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

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Poetry: When The Rain Stopped

Small island in Lower Saranac Lake

By Annette Pisano-Higley

When The Rain Stopped
Today the rain stopped, for a moment,
Yet, it did stop.
It left the air lighter, cleaner, brighter.
For a moment, I remembered
When the air was always that way.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: The Beginning of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) by John Huttlinger, Jr.

Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA).

Our next OurStoryBridge story share is titled, “In The Beginning of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA)” by John Huttlinger, Jr. Huttlinger, Jr. from North Elba Narratives in Lake Placid, shares the illuminating story of the creation of the LPCA in the 1970’s, including his personal connection to the project as well as how the arts center has become a beloved and welcome addition to the community. 

Listen to In The Beginning of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) in its entirety at the following link:

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Wild Forest Roads Decision Calls For Common Sense, Not Arbitrary Number

roads in wild forest

By Gerald Delaney, Executive Director
Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board

Adirondack Park Agency Commissioners are currently faced with a particularly thorny question:

What did their predecessors mean in 1972 when they created a “guideline” in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP) that says: 

“… there will not be any material increase in the mileage
of roads and snowmobile trails open to motorized use by
the public in wild forest areas that conformed to the master
plan at the time of its original adoption in 1972.”

Did they mean no increase in road mileage after 1972? Are 100 more miles allowable or only 10?  What if the number of wild forest acres increased after 1972?

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Paul Smith’s partners with Clarkson in regional food waste audit

compost bucket

By Ariah Mitchell, Casella Climate Resilience Fellow

Paul Smith’s College Center for Sustainability has been awarded a $7,500 grant as part of a regional food waste audit research project with Clarkson University, backed by NYS Pollution Prevention Institute. The goal of this project is to develop a qualitative and quantitative understanding of food waste in facilities of higher education within our region. Under the direction of Sustainability Coordinator and Instructor Katharine Glenn, we will be hiring a team of student interns to complete a comprehensive audit of food waste on campus. With assistance from Clarkson University and Compost for Good, our Food Waste Audit Interns will collect and track data regarding our current composting efforts and our goals for the future, and engage our campus community with awareness of food waste management practices. 

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Paul Smith’s College students can now buy local foods on campus

PSC Center for Sustainability Partners with Campus Bookstore on Local Food Access.

PSC Center for Sustainability Partners with Campus Bookstore on Local Food Access.

By Ariah Mitchell, Casella Climate Resilience Fellow

On campus at PSC, there are few options to purchase farm fresh or local grocery products. The Packbasket Bookstore has acted as a sort of convenience store on campus for quite some time, selling prepackaged snacks and drinks. Since our campus is 12 miles from town and about 6 miles from the closest market (Brighton Mini-Mart) and not all students have cars, access to fresh and affordable food can be an issue. According to a survey designed by Kevin McCarthy’s Fall 2022 class, students, faculty, and staff would like to be able to purchase organic, local food in the Packbasket. Mary Haskell, our new Bookstore Manager, is planning on a rebrand to do a better job of meeting the needs of the community both on-campus and off. The Bookstore will be partnering with the Center for Sustainability to make these goals a reality. 

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Grateful for the Adirondack Food Justice Summit

Benita Law Diao

In March, The Heart Network had the privilege of participating in the 2023 Adirondack Food Justice Summit, organized by the Adirondack Health Institute and the Adirondack Food System Network, and hosted at The Wild Center. This year’s theme was “Feed Back: Food is Health” — a theme that strongly parallels The Heart Network’s Creating Healthy Schools & Communities (CHSC) priorities in Franklin County.

The one-day event zeroed in on “food as medicine,” highlighting programs and initiatives across the Adirondack region aimed at strengthening our food systems to reduce food insecurity — without compromising population health. In fact, much of the discussion spoke to strategies that can improve health while also advancing equity in our food systems. One such strategy is the implementation of Food RX models in our communities, which involves healthcare providers working with patients to connect them to healthy local food sources. One of the two keynote speakers — Benita Law Diao — challenged participants to examine more closely the barriers that prevent people from accessing nutritious foods and physical activity.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, March 24, 2023

The Ermine and the Hare: A Tale from Couchsachraga

rabbit statute

Story and photos by Heather Swartz

It seemed like an Adirondack fairytale at first. I had completed the navigation at dawn from Blue Mountain Lake to the Santanoni Range Trailhead at Upper Works. The sun rose on the tree enveloped horizon as I drove Northeast and spied a single young buck at the roadside in the morning light.  I considered these good omens.  It was early September. I parked at the trailhead and proceeded solo up Santanoni Road and began the Bradley Brook Trail, full of corduroy, horizontal logs laid out to make an old and well used, wet, roadway. 

» Continue Reading.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Tales of the Adirondacks, Past & Present: Winning the Olympic Gold Medal by Charity Marlatt

Bobsledders Alan Washbond and Ivan Brown at the 1936 Olympics.

In the spirit of sharing informational, intriguing, and inspiring stories to help highlight the rich social and cultural history of New York State’s Adirondack Mountains, The Adirondack Almanack will share stories written by those who live, work, and play in the ADK, courtesy of OurStoryBridge/Freedom Story Project. These stories, which will be a combination of current and past events, people, outdoor activities and more, will be published on a weekly basis, starting with today’s first story titled, Winning the Olympic Gold Medal by Charity Marlatt. The stories will focus on various locations situated in the Adirondack region, including the High Peaks, the town of Keene, and many other areas around the Park. Stories are compartmentalized into the following categories, arts & culture, catastrophes, work, people, outdoor activities, daily life, community, and natural & man-made environments. 


