David Rockefeller’s long held vision for the preservation of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden was realized last week. The garden, along with several other properties on Mount Desert Island, was transferred to the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve through a bequest from Mr. Rockefeller’s estate. He passed away in March 2017 at the age of 101.

The Rockefeller family has a decades-old connection with the Preserve, whose mission is to share the beauty of historic lands and gardens on Mount Desert Island. David Rockefeller donated 1,000 acres of land around Little Long Pond to the Preserve in spring 2015 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. The Preserve currently manages and cares for the Thuya Garden and Asticou Azalea Garden and more than 1,400 acres of open space traversed by trails and carriage roads.

The addition of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, designed by Beatrix Farrand, to the holdings of the Preserve is being celebrated by the organization as an historic and symbolic event.  “The Preserve is so grateful to Mr. Rockefeller and the Rockefeller family for their tradition of generosity and leadership in protecting these magnificent lands and gardens,” said Rodney Eason, CEO of the Preserve. “Along with our staff, board, and many supporters, this is a tradition we are committed to stewarding.”

The Preserve is currently developing plans to enable public access to the Abby Garden. Historically, the Rockefeller family has carefully managed access in order to protect the fragile environment and to ensure high standards of maintenance.  As it is finalized in early spring, visitor information will be available on the Preserve’s website at gardenpreserve.orgNeva Goodwin, Mr. Rockefeller’s daughter and Preserve board president, explains that these recent gifts are the culmination of decades of planning. “More than 47 years ago my parents started planning that their lands and beloved Garden would be managed for the public’s use and enjoyment,” said Neva.  David and Peggy Rockefeller established the Island Foundation in 1970 which became the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve in 2007.

The Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve is a non-profit organization located in Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor, Maine. The lands and gardens managed by the Preserve are open to the public.  For more information, contact CEO Rodney Eason at the Preserve at 207-276-3727 or reason@gardenpreserve.org.