Saturday, July 16, 2022

Adirondack Community Recreation Alliance Awards 12 Grants to Improve Recreation Amenities

The Adirondack Community Recreation Alliance (ACRA) has awarded 12 grants to help communities create new biking and skiing trails, improve ice skating rinks, enhance terrain parks, and more.

The grant program is part of the Alliance’s work to enhance and develop recreation assets, increase region-wide stewardship, and advance policies to secure long-lasting community and economic benefits for Adirondack towns and villages.

The Northern Forest Center facilitates and participates in the Alliance and raised funds for this round of grants. The Alliance awarded close to $40,000 to help communities from Caroga to Vermontville improve recreational assets for residents.

Grants include funding to strengthen ice skating facilities and resources in Newcomb, Inlet, Ticonderoga and Elizabethtown, support pump tracks in Vermontville and Saranac Lake, create new or expanded mountain biking in Caroga, Chestertown and North Creek, enhance hiking opportunities in Long Lake, expand the terrain park at Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake, and strengthen a volunteer network dedicated to backcountry avalanche safety education.

“It’s clear from the applications we received that Adirondack residents really value having quality community-based recreation assets in their communities, and we are pleased to be able to help meet this incredible demand,” said Aaron Woolf, ACRA Steering Committee Member. “We received over $100,000 in grant requests and were able to fund a significant portion of them. We are confident that this round of grants is going to make a meaningful difference in strengthening the assets that improve quality of life for residents of the Adirondacks.”

In Inlet, the grant will be used to purchase new, safer equipment for their youth hockey team, the Inlet Mighty Loons. Last January, 71 kids signed up for the program, far exceeding their expectations, and all their equipment was donated.
“The aid and support for the Inlet Mighty Loons Youth Hockey Organization from the Northern Forest Center has brought to our community a sense of pride and togetherness for all of our neighbors,” says Bret Thompson, President and Coach of the Inlet Mighty Loons. “Our children not only have a way to stay active and engaged year-round, but they are also gaining friendships and learning skills that will lead them to success throughout their lifetime.”

A young rider on the Wheelerville mountain bike network. Northern Forest Center website photo.

The Town of Caroga has been developing the Wheelerville mountain bike network on town-owned land adjacent to Caroga’s hamlet for a few years now. This grant will help the town expand and sustain this trail network.
“The Wheelerville Trails project has greatly expanded recreational opportunities and improved the quality of life for both visitors and residents of the Town of Caroga,” said Jeremy Manning, Trails Manager. “Previously, there was just one trail that allowed bikes in Town. In only two years of construction, we are seeing mountain bikers traveling from all over the East Coast to visit the trails, many of whom had never previously been to the Town. While we’re thrilled with this boost in recreational tourism, it’s perhaps most exciting to see current residents excited to learn a new sport and explore a previously under-utilized area of local forest.”

Members of Saranac Lake Innovative Cycling Kids. Northern Forest Center website photo.

Saranac Lake Innovative Cycling Kids (SLICK) is using this grant to help fund the building of a pump track and connecting trails from the village to Harrietstown.
“Saranac Lake Innovative Cycling Kids is thrilled to bring a pump track and connecting trails to Saranac Lake,” said Will Miemis, age 16 SLICK member. “Youth biking in our area is booming, and the track will serve as a communal spot for bike enthusiasts and promote outdoor recreation.  Did we mention that it will be super fun?!”
The Alliance is part of our larger Attracting New Residents Strategy in the Adirondacks.
Photo at top: Youth hockey team, the Inlet Mighty Loons, had an opportunity to play during intermission at a Utica Comets game. Photo provided by the Inlet Mighty Loons program. 

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

One Response

  1. Scott Hurlburt says:

    I enjoy reading about your support for youth supporting not for profits. As a Town Councilman I’m hoping we can provide more youth centered opportunities here.

    Thank you

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