Wishing to preserve this special environment and to encourage its use by other lovers of nature, Anita Harris, a long-time area resident, began acquiring land in Brooksville for a sanctuary in the 1960’s. In 1971, she donated 1,230 acres to the State of Maine, in order “to preserve for the future a piece of the unspoiled Maine that I used to know.”
Today, Holbrook Island Sanctuary has a unique place in the state park system. In keeping with Anita Harris’ vision, the sanctuary will not be altered by modern park facilities and management techniques. Instead, a network of old roads, paths, and animal trails leads visitors to explore the shoreline, marshes, ponds, and forests. In each of these diverse ecosystems, visitors have a rare opportunity to experience a natural environment whose future is being shaped by natural forces rather than human hands.