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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Placid, NY — The Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program has started its 33rd season of protecting New York’s alpine ecosystem. Summit stewards will be educating hikers on high peaks summits—namely Marcy, Algonquin, Wright, and Cascade—through Indigenous People’s Day. During this time, they will also be focused on expanding the program’s photopoint monitoring, which is key to showcasing the link between educational outreach and alpine vegetation recovery.
“We are excited to continue the important work of protecting New York’s alpine ecosystem,” said Kayla White, ADK Stewardship Manager. “The Summit Stewardship Program has been and continues to be one of the best examples we have of an outreach effort that has successfully shown people how to protect sensitive ecosystems while they enjoy them.”
Since the program’s founding in 1989, summit stewards have educated over 600,000 hikers about alpine vegetation and how to protect it. The result has been a remarkable recovery in vegetation on alpine-carrying summits in the High Peaks region, a trend that has held despite increases in visitor use over the last decade.
Loon enthusiasts are encouraged to join retired NYS DEC Forest Ranger, and avid naturalist, birder, and photographer, Gary Lee, as he shares stories during an informational session about banding loons in the Adirondacks.
The presentation will take place on Friday, July 1 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of Inlet Town Hall located at 160 State Route 28. The program is free and open to the public. For more information about this event, call (315) 357-5501.
Gary lives with his wife, Karen, at Eight Acre Wood in Inlet where he was the Forest Ranger for 35 years, working in the Moose River Wild Forest Recreation Area and West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. Now retired, Gary works summers for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, observing, catching and banding loons.
The author of a column Daybreak to Twilight in local papers from 1986 to 2019, he now writes his Outdoor Adventures in a weekly blog, which can be seen on The Adirondack Almanack and View Arts Center websites. In 2008, Gary coauthored a book with John M.C. “Mike” Peterson, “Adirondack Birding- 60 Great Places to Find Birds.”
Photo at top: Gary Lee with loon. (Town of Inlet website photo.)
The idyllic 75-acre hillside property in the town of Bolton will host a birthday party featuring fun activities involving Up Yonda staff, volunteers and numerous local organizations, including Adirondack Mountain Club, Lake George Land Conservancy, Friends of Up Yonda Farm, Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Southern Adirondack Beekeepers, among others.
There will be something for the whole family, with Tres Mijas Food Truck on site and special programs, exhibits, and booths from partner organizations to mark the occasion.
11 different organizations have committed to being part of the event, featuring a variety of outdoor recreation, environmental and educational topics to go along with Up Yonda’s offerings.
“Up Yonda Farm is a great place to spend a day with the family, get some exercise and learn about our region’s environment. We hope our residents and visitors can join us on July 30th for a fun day commemorating this 25-year milestone for Up Yonda as a resource for all of Warren County,” said Kevin Geraghty, Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.
Admission is free, no reservations are needed, and there will be food, vendors and activities on site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, including a full list of organizations that will be part of the event, check out the attached flier or log on to upyondafarm.com.
About Up Yonda Farm:Located on Route 9N just west of Lake George’s western shore, Up Yonda Farm was donated to Warren County by Alice and John Scott of Bolton in 1993, and opened to the public in 1997. The Scotts also set up a trust fund that helps fund its operations. Up Yonda features an auditorium, museum, sugar house, and a butterfly exhibit during the summer months, and hosts many types of educational programs for all ages. The property’s farmhouse has an educational space, live turtle exhibit and a small gift shop area featuring locally produced honey and maple syrup as well as field guides. There are natural history exhibits and wildlife viewing opportunities throughout the property and series of hiking and snowshoeing trails provide access to a scenic vista of Lake George. Warren County Department of Parks, Recreation and Railroad oversees the property.
Photo at top: Up Yonda Farm view. (Photo provided by Don Lehman, Director of Public Affairs for Warren County)
A Shamanic Journeying workshop will take place at the Old Forge Library, located at 220 Crosby Blvd., on Wednesday, June 29 at 3 p.m.
Doug Davis will lead participants on a journey of wisdom, healing and knowledge. Shamanic Journeying involves traveling within oneself. It is a process by which one shifts out of our ordinary way of thinking and into a more open and accepting way of communicating with our own inner wisdom.
The Shamanic Journey uses a different kind of meditation in which participants allow the sound of the drum to assist in visualizing and receiving images of nature, including animal messengers. The experience is enjoyable, and the drumming is peaceful and helps participants to focus on the “journey.”
“I’ve been practicing Shamanic Journeying since 1995…so 27 years. A very knowledgeable friend introduced me to it…and it has given me a broader and more positive perspective about life,” said Davis about his history with the practice.
