The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation is a 501.c.3 nonprofit corporation in the State of Maine. As such we are a board-managed organization that enhances the State’s administration of the Waterway through research and protection of the natural and cultural resources, creating interpretation and education materials, supporting appropriate land protection, enhancing and encouraging visitor use, especially youth, and bringing the wonders of the Allagash into the classroom of nearby schools.

We do this work with the support of numerous individuals, philanthropic foundations and corporations, and in partnership with Federal and State agencies and other non-profit organizations.

In essence, we are the Friends of the Allagash.

The AWWF fulfills its mission by raising funds from private and public sources that supplement, not replace, necessary and appropriate state and federal funding. It supports:

  • Youth access to the experience of this unique and remote public resource;
  • Acquisition of critical lands and/or easements along the watercourse;
  • Necessary capital improvements and infrastructure development and restoration;
  • Natural, historic, and cultural interpretation and public educational programming; and
  • Research, planning, and demonstration projects to strengthen the management, use and experience of the Waterway.

In just 10 years the AWWF has accomplished much, including:

2014 – Comprehensive Campsite Condition Assessment published;

2015 – Acquisition of the 40-acre Lock Dam lot to complete State of Maine ownership of the entire Waterway;

2016 Youth on the Allagash program established: overnight Allagash River trips for St. John Valley youth;

2018Storied Lands and Waters published: a historical and cultural resource assessment and interpretive plan for the Waterway; as a result:

  • 2019 – Vintage guest records from the Jalbert Camps on Round Pond copied and stored in the Acadian Archives at UMFK
  • 2020 – Artist in Residence program inaugurated at Lock Dam Cabin
  • 2020 Allagash Explorer, a take-along companion and pocket guide for the Waterway published;

2019 -Visitor Use Survey conducted and published;

2020 Natural Resource Inventory and Monitoring project begun, aimed at monitoring and mitigating the impacts of climate change;

2021Youth on the Allagash expanded to include Canoeing and Water Safety Day Camp and Classroom to River, a placed-based STEAM curriculum for St. John Valley youth.

What’s Next?

The AWWF is focused at present on four initiatives. Through these efforts, and with your support, we will help sustain the Waterway’s resources, tell its stories, and encourage a new generation of Allagash stewards.

Natural Resource Inventory, Analysis, and Long-term Monitoring

Initiated in 2020, this effort will yield a public report in 2023; establish a protocol for monitoring long term impacts, especially those resulting from climate change; inform management planning and day-to-day decision-making on the Waterway; and serve as the foundation of a second pocket guide, one focused on the Waterways’ natural qualities.

Youth on the Allagash

Three annual programs aim to address “nature deficit disorder” among youth in the communities surrounding the Allagash, and are designed to introduce these youth to life-long outdoor activities, healthy lifestyles, and leadership skills.

  • Canoe and Water Safety day camps provide an introduction to 6th and 8th grade students
  • Multi-day canoe trips provide an overnight wilderness adventure to 7 – 9 grade students
  • Classroom to River introduces new generations of middle school students to the natural and cultural history of the Allagash and St. John Valley through the development of experiential learning and placed-based STEAM education, including climate change.

Wabanaki Culture and History

The AWWF honors and respects Wabanaki people and recognizes that the Allagash is their ancestral homeland.

The Foundation has participated in First Light Learning Journey; and now explores ways to collaborate with Wabanaki Tribal Nations and representatives to understand Wabanaki culture and history on the Allagash; encourage Wabanaki use of the Allagash, especially by its youth; and to tell the story of Wabanaki homeland to Allagash visitors, and to students in the Youth on the Allagash initiative. Everyone who visits the Allagash should leave it better informed about Wabanaki ancestral and contemporary homelands, history, and culture.

Organizational Capacity Building

Maintaining and growing a healthy organization requires base-funding for program development and ongoing professional support.

OUR MISSION IS to enhance the wilderness character of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, protect its environment, and preserve and foster knowledge and understanding of its natural, historic and cultural values. In close collaboration with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, we serve as the Friends of the Allagash.

- Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation