Helen Horn, chair of the Marginal Way Committee, takes her relationship with Maine’s most famous pathway quite personally. A resident of Ogunquit since the 1950s, she says she “bonded” with the area as a young teacher working a variety of summer jobs around the town.
“I first came here when Ogunquit opened on the 4th of July and closed on Labor Day,” she says. “It was in the quiet months of Spring and Fall when I fell in love with the Marginal Way.”
“Ogunquit is my vernal pool,” she enthuses. “It’s a place where you feel whole. People are lucky if they can find a place like this that fits their spirit.”
Horn and her husband, Mike, another frequent visitor to Ogunquit in his early years, were not content to be “summer people.” They designed and built a house along the shore and raised their two sons in Maine. Helen later joined the Marginal Way Committee, whose members act as trustees for the walkway.
That love is evident when you ask Horn to describe the footpath she helps protect.
“It’s a microcosm of all you would like to see on the coast of Maine,” she says, “compacted in little over a mile.” She goes on to describe “rocky ledges reaching into the sea; tiny secluded beaches; a meandering path with breathtaking views of the coastline. All connecting the downtown of our tiny village to the beach and Perkins Cove. It’s small and easily digestible, perfect for people with short attention spans!”
The artistry in Horn’s descriptions comes naturally to the former art teacher, landscaper, designer and award-winning gardener. And natural beauty means a lot to her.
As she puts it,“If you love beauty, that makes you protective.” Her protectiveness extends to all of Ogunquit as well as the Marginal Way.
“I’m an advocate of both. People come here because it looks like such a livable place. We want to preserve that little sense of magic. It’s about protecting our quality of place.”
Horn calls her Marginal Way Committee work that of a “steward,” and says she feels honored to be contributing to its mission.