Davis also leads the popular Meditation with Trees workshops at the Old Forge Library several times a year. These workshops are scheduled monthly throughout the summer and fall of 2022. Interested parties are welcome to reference the library’s website for dates and times.
The Shamanic Journeying workshop is free for all to attend. Although walk-ins are welcome, registration is recommended. Call (315) 369-6008 or e-mail email@example.com to register.
Photo at top provided by Beth Pashley of the Old Forge Library.
“My Brush, My Adirondacks,” an exhibit by watercolor artist, Ron Rakowski, will be on display July 1 through July 30 at the Old Forge Library, 220 Crosby Blvd. The exhibit will showcase a selection of Rakowski’s Adirondack-themed paintings.
As part of the townwide First Friday Art Walk, the exhibit’s opening reception will be held 5-7 p.m. on Friday, July 1. The reception is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served.
Rakowski has lived in the Mohawk Valley and Adirondacks his entire life, and has been painting for over 30 years.
A mostly self-taught artist, Ron credits much of his skill to classes and workshops he has taken with watercolor artists such as Ralph Murray, Willard Sauter and Edward Cristianna. Rakowski said he favors watercolor because it’s simple and compact and “despite its simplicity you can get a great many complex effects with various techniques.”
He draws inspiration from natural scenes such as battered rocks, rushing water, gnarly trees and his favorite — snow.
ELIZABETHTOWN: Artist Randi Renate will be speaking about her current sculpture, “blue is the atmospheric refraction I see you through,” which is now on view outside the Adirondack History Museum. The sculpture is a large participatory installation open to the public since August 2021.
“Blue is the atmospheric refraction I see you through” is a sculptural encounter in which two viewers have similar yet distinct experiences of climbing twin spiraling staircases recessed into a larger dome. Its twin staircases require mirrored movement, activating mirror neurons. Shared movements trigger these neurons, which enhance human empathy. The passage culminates in an exposed meeting point that maintains a distanced perspective—from one another as well as from the surrounding landscape.
The event will begin with an outdoor artist talk moderated by the museum’s director Aurora McCaffrey starting at 5 pm on Sunday, July 3.
June 28, 2022, 7 – 8 pm, Free but registration requested.
For nearly two centuries, the remote forestlands and high mountain peaks of the Adirondacks have provided opportunities for middle-class recreation, wilderness adventure, and scientific research. At the same time, those natural characteristics led state and federal authorities to look toward the North Country as a convenient location for a network of prisons. Towns and villages across the Adirondacks have since come to rely on prisons as a source of economic development, employment, and state funding.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is inviting volunteers to join its Lake Protectors program and is kicking off summer with its first (of three) Lake Protectors training sessions from 9-11:30 a.m. on June 28.
“Being a Lake Protector is fun, easy and a great way to help Adirondack lakes,” said Brian Greene, APIPP’s Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator.
Since the program’s inception in 2002, hundreds of volunteer Lake Protectors have surveyed more than 460 lakes in the Adirondacks, of which more than 75-percent do not have invasive species present.
Participation in the program is simple. After taking a training course, every volunteer is encouraged to adopt a waterbody of their choice and commit to surveying that pond or lake at least once during the summer. Many Lake Protectors, like Saranac Lake author Caperton Tissot, view the program as a way to spend time on a favorite waterbody while also helping to protect it from the threat of invasive species. Tissot has been a volunteer Lake Protector since 2009. In an interview last summer, she said her favorite place to survey is Barnum Pond in Paul Smiths because there are no buildings nearby, she rarely sees another boat and the shoreline varies from rocky outcrops to forests and bogs.
Several Adirondack-area nonprofit organizations, including the Ausable River Association, Adirondack Council, and View Arts Center, recently announced a lineup of promotions and new hires.
Carolyn Koestner joins Ausable River Association and Lake Champlain Sea Grant
Carolyn Koestner. Photo provided by the Ausable River Association.
Wilmington, NY — Carolyn Koestner of Saranac Lake has joined the staff of the Ausable River Association (AsRA). Her position as geographic information system (GIS) mapping and science communications fellow is made possible through a partnership with Vermont-based Lake Champlain Sea Grant (LCSG). Earlier this year, LCSG awarded AsRA a two-year competitive fellowship that provides $25,000 a year toward the hire of an early career professional. A generous donor gave the required match commitment to AsRA to make this new opportunity possible.
The 17th Annual Vintage Snowmobile Club of America (VSCA) National Show will be held at the George T. Hiltebrant Recreation Center on June 25 -26 located at 201 North Street in Old Forge, NY. Snowmobile enthusiasts and collectors are encouraged to come check out this year’s show which will showcase hundreds of vintage sleds, including the 1962 “First-Ever” Polar/Arctic Cat Model 100XX Prototype.
The show will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Spectator general admission is $12 for the full weekend, or $10 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday.
Meadowmount School of Music is a summer program for young string players founded by legendary violin teacher Ivan Galamian in Westport, NY, in the Adirondacks, that has helped mold some of the world’s most prominent musicians, among them Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Joshua Bell. This summer, “the original practice camp” marks its 78th year with its first fully in-person session since 2019 and two new leaders at the helm: Executive Director Mark Hayman, former Executive Director of Young Concert Artists; and Artistic Director Janet Sung, international violin soloist as well as Head of Strings and Violin Professor at the DePaul University School of Music and Artistic Director and Founder of Chamber Music Chicago (and a Meadowmount alumna) – both of whom were appointed in 2021.
Meadowmount’s 2022 session takes place June 25 – August 13. During that time, approximately 175 young violinists, violists, and cellists, aided by a roster of teaching faculty and guest artists pulled from the top ranks of the music world (see below), will engage in a program of intensive study and practice devised by Mr. Galamian to effect, in his words, “a year’s progress in seven weeks.” During those seven weeks, the school’s campus becomes an active concert hub, with three to four performances a week by the students, faculty, and guest artists in Meadowmount’s Edward Lee and Jean Campe Concert Hall.
Scholars are finally beginning to recognize the significance of Lake George as the site of a prolonged environmental struggle, inspired by John Muir and the Sierra Club, in 1913, when they tried to block the construction of a dam in Yosemite National Park. In New York State, a young engineer at GE, John Apperson, was paying close attention to the national debates over Hetch Hetchy. He believed that the International Paper Company, with its dam at Ticonderoga, was damaging the beautiful islands in the Narrows of Lake George. Within weeks of the disappointing vote over Hetch Hetchy, Apperson took action, and began representing the Schenectady Conservation Council, in Albany, and taking part in the legislative debates concerning New York’s forests and wild places.
SARANAC LAKE — A new website helps people across the North Country find local resources to help them get and stay healthy. Get Healthy North Country — gethealthynoco.org — is administered by the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, a network of health care providers, public health agencies and nonprofits working to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and other chronic diseases across northern New York.
This region-wide system aims to ensure that there are enough lifesaving programs offered so that anyone interested — or referred — will be able to access them. The Coalition’s new website is a one-stop shop for those looking to enroll in local workshops and wellness programs to help them prevent or better manage diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic diseases.
“The Coalition is looking for ways to remove obstacles for people trying to take control of their health,” said Ann Morgan, executive director of The Heart Network, which facilitates the Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition. “Too often, we find that individuals miss out on local resources because they’re difficult to find or hard to enroll in — our aim is to make the process as simple as possible. We also recognize that many people in our region don’t have internet access, so we’re using our partnership with NY Connects to make sure people can get assistance enrolling by phone.”
The Carillon has returned to Fort Ticonderoga, with boat tours taking place Tuesday through Sunday from May 27 to mid-October. The 75-minute narrated boat cruises cover some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America while surrounded by breathtaking lake views, commanding mountains, and the majestic fort.
From shipwrecks to a massive bridge that the Americans built in 1776, Lake Champlain holds defining stories of America’s past. Fort Ticonderoga’s layers of history carry right from the land onto the water. Carillon boat tours help ignite visitors’ imaginations as they explore this internationally strategic lake.
The 60-foot boat is available for daily tours, field trips, sunset cruises, and private charters. A selection of regional beer and cider, wine, soft drinks, water, and snacks are available for purchase on board. Tickets for the boat cruise are available HERE or can be purchased on-site during a visit on a first-come basis.
Boat tours are available rain or shine. Fort Ticonderoga members that are interested in taking a boat cruise, please call 518-585-2821 Monday through Friday, or 518-585-2650 Saturday and Sunday for assistance.
Fort Ticonderoga is located at 102 Fort Ti Road in Ticonderoga, NY.
Photo at top: The Carillon, Archaeological Tour of Lake Champlain 2017. Photo provided by Fort Ticonderoga, Almanack archive photo.
Westport, NY – John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is observing Juneteenth this weekend with a documentary film screening, live music, a dramatic performance, and the “Colors of Freedom” driving tour to significant sites of Underground Railroad and abolitionist activity in Essex and Clinton Counties.
Juneteenth is a national holiday that commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States when, on June 19, 1865, federal troops finally arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure the freeing of all enslaved people. Their freedom came two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
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