 miles, where hikers can ascend thick woods to reach an overlook of Hickman Creek Valley. An extension trail leads hikers to Camp Nelson National Cemetery, a burial ground adjacent to the national park.

And for history buffs, Camp Nelson aims to give an accurate glimpse into the complete lives of members of the United States Colored Troops and their families, not just during the war, but before and after as well.


The Oliver Perry “White House”, the only existing Civil War structure on the property, serves as a Civil War museum. The historic house features a short film about the history of the camp and has several Civil War Era artifacts on display. The park also has reconstructed barracks that depict life as a Union Army Soldier for the thousands of troops stationed at Camp Nelson.

It Was a Refugee Camp for Slaves

Although the state of Kentucky initially declared neutrality at the start of the war,  it fell under Union control in 1862. As such, Camp Nelson became a refugee camp for thousands of slaves fleeing Confederate states.

In 1864 Congress passed an act that guaranteed freedom to slaves who enlisted in military service. As a result, 5,000 African American men enlisted in the Union Army at Camp Nelson. However, these same men were often accompanied by wives and children, who were not eligible for emancipation and were ordered out of the camp in the fall of 1864.

Without proper food and shelter, over a hundred family members perished, resulting in an outcry throughout the camp. To rectify the situation, the Union Army created the Camp Nelson Home of Colored Refugees in January 1865, which housed and protected the wives and children of enlisted soldiers.

A couple of months later, Congress went as far as emancipating the family members of any African American male who enlisted in the United States Colored Troops, creating a safe haven at Camp Nelson for fleeing slaves.

In recognition of this, Camp Nelson has been named a part of the National Underground Railroad Network by the National Park System—solidifying the site as an educational opportunity for those looking to understand more about slaves who escaped to freedom.


It Was Named a National Monument

National monuments fall within the general category of national parks, except that a presidential order is required to create a monument. A national monument must also meet the criteria listed in the Antiquities Act, meaning that the location has objects and artifacts that are history or science-related.

As a pre-existing historic landmark, Camp Nelson met these standards, and its history has been well-preserved due to its rural location. Other Union supply depots were located near larger northern cities, and as a result, their surroundings and archeological resources disintegrated over time.

In fact, the well-preserved grounds at Camp Nelson largely contribute to the previous landmark’s new status as a monument. The Presidential Proclamation that established Camp Nelson as a national monument claimed: “the site is one of the best-preserved landscapes and archeological sites associated with United States Colored Troops recruitment and the refugee experiences of African American slaves seeking freedom during the Civil War.”

It’s clear that Camp Nelson has something for everyone—history, nature, and an opportunity to glimpse into our country’s past. Tell us what you’re most looking forward to about visiting Camp Nelson National Monument!

America’s Parks Reveal a Different Kind of Thanksgiving

The day before Thanksgiving is a hectic day in America. Across the country, people are traveling, cooking, and making last minute trips to the grocery store.

But as we busy ourselves preparing for tomorrow’s feast, we ought to take a moment of pause to ask ourselves—what does Thanksgiving mean to us? The answers are sure to be varied.

As school children, we are often taught about the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, where colonial settlers and Native Americans celebrated a harvest feast in a day of abundance and thanks. And many of us recognize Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to practice gratitude and to be with family.

But did you know that the first Thanksgiving, at least by history’s standards, took place near Jacksonville, Florida? Or that a collective group of indigenous people in North America celebrate Thanksgiving every day?

Like anything in life, Thanksgiving is sure to mean something different to everyone. Here are two national parks that shed a different light on our traditional Thanksgiving holiday.

Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve


Situated near the St Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve has 46,000 square acres of wetlands, dunes, and trails for national park visitors.

The Theodore Roosevelt Area, donated by conservationist Willie Browne, offers both land and water trails for those seeking adventure in the outdoors, including the opportunity to rent kayaks for waterway exploration.

The history of Timucuan is equally interesting. The Timucua tribe first met Europeans in 1562, when they came across French explorers on the river. A mere three years later, the Spanish followed.

In his book, a Cross in the Sand, historian Michael Gannon asserts that the first Thanksgiving occurred 40 miles south of the Timucuan Preserve in St. Augustin, Florida. The Spaniards arrived on the Floridan shore to much fanfare, while members of the Timucua tribe looked on. After holding a Catholic Mass, the Europeans shared a meal with the locals, which consisted of garbanzo beans and salted pork stew.

This historical anecdote means that the first Thanksgiving, or at least a version of it, occurred almost 60 years before the pilgrims dined at Plymouth Rock.  It’s another example of the meeting of two cultures and the breaking of bread. And just think, if history had gone differently, we might be eating pork and garbanzo beans tomorrow instead of turkey and cranberry sauce.

Fort Stanwix National Monument


Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome, New York, was a military fortress employed in not one, but two 18th century wars. Today, the fort appears much the same as it did in the 1700s, with guided tours, trails, and park rangers dressed in Continental uniform.

Originally built by the British in 1758, Fort Stanwix was first used during the French and Indian War, and was later reclaimed by Colonial Troops during the Revolutionary War.

The history of the park is also entwined with the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, a group of six Native American tribes who joined forces to live in peace. The Confederacy referred to themselves as the Haudenosaunee and included the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

Although England managed to secure allegiance with the Six Nations, this neutrality did not last long. Colonists continued to encroach on the agreed upon boundaries and the Revolutionary War destroyed the land, villages, and culture of the Six Nations. Unfortunately, this same story is often repeated throughout history and is one of the reasons Thanksgiving can be a controversial subject with varying viewpoints.

However, the Haudenosaunee do celebrate Thanksgiving, not only as a day in November but as a daily practice.  The Haudensosaunee Thanksgiving Address is a “greeting to the natural world,” honoring all living things, including the earth, stars, and moon. The Thanksgiving Address is a beautiful expression of unity and demonstrates the importance of gratitude, not only on holidays but every day.

No matter what Thanksgiving means to you, or how you recognize it, Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates coming together and practicing gratitude. We’re thankful for a lot here at Chimani, and the beauty and history preserved in our National Parks are high on the list. What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

You can learn more about Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve and Fort Stanwix National Monument on the Chimani website.

Jersey Griggs is a travel writer for hire. A certified yoga instructor and an outdoor enthusiast, Jersey loves to ski, camp, and hike in national parks near and far from her home base of Portland, Maine. When not writing, she is certainly doing something outside with her husband and dog. To learn more, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.

3 Parks That Prove Why Your Vote Matters


In today’s current political climate, the midterm elections are as important as ever. And for national park advocates, voting can have an impact on the parks that we all enjoy.

National parks receive millions of visitors each year, requiring funding that can be secured by candidates that support conservation. And it’s not just iconic national parks like Yosemite or Yellowstone that hang in the balance. National memorials, monuments, and historical sites are parks that can be preserved and protected with your vote.

In honor of tomorrow’s Election Day, we’re highlighting 3 national parks that epitomize our democracy and prove that your vote matters.

1. Constitution Gardens Memorial


The Constitution Gardens is a 52-acre park located within the National Mall in Washington D.C. Flanked on either side by the Vietnam War and World War II Memorials, Constitution Gardens is an urban respite, filled with lawns, walking paths, and benches that surround a serene, manmade lake.

Originally established in 1976 to celebrate America’s 200th birthday, the memorial is located on a small island, accessible by a footbridge. Here, visitors can find stones that inscribe the names of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. In addition to the memorial, the National Park Service hosts an annual naturalization ceremony in the Constitution Gardens, celebrating and welcoming immigrants who have recently become U.S. citizens.

The Constitution Gardens Memorial serves as a reminder of the founders of our country, who drafted the democratic ideals of our nation and believed in our rights as voters. To learn more, visit the Chimani website.

2. Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail


The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail is an iconic stop in our nation’s voting history. This historic site in Alabama marks the 54-mile walk from Selma to Montgomery, following the steps of civil rights activists who marched to support the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The march, which began in Selma, grew to 25,000 participants and culminated in Montgomery, where marchers congregated to hear Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his “How Long, Not Long” speech. The Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting laws and created equal voting rights for African Americans, was signed five months later by President Lyndon Johnson.

Today, visitors can follow the signs that highlight notable stops in the march and key moments in the civil rights movement, including the Selma Interpretive Center, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the Alabama State Capitol.

This historic trail is a meaningful reminder of how, not too long ago, voting was a privilege for some and not a right for all. To learn more, visit the Chimani website.

3. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument


Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, located in the rugged wilderness of Maine’s north woods, is 86,000 square miles of preserved forest, streams, lakes, and mountains. In fact, Mount Katahdin boasts the highest peak in Maine at 5,269 feet and marks the end of the famed Appalachian Trail.

In addition to hiking and camping, this federal parkland offers visitors the chance to cross-country ski, canoe, mountain bike, and hunt within the solitude and beauty of the park. Named a national monument in 2016 by President Barack Obama, this land is now protected from drilling, mining, and logging operations that could destroy its rustic beauty. To learn more, visit the Chimani website.

However, just as a presidential order has the power to create a national monument, it is being used to reduce them as well. National parks may not be protected forever. This means that voting for elected officials who support conservation can be instrumental in preserving public lands for us and for future generations. 

From our founding fathers to the civil rights movements, to modern politics—the National Park System is intrinsic to our democracy. Researching and voting for candidates in congressional, state, and local elections make a difference and will allow for your voice to be heard. So be sure you hit those polls tomorrow and GO VOTE!


Jersey Griggs is a travel and outdoor recreation writer for hire. A certified yoga instructor and a lover of all things outdoors, Jersey loves to ski, camp, and hike in national parks near and far from her home base of Portland, Maine. When not writing, she is certainly doing something outside with her husband and dog. To learn more, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.

On and Off the Trail in Acadia: Brook Trout Fishing in Acadia National Park


A good friend of mine – and an incredible fly angler – once told me a story he called the evolution of the fly fisherman:

When someone first learns to fish using a fly rod (and the same probably holds true of a spinning rod as well) they’re hell bent on catching a fish, no matter what kind. Then they’re similarly focused on catching as many fish as humanly possible and before too long the largest fish, who’s size they of course will embellish over time. As the angler acquires skill, he or she then looks to catch the smartest fish, or, without judging the intellect of fishes, at least the more difficult fish to catch. But after these stages, the angler looks to catch the eternal fish, by which I mean that the act of fishing has become more important than the result and, more importantly, that the angler has become focused on the conservation of fish and the ability of future generations to engage with fishing.

I love that story. Especially when he tells it I’m transported immediately to the scene of Karate Kid where Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) instructs Danny (Ralph Macchio) on the proper techniques of waxing cars … “wax on, wax off.”

Well your grasshopper here isn’t sure where he sits in this particular evolutionary chain of being – likely somewhere between the big fish and the smart one, although I remain skeptical that there are such defined stages along the road toward Zen master angler.

Because I am a resident of the hamlet of Bar Harbor here on Mt. Desert Island, with a job that limits the amount of recreational time at my disposal, and because that time constraint limits me to fishing in the waters of Acadia National Park (poor, poor baby), the big fish just isn’t much of a possibility at all.

Sure, our lakes and ponds have some big, beautiful land-locked salmon and brook trout, but I’m of the persuasion or the perversion that streams are where my boots should be. I don’t much care for fishing on ponds unless they are frozen and there is beer and fire.

But my real passion is fishing in creeks with tiny, dry flies and stalking if not always catching native brook trout. These are what might you call smart fish, although I may have taken an errant turn on the evolutionary tree branch toward just very small fish.

(Undisclosed location where brook trout can be found … with patience)

Though I’m hesitant to tell you about them all for fear you might spoil my tranquility, you should know that Acadia is crisscrossed with many such creeks that hold brook trout. There are about 46 watersheds on Mount Desert Island that feed these small streams as they make their way to Frenchman Bay in the east or Blue Bill Bay toward the West or the major ponds and lakes at the island’s center where most of you should focus your fishing.

But to those who are ready to brave the bugs and are comfortable with spending some time untangling line from the surrounding wilds that will without a doubt toy with your patience, consider these small streams. Consider Hunters Brook near Seal Harbor where the fish are especially plentiful in a last, large pool before the ocean. This is perhaps the one spot on the island where you can pretend to play Paul Maclean of River Runs Through It, with your epic false casts and all. Or consider Duck Brook right in Bar Harbor where there is one pool that I know holds a 10-inch trout. Be kind if you catch him – be sure you’re using a small hook (size 20 or smaller) where you’ve pinched the barb flat and, remember, this is a grandfather, monster fish where MDI inland fishing is concerned, don’t handle him with dry hands or keep him out of the water while you fumble with your iPhone to grab a picture. No one will be impressed, I promise.

Eventually, you will tire of these spots. I have. But I’ve developed a new approach to my fishing that will keep me interested for the foreseeable future. I’ve taken up the personal challenge of hunting these brook trout with the goal of catching said fish at the highest altitude, shooting for the pools furthest from where the stream hits the ocean, nearest the creek headwaters. Just yesterday I caught a fish about 20 yards downstream from the carriage road bridge on Jordan Stream – a new record for that stream. It was a mighty, three-inch brook trout who went after my caddis fly with the gusto of something very vicious or very hungry.

(Beautiful brook trout in Hunters Brook)

Here’s the thing: this kind of fishing isn’t for everyone. For the true beginner, I’d suggest searching for more open spots where you can find rhythm and shape in your cast and have better chances at finding that first fish. I’ve you’re driven toward the large or the many, you will be frustrated on these streams. But if you like getting to places in Acadia where not too many people have been, if you’re intrigued by the idea of understanding fish behavior and like cataloguing that behavior, if you can appreciate beautiful colors and attributes in the small as well as the large, I’d highly suggest bringing your rod and taking a detour upstream. Hope to see you there or, better yet, know you are enjoying a similar kind of experience elsewhere on MDI.

Darron Collins is a 1992 graduate of College of the Atlantic (COA) and, in July 2011, became the seventh president of COA and the first alumnus to hold that position. Prior to coming back to COA, Collins had been managing international and domestic projects at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for a decade. After four years of work in the Amazon Basin, he was asked to lead the organization’s strategic planning process. Then, during the later half of his career at WWF, Darron served as managing director for the Amur-Heilong Ecoregion—an area the size of Alaska, encompassing parts of Russia, Mongolia, and China—and as senior advisor to the organization’s CEO.

A native of Morris Plains, New Jersey, Collins is an avid fly-fisherman, cyclist, hiker, and trail runner. In the summer of 2015 Collins climbed 40 named peaks on Mount Desert Island in one single 27-hour expedition and continues to design and execute endurance adventures annually. He lives in Bar Harbor, Maine with his wife, Karen, their two daughters Maggie and Molly, and their black Lab named Lucy.


8 Ways to Avoid the Crowds at the National Parks

NPScrowdYellowstoneNearly everyone wants to enjoy the beauty and majesty of the National Parks at some point in their lives — the problem is when too many of us have the same idea at the same time. More than 300 million people visit the U.S. National Parks each year, and nothing can kill the buzz of getting outdoors and communing with nature quite so quickly as having to share the experience with hoards of other people.

Even at the height of tourism season, however,  crowds are neither inevitable nor unavoidable. Here’s our advice for finding serenity amid the scenery when you head to the parks:

Travel During the Off Season

Generally speaking, summer is the busiest season with the biggest crowds in the national parks (one major exception is Death Valley National Park, where scorching summer temperatures make spring, fall, and winter visits far more preferable). But Yellowstone’s hot springs, pools and geysers can be equally enchanting during the winter, desert flowers are in bloom during the springtime in Joshua Tree (another park to avoid in mid-summer), and the changing leaves make fall an ideal time to visit Acadia National Park.

Remember, the parks are open year-round, not just between Memorial Day and Labor Day!

Visit Early or Late in the Day

Seeing the sun rise from the summit of Haleakala National Park or atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia are not only quintessential National Parks experiences, but allow early risers to hit the trails before the crowds start filtering into the parks later in the morning. Park rangers say that the earlier in the day you arrive, the better (at least prior to 10 a.m.), especially when parking lots at popular parks can start filling up even before 9 a.m. in the summer.