» Continue Reading.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

A Nordic Adventure in Raquette Lake

Cascades Trail in Raquette Lake.

By Tim Helms, Long Lake & Raquette Lake Events Coordinator

With the return of winter and a decent snowpack in the Adirondack backcountry, this is the perfect time to explore a new trail or area that you have never experienced before. For this outing I chose the Powerhouse and Cascades Trails in the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area, which is part of the Blue Ridge Wilderness located in Raquette Lake, NY. To access the trailheads head south on Sagamore Road for approximately three miles, the first trailhead will be the Cascades Trail on the left side of the road. The Powerhouse Trailhead is another quarter mile on the left just across the bridge over South Inlet. The Cascades Trail has a very visible sign marking the parking lot, the Powerhouse Trail does not have a sign marking the parking lot, but the lot is very obvious and is just across the bridge and hard to miss.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, February 24, 2023

A band named JIM

band named jim reunion in Lake placid. Band on stage with crowd in the foreground
By Sven Curth

The doors had opened early, and people were starting to pour in.  The place was already crowded by the time we did our soundcheck, and I attempted to sing half of a song before I realized with utter horror that my voice was not going to “pull through” for tonight’s show.  It was completely shot.  Trying to sing a moderately high-pitched note was impossible – it was even difficult to talk.  I had been hoping that it would miraculously improve by showtime – but it wasn’t happening.  I couldn’t sing.

This presented a considerable problem – because I am the lead singer.

Our band, JIM, was formed in Lake Placid in 1995.  For about 10 years, a few lineup changes, 5 albums, and lots of shows, we built up a devoted following before disbanding in 2005. Since then, we played reunion shows periodically, the last being over 6 years ago. Fans had been asking for more shows, and now we were finally delivering.  They had come from all over the region, the country even, to join us in our revelry. Hundreds of happy faces filled the room, many old friends and acquaintances mixed with potential new fans, all excited to hear what JIM had to offer – and I knew I couldn’t sing.

I pulled the band members aside and told them that despite our hopes – it wasn’t happening. How could we play a show without a lead singer?  I was anxious. Pacing.  Politely trying to explain to any of the happy faces that wanted to fraternize that this show may not happen.  “I can barely talk, much less sing.”  How do you tell a huge crowd of people that have gone to great lengths to come to your show that it is impossible to play?

» Continue Reading.

Monday, February 13, 2023

In memory of an Adirondack ranger, aka dad

In honor of him and all he has done over his 85+ years of life (for he had truly done so much), I share these memories with all of you. He may have professed being “private” at times, but he was functionally and wholly a public figure in service to his community, first as a first responder and later as a veterans’ advocate. He didn’t just “belong” to me and my family, but to the community of the North Country, the Empire State of New York, and, I would argue, the world at large.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

February 11 is 211 Day

211 graphic

Nine Things You Didn’t Know About 211

Everyone knows about 911, but fewer people know about 211, the number to call to find help with life’s challenges.

What kind of challenges? The kind of challenges everyone faces at some point in their lives, when you have no idea where to turn but sure could use some extra help.

In New York State, 211 is available 24/7 and provided by local non-profits and United Ways.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Town of Inlet Announces Royalty for Frozen Fire & Lights Event

Inlet Frozen Fire and Lights Royalty

by Margie O’Hara

Meet the 2023 Inlet Royal Family who will reign at Frozen Fire & Lights on February 25; the Hennessy family, Queen Britta, King Devlin, and Princes Olin and Vale. The couple met while they were students at Marist College. Because of their affinity for the outdoors and Britta’s family history of spending time at her family’s camp on Seventh Lake, they chose to take their wedding vows nine years ago in 2013, in the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Turn Moriah Shock into Adirondack conservation hub

moriah shock prison

By Aaron Mair, NYS Sen. Dan Stec and NYS Assemblyman Matt Simpson

The Adirondack Park and its “forever wild” Forest Preserve are the heart and lungs of New York, taking in the carbon that causes climate change and exhaling fresh, clean air to reinvigorate our atmosphere. New York needs more personnel in the Adirondacks to manage the forests it already owns, as well as forests it hopes to protect in the future.

The closure of the Moriah Shock Incarceration Facility in the tiny Adirondack hamlet of Mineville is an opportunity: Several state conservation initiatives would benefit from an additional state building in the Adirondacks. Leaders of Adirondack environmental organizations joined with local elected officials in Mineville last month to urge Gov. Kathy Hochul not to mothball the Moriah facility but instead to reuse it to bolster conservation, social justice and employment in the North Country.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, December 19, 2022

ACLC Staff and Volunteers Rescue Iced-In Loon on First Lake in Town of Webb

Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLC) staff and volunteers joined together for the rescue effort on December 15

By Jennifer Denny, ACLC Communications Coordinator

On Wednesday, December 14 the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation received a report of an iced-in Common Loon on First Lake in the Town of Webb. Overnight the water froze further and the ice surrounding the loon thickened. While these changes might seem bad for the loon, the cold night made conditions safe for a rescue effort.

On Thursday, December 15, volunteers and staff from the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation went to rescue the loon early in the morning. The group included Cody Sears, Jay Locke, Gary Lee, Don Andrews, and Kurt Gardner.

» Continue Reading.

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox