Wabanaki people have long held Wapuwoc, White Mountain of the First Light, as a significant place. At 1,532 feet, the mountain now called Cadillac is the highest point along the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Over the last few centuries, generations of people have made the journey to the summit, and many more will follow. Human visitors have had an impact, and efforts are underway to restore plants and soil.
We are testing methods to re-establish plants on eroded areas of the summit, which hosts exceptional plant communities and populations of rare plants. Vegetation has been lost and soil has eroded away from many areas on Cadillac summit due to substantial human use and the challenging climate conditions present on the open summit, including increasing intensity of storms, changing freeze-thaw cycles, and extended periods of hot, dry weather.
This project, part of Wild Acadia and a collaboration with Friends of Acadia, Acadia National Park, and Native Plant Trust, is examining multiple plant restoration methods to determine effective and achievable ways to restore vegetation on the summit that will survive a changing climate. Experimental treatments include combinations of soil, erosion fabric, seed, and seedling additions to test plots on the summit.
Presentation on experiment results by Native Plant Trust (Spring 2022):