Likewise, sticking around for sunset is its own reward and offers the option of lingering into the evening, when many parks offer stargazing, campfire chats, and other night programs that typically are enjoyed by far more campers than day-trippers.

Avoid the Weekends

Visiting the national parks is a vacation of a lifetime for many people, so you won’t necessarily avoid all the crowds by visiting during the week, especially in the summer. But at least you won’t have to cope with the sometime overwhelming combination of vacationing park-goers plus day trippers making a quick visit on their Saturday or Sunday off.

Choose the Road Less Traveled

We all know the names of America’s iconic parks — Yellowstone, Yosemite, Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon — and the reason we do is because they’re so incredibly popular. Yet the U.S. National Parks system is not only remarkably rich and diverse (there’s over 435 parks in all), but there are plenty of spectacular landscapes to explore at lesser-known parks, where crowds are rare.

More than 10 million people visit Great Smoky Mountain National Park each year, for example: only 12,000 venture into Gates of the Arctic National Park. But you don’t have to go to Alaska to avoid throngs of visitors: Lake Clark National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Isle Royale National Park are all parks in the Lower 48 that get far fewer than 100,000 visits each year. Lightly visited Capital Reef National Park in Utah is often recommended as an alternative to busy Zion. You can get all the info you need on these and other less-familiar parks by downloading the free Chimani National Parks app on iTunes or the Google Play store.

Seek Out Remote Corners

The simple act of going for a hike can separate you from the crowd at many national parks, which all too many visitors still experience from the window of a car or tour bus, or at a scenic overlook steps from a parking lot.

Venture into the backcountry and you’ll quickly discover what true isolation and freedom feels like. The same basic rules apply to most national parks: the more you have to sweat, the fewer crowds you’ll get.

For example, Grand Canyon National Park sprawls across more than 1,900 square miles, yet the vast majority of the park’s 6 million annual visitors never stray further than a few miles from the South Rim. Hiking more than a few hundred feet below the canyon rim is all it takes to transition from a theme-park atmosphere to wilderness, especially if you choose a route other than the popular Bright Angel Trail. And of course, the North Rim is far less crowded any time of year. Trying to avoid the summer traffic jams in the Yosemite Valley? Check out the nearby Hetch Hetchy Valley, also inside park boundaries.

Learn to Love the Rain

Most parks are open 365 days a year. Not all of them are going to be warm and sunny. Many casual visitors will simply stay home if the forecast calls for rain or other inclement weather, so be bold, zip up your waterproof hoody, and defy the raindrops for some cherished alone time in the parks.

Bring Your Own Food

You didn’t really come to the parks to eat overpriced cafeteria food, did you? Packing your own picnic lunch will keep you out of the lines at concession stands and provides the flexibility to stop and eat amid some of the most spectacular scenery on Earth. One of our favorite meals ever was simple cheese and crackers, noshed amid the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon’s Peekaboo Loop Trail  — a far better experience than watching the yellow jackets buzz around the garbage cans back at the lodge.

Don’t Forget the Forest Service and Other Federal Parks

The parks administered by the U.S. National Park Service tend to get most of the public attention and love, but the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have hundreds of additional protected parks that your can enjoy. The fabled El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is managed by the Forest Service, for example, while the Fish and Wildlife Service manages National Wildlife Refuges in every state in the country.

(Photo via NPS/Yellowstone National Park)

Introducing Chimani Perks – a Savings Club for National Park Travelers


Save $200 on your next national park trip!


This week the team at Chimani is proud to announce the launch of their Chimani Perks a Membership Savings Club program for national park travelers, perfect for people planning to hit some parks this summer. To honor National Park Week, we are offering a special introductory price of $29 dollars for an annual membership.


The Chimani Perks  Membership Savings Club offers discounts on lodging, dining, tours, activities, retail shops, and gear throughout the national park system. It can save up to $200 on a park visit.

Savings are significant, which means the membership can pay for itself sometimes with a single activity. A family-of-four can save $40 off a guided tour in Yosemite or a couple can save $100 on a three-day stay at a ranch in Montana.


