Almanack Contributor Guest Contributor

The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with an interest in the Adirondack Park. Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor Melissa Hart at

Monday, November 13, 2023

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: Learning the Language of the Land by Ionah Scully

Ionah Scully after finishing the 46 on Haystack

In recognition of November being Native American Heritage Month, our next OurStoryBridge Inc. story share is called Learning the Language of the Land told by Ionah Scully. Part of Adirondack Mountain Club’s OurStoryBridge Project, ADK Voices, the story is told from the perspective of Ionah Scully, a First Nation Syracuse PhD candidate, as she completes hiking the Adirondacks High Peaks 46 and reflects on her connection to the land and her ancestors. To listen to this story in its entirety, please visit the following link:

» Continue Reading.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Great American Smokeout is Nov. 16

great american smokeout banner

“You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one.” That’s the motto for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, an annual event that takes place on the third Thursday of November — a day to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and to provide people with resources to quit. This year, the Great American Smokeout takes place Nov. 16.

Small steps are often the most crucial when a person decides to quit, even if it starts with just one less cigarette smoked per day. Many smokers want to quit, but don’t know how to get started. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Oh, Adirondacks

poetry logo

By Sam Levine

“Biggest park in the contiguous United States.”
Or some other

A park
Public and private.
Call it the “Adirondack Regional Zoning Area”
And be done with it.
“No billboards or sprawl!”
“Lowest population density per square mile east of the Mississippi!”
More advertising.
Proud of?
Humans and non-humans
Life, non-life
All things in a pen
But the holes.
The entries and exits.
The coming-and-going.
Through the “Blue-Line.”
Proud of?
The shoulders of a “shoulder season.”

» Continue Reading.

Monday, October 23, 2023

From Marsh to Rink and Back Again: The 90 Years of Jennings Pond


1908 view of Jennings Pond

By Hallie Bond, Long Lake Town Historian

We all have fond memories of Jennings Pond. We cut ice out of it, we learned to skate on it, we took our children to catch fish along its shores, we hit foul balls—and once in a great while a homer—into its waters. We probably thought it was a fixture of the natural landscape. But if you ever stopped to read the plaque on the boulder across from Hoss’s or the historical marker on the Nature Trail, you will know that the waters of Jennings Pond covered what was once a wetland that sloped gently into the lake.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: Hiking with All Those Who Have Gone Before Me

An Adirondack High Peak

Our next OurStoryBridge Inc. story share is called Hiking with All Those Who Have Gone Before Me told by Bethany Garretson. It is a story of a young woman who begins hiking the 46 High Peaks and connects with not only the landscape, but some of history’s most legendary hikers. To listen to this story in its entirety, please visit the following link:

» Continue Reading.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Fighting against ‘sameness’

sunset on a farm

By Kristin Kimball, Essex Farm

I’ve had my nose in the farm account books all week, and I am ready to stretch my legs and get out there, see what fall has wrought. I hear the winter squash and pumpkins are in, and some of the carrots; potatoes are ready, and when we have time and a dry window to harvest them, we would love extra hands for that. I can see for myself through the window that the maple trees in the sugarbush are starting to turn, and I think it will be a pretty fall, if it’s true that a wet summer brings more fall color. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

My Dreams for My Community: Getting out of boxes

Adirondack Center for Writing

By Lee Ames

All of my life I’ve been surrounded by boxes. It doesn’t matter what, but weaved throughout our world as a whole, there are boxes upon boxes of stereotypes. It could be something as simple as deciding what sport to be a part of, or what job you want to do in the future, how you dress or cut your hair. Some think if you’re a sports kid, then you can’t be a theater kid, it just doesn’t work that way. However, all of these things aren’t necessarily a spoken truth, it’s just an unspoken fact many of us go about our days carrying. It’s what’s in our media, it’s in our day to day life, it’s in the way our school systems are set up. No matter the circumstances, we have been given a box that we must fit into. » Continue Reading.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Essex Farm Note: A school visit and lots of rain

We hosted fifty middle schoolers from the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Vermont last Thursday. They hiked from the ferry to the farm via the Essex Gateway CATs trail in the humid heat. They had spent a week confronting the thorny ethical issues of food production. Mark and I talked about how to distill what we do and why we do it into something easily consumable, but then decided it was more of a show don’t tell opportunity. We hunted for dung beetles while talking about soil health, visited the dairy cows while talking about agricultural diversity, grazed our way through the vegetables while talking about the importance of basing our diets on whole food that’s locally produced, pulled some carrots for the road, and then hiked back to the ferry. They made it across the lake just before a huge thunderstorm hit, the one that knocked a tree through the library roof across from the ferry dock. Whew! » Continue Reading.

Monday, September 25, 2023

My Dreams for my Community: Life Behind the Window

Adirondack Center for Writing

A soft hum coming from my window fan pushes in the only fresh air I breathe all day. The light from the half open window pooled onto the floor trying to push back the overwhelming darkness of my room. The blue walls looked black; the honey-colored hardwoods now stained a
deep maroon. My once vibrant space glowing with relics of my various hobbies throughout the years now lay dormant, shrouded in shadow. » Continue Reading.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: Why Advocacy is Important for the Adirondack Park by Diane Fish

Our next OurStoryBridge Inc. story share is called Why Advocacy is Important for the Adirondack Park by Diane Fish. This story is about being an advocate for protected areas that are a blend of people and wilderness. Listen to this story in its entirety at the following link:

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Town of Inlet seeks donations for Arrowhead Park playground project

Example of playground to be constructed at Arrowhead Park in the Town of Inlet

By Adele Burnett, Town of Inlet Tourism Director

The Town of Inlet Parks Department is excited to have in the works – the Arrowhead Park Playground Project. There is something wonderful about walking into a local park and seeing young children running around a jungle gym, swinging on a swing, or going down a slide. [Children have the opportunity to] exercise, make friends, laugh, and run as their parents and neighbors catch-up over a cup of coffee.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Commentary on APA’s proposed headquarters move

apa headquarters

By James Connolly

The Adirondack Park Agency was established to be a regional land-use agency for the 6-million acres within the Adirondack Park. Just as important were environmental protections for wetlands and administration of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. From the very beginning of the Park Agency, it was appropriate for the headquarters to be located in Ray Brook next to its sister agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation. The two agencies, working together, administer many overlapping and complimentary regulations. Areas where the two agencies overlap and require consultation and coordination include APA classification of newly acquired State land, mining and mine land reclamation projects, wetlands regulations, shoreline stabilization projects, pesticide use & control of aquatic vegetation and regulation of Wild, Scenic & Recreational River corridors within the Park.

It has therefore always been assumed that APA & DEC were ideally located in Ray Brook. That is, until now. The Agency’s current Executive Director, Barbara Rice, has promoted the concept of a Village location as being “transformational”. At best, the amount of State money involved would provide limited benefit to the Village and a great deal of funding for the contractors and other construction-related activities. Her past role as a Village Trustee and local business owner may have led her to believe in overstating the case for a Village location, however, it also raises potential conflict of interest concerns given the lack of transparency in limiting analysis to only two locations. Isn’t it about time that the State Ethics Committee weighed-in with an opinion?

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

It’s debatable: Offensive place names

a stream on a cloudy day

This brook near Bloomingdale was recently renamed to John Thomas Brook, for a 19th century Black settler. Photo by Mike Lynch

Editor’s note: This commentary is in the July/August 2023 issue of Adirondack Explorer magazine, as part of our “It’s Debatable” feature. In this regular column, we invite organizations and/or individuals to address a particular issue. Click here to subscribe to the magazine, available in both print and digital formats:

The question: Should place names that offend disappear?

» Continue Reading.

Friday, August 11, 2023

For Our Friend, The Loon

Loon on the water

By Paul Sorgule

This morning I read a small letter to the editor in the Adirondack Enterprise about a loon that was apparently killed by a boater in the channel between Lake Flower and Oseetah Lake. I was struck with profound sadness and a touch of anger. For many years, that loon held court on Lake Flower and was a welcome and highly anticipated sign of Spring. For many years he seemed to be without a mate, until this year. There was an obvious gleeful change in his daily routine and soon we were blessed to notice a pair of newborn chicks riding on their mother’s back. It was this loon’s soothing coo in the early morning that signaled how special it was to live in this Adirondack Community.

When we were on the lake (oftentimes in the late afternoon) we would coast around hoping to see him feeding. He had become accustomed to people and sometimes treated us to his presence just 15 or 20 feet off our bow. It was thrilling to watch him dive for fish only to pop up 50 or 60 yards away -loons are excellent swimmers. Maybe he became too familiar with people and failed to understand the dangers that this familiarity brings. While we drifted in our boat if we ever crept too close, he would let us know by fluttering his wings or letting out a distinctive sound that could only mean “back off”. Then he would settle down and provide a pose for another picture to add to our files.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Sen. Stec: Updating Adirondacks’ cell tower policy is essential


By NYS Sen. Dan Stec

As Senator, I rely on the input of my constituents to advance policies that will improve our communities. To that end, I recently sent out a survey relating to cell service in the Adirondack Park. That survey can also be taken here, at my Senate website.  If we’re to ensure our region is up-to-date with the needs of our residents, action on the issue of cellular service is essential.

A lot has changed in 21 years.

Wars began and ended. Google went public in 2004. Facebook was founded that same year.

Scientists mapped the human genome. Rovers traversed Mars. Apple launched its first iPhone.

Amid all that change and technological upheaval, one thing has remained stagnant: the regulation of cellular technology in the Adirondack Park. 

» Continue Reading.

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