It’s simple.  


Download the free National Parks by Chimani app at the Apple AppStore or Google Play.


Click on the Perks Savings icon.



Scroll through listings to see what great businesses are offering discounts.



Click on the big orange JOIN NOW button and go through checkout. Chimani_perks1


Your Chimani Perks will magically be unlocked.



Start Enjoying! Once your card has been unlocked, promo codes will also be unlocked on the Perks Business Listing individual pages. Show your Chimani Perks card to Perks Businesses to receive your discount or go online and receive your discount by using specialized promo codes.



Chimani is the premier mobile travel app for National Parks.  We don’t believe in cookie-cutter travel, so we build apps that are like having a park ranger in the palm of your hand. Chimani has 65 apps for National Parks.


The Chimani Perks Savings Membership club is a paid annual membership program that provides travelers with savings on hotels, restaurants, activities, and retail goods around National Parks.  


Any user of Chimani Apps has the opportunity to join the Chimani Perks Membership Savings Club and receive discounts. To join you must download the app and click on the Join Now button. You then will pay $29 for a year-long membership. Once you have paid the membership fee, your membership card will be unlocked along with promo codes. 


Your Chimani Perks card can be accessed by opening up the Chimani App and clicking on the Perks Card Icon in the right upper corner of the app. You also can the card to your apple or google wallet.


It is a $29 annual membership that will save you up to $200 on a park visit. The more parks you visit, the more parks you save.


No – one membership can be used at businesses located throughout the United States.


By promising to honor a discount to Chimani members your business will receive free advertising on our apps with a dedicated page about the business with photos and clickable links. Want to be Perks Business? Enroll now here or contact with any further questions.


Currently, we are running the Chimani Perks Membership in the communities around Acadia, Arches, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Olympic, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion.


We suggest spending full days in the parks, taking walks or having adventures with people you love and people who make you laugh. Rember to always carry marshmallows, band-aids, and extra water. And if the sun is shining, take a moment to sit and enjoy it.


(t) 207.210.0266   (e)

Chimani receives the Innovation & Creativity Award


Chimani receives the Innovation & Creativity Award at the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Augusta, Maine.

Last week, Kerry Gallivan, founder of Chimani travel apps for national parks, was awarded the Innovation & Creativity Award at the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Augusta, Maine. The Governor’s Conference on Tourism is held every year to bring 400 tourism organizations together to share ideas, discuss best practices, and learn upcoming trends and marketing from industry experts.

Gallivan founded Chimani, in 2010, to combine his love of national parks with his mission to provide mobile tools that would empower travelers to explore more fully.   “I’ve loved our national parks since I was a kid and I believe helping people have better more fulfilling park experiences can lead to a lifetime of love, stewardship, and advocacy for these great spaces –  ultimately preserving them for generations.” said, Gallivan.

The Innovation & Creativity Award was given to Chimani for their development of a mobile version of the Friends of Acadia’s Acadia Quest game which was built into the Chimani Acadia National Park app.

The Acadia Quest game hosts a series of experiences in Acadia National Park that encourage youth and families to explore, learn, and protect national parks and other conserved lands. Teams who completed the quest earned prizes such as an annual Acadia park pass. Friends of Acadia have been running a paper version of the Acadia Quest program for nine years, but this was their first launch of it on an app.

“Winning this award was a great honor, “ said Kerry Gallivan, “there are so many great organizations doing creative work getting people to Maine and when one of us succeeds we all benefit. For this particular project, I was fortunate to work with the good folks at Friends of Acadia. I believe the project was so successful because of our shared vision to get more people, especially kids, out in the park in a fun and unique way. We were thrilled by the mobile version of Acadia Quest’s popularity.  We had over 25,000 check-ins over the course of the summer. It’s important for me to recognize Friends of Acadia when accepting this award.”


Other award winners were: David L. Berg,  Red Apple Campground who received the Leadership & Growth Award; Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce who received the Marketing & Promotion Award; Biddeford Mills who received the Originality Award, and Karen Arel, President, Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce who received the Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence.