A New York State Museum scientist has collaborated with Smithsonian colleagues to make more than 202,000 wildlife photos available to the public for the first time through a new searchable website called Smithsonian Wild.
The new website allows the public to see exactly what scientists see in their research — photos of wildlife captured at close range. Three of the nine photo sets available on the site come from research in the Adirondacks and other locations, conducted by Dr. Roland Kays, the State Museum’s curator of mammals. The site operates off of a database that was created as part of Kays’ National Science Foundation funded research. » Continue Reading.
Historic Saranac Lake (HSL) was recently awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant. The grant will support the services of a professional consultant and the purchase of storage materials for the HSL collection.
Eileen Corcoran, of Vergennes Vermont, will conduct a general preservation assessment and to help draft a long-range plan for the care of the HSL collection. She will also provide on site training to staff in methods and materials for the storage of collections, best practices for cataloging collections, and proper methods for the arrangement and description of archival collections. Historic Saranac Lake houses a collection of letters and manuscripts, photographs and objects pertaining to the early scientific research of tuberculosis and care of TB patients in Saranac Lake, as well as a variety of items relating to the architecture and general history of the community. A number of these items are rare survivors of the many, many examples that once existed, such as an inspection certificate, or a record of patient treatments. They tell the story of a community of healing.
The Historic Saranac Lake collection is used for exhibitions, educational programs and by researchers. Historic Saranac Lake currently maintains two exhibitions at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The main laboratory space is a model of a very early science lab. Visitors explore and gain an appreciation for the history of science by observing artifacts and letters on display such as early microscopes and laboratory equipment, early scientific journals and photographs of important men in the history of science.
An alcove in the laboratory has been arranged as an exhibit on patient care, another important facet of Saranac Lake’s TB history. Items from the collection are displayed such as a cure chair, photos of cure cottages, letters from patients, sputum cups, a pneumothorax machine for collapsing the lung, and items made by patients in occupational therapy. Visitors gain an understanding of the patient experience taking the fresh air cure in Saranac Lake.
The main floor meeting space contains another exhibition, “The Great War, WWI in Saranac Lake.” This exhibit includes letters from local soldiers, medals, photos, and a complete WWI uniform and supplies such as a gas mask and mess kit. The exhibit interprets this important time period in history and how it impacted Saranac Lake.
Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake offers professional knowledge and experience to the public in support of Historic Preservation, architectural and historical research and education. HSL operates the Saranac Laboratory Museum and an online museum of local history at hsl.wikispot.org.
NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.
The Lake Placid CVB / Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism has announced the relaunch and redesign of their website at www.lakeplacid.com.
The new site was designed with three primary goals in mind. First and foremost, the bright colors, illustrated images and copy now reflect the Lake Placid brand, inviting all visitors to “invent their own perfect day in Lake Placid”. “Lake Placid is a unique community that offers resort amenities in the middle of a wild forest. There is no one-size-fits-all activity that is a must-do in Lake Placid,” said James McKenna, CEO of the Lake Placid CVB. “The new site is an interactive way to illustrate the idea that visitors can invent their own perfect day from an endless menu of experiences.” The second goal in designing the new site was to make it easier for visitors to plan their trip with simpler, more direct navigation. The new, clean design highlights a “make a reservation” call to action with a tab for lodging packages. All businesses with photo listings have a full page display that includes an image and an additional slide show, plus contact details, website link, a map location and more.
The site encourages visitors to explore and invent their Lake Placid experience by utilizing the Perfect Day Planner, which includes “parts of a perfect day” to complete their itinerary, whether that means a hike topped off with a local beer sampling, or a day of shopping, a visit to the spa and a night spent star gazing. The Planner also includes a list of whimsical “spare parts” such as “see a moose”, or “breathe pure air”.
Carol Joannette, Executive Vice President at the CVB oversees the organizations marketing efforts. “The new site reflects Lake Placid’s brand, with colors and content that support the concept of invention,” she said. “But the real change is on the back end – new content on the site is constantly generated, a must-do to ensure search engine optimization, and the entire site integrates social networking mechanisms, allowing our visitors to easily share content about our destination with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and other popular services.”
The site was designed and coded by Adworkshop, a local, employee-owned marketing agency. The Lake Placid CVB is the marketing organization (DMO) for Lake Placid and Essex County, which includes the Lake Champlain, Schroon Lake and Whiteface regions of the Adirondacks.
The Northville-Placid Trail Subcommittee of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Trails Committee has announced the creation of a new website devoted to the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT).
The NPT, which stretches 133 miles through some of the wildest and most remote parts of the Adirondack Park, was the first project undertaken by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) after it was formed in 1922. ADK publishes “Adirondack Trails: Northville-Placid Trail,” the definitive guide to the trail, which includes a detailed topographical map of the NPT. The website was developed by Tom Wemett, chair of the Northville-Placid Trail Subcommittee and a self-described “NPT fanatic.” » Continue Reading.
In 1960, New York State was home to 88,000 active farms; today that number has decreased to roughly 36,000 farms – a decline of nearly 60% in 40 years. In response, The Farmers’ Museum in historic Cooperstown, NY is assembling an exciting collection of original photography to chronicle and preserve the changes in agricultural practice, rural life, and farming families of New York State from the 19th century through the present. » Continue Reading.
Bob Sullivan, of the Schenectady Digital History Archive, has announced that the first two (historical) volumes of Nelson Greene’s four-volume history of Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties, History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 is now online.
Included are more than 300 photos and maps, and a biographical section – more than 2000 pages so far. Greene’s History joins the Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, a four-volume set with more than 1300 family entries from Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties.
The Adirondack Explorer has been publishing for more than eleven years. Our primary mission is to educate people about environmental issues facing the Adirondack Park, but as our readers know, we also have a strong interest in outdoor recreation.
Actually, it’s impossible to separate environmental issues from recreation. Many debates in the Adirondacks pit muscle-powered recreationists against advocates of motorized access. The Explorer has run numerous stories that reflect the divide over motorized use. We’ve delved into such controversies as: Should all-terrain vehicles be allowed on the Forest Preserve? Should more waterways be declared motor-free? Should old woods roads be open to vehicles? Should the Adirondack Scenic Railroad corridor be converted into a bike path? Should floatplanes be allowed on wilderness lakes? Should tractor-groomers be allowed on snowmobile trails?
Although we always try to get both sides of every story, we cannot deny that we at the Explorer prefer non-motorized recreation as more environmentally friendly. This is not to say that motorized recreation does not have a place in the Park. The debates are over where motorized use is appropriate.
Every issue of the Explorer features several first-person accounts of muscle-powered recreation: hiking, paddling, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, biking, snowshoeing. We’ve published hundreds of such stories over the years, and they’ve proven quite popular with readers looking for new places to explore.
We’ve collected some of these stories in the anthologies Wild Excursions and Wild Times, but now we have begun putting them online as well, where you can read them for free.
The brand-new Adirondack Explorer Adventure Planner is a unique online resource that allows you to search for recreational stories by sport and region. If you select “Hiking,” for example, you will get a list of stories split among six regions in the Park. Select a particular region, say “Southern,” and you’ll see all the hiking stories for that part of the Park.
The Adventure Planner has been in the works for months, but we’re not done. Although it’s complete enough to show the public, we plan to add more content and features in the weeks, months, and years ahead. We also want to fix whatever bugs arise and make the site as useful and user-friendly as possible.
This is where the readers of Adirondack Almanack come in. Please visit the Adventure Planner and let us know what you think of the site and how we could improve it. You can post comments here or send an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to visit the site. We look forward to hearing from you.
Photo: The Cedar River Flow by Phil Brown. Phil Brown is the editor of the Adirondack Explorernewsmagazine.
Outdoor enthusiasts have a new tool to help plan their trip to visit any of the 2,500 miles of recreational trails throughout New York, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials have announced. DEC’s Mapping Gateway has been expanded with information that enables the public to use Google Earth and other mapping tools to find trails and learn more about the state lands that surround them.
DEC’s Mapping Gateway combines existing web mapping applications and map collections with new offerings, such as a full-featured, interactive data inventory and map viewer. DEC continues to expand the availability of “Virtual Globe” data (http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/42978.html) to provide a variety of interactive aerial map representations using virtual globe software such as Google Earth. In addition, some data has been incorporated into Google Maps – which does not require any software downloads – to provide an even more accessible way for people to obtain DEC’s information.
The Mapping Gateway now includes information about 2,446 miles of recreational trails that DEC manages, including:
* Hiking Trails. * Cross-Country Ski Trails. * Horse Trails. * Trails open to motor vehicle use by people with “Motorized Access Program for People With Disabilities” (MAPPWD) permits. * Mountain Bike Trails. * Snowmobile Trails.
In addition to the trail information, visitors can click on the trail and find out the location, features and regional contact information for the forest, wildlife management area, or other state land on which the trail is located. DEC advises the public to check with the regional office covering the destination being visited to make sure trails and roads are open and if any advisories are in effect.
The new features announced today are in addition to Mapping Gateway enhancements rolled out last year for fishing, boating, bird watching and more. Other map offerings that can be used with Google Earth include the locations of ecological zones, brownfields, dams, and bulk storage facilities.
Instructions are available on the DEC website for those needing information about how to download and use the Google Earth software. By using Google and leveraging existing technology that many people are already familiar with, DEC is able to reduce software development costs. In addition, the available data is compatible with other virtual globe software like ArcGIS Explorer and NASA’s WorldWind, enabling the public to use the data in many different contexts.
Jay (Essex County) author and editor Lee Manchester has published a number of volumes on the history of Essex County and its communities. The free, downloadable PDFs include five volumes compiled from the files of the late Lake Placid historian Mary MacKenzie, a two-volume definitive anthology of 19th and 20th century materials on the McIntyre iron works and the Tahawus Club colony in Newcomb, better known as “the Deserted Village,” and two collections of Lee’s stories about history and historic hikes in and around Essex County. For complete information, including download instructions, visit the Wagner College website. Print versions of all the volumes can also be ordered, at a cost that includes no markup, with the exception of Mary MacKenzie’s “The Plains of Abraham: A History of Lake Placid and North Elba”; royalties for print copies of “Plains” go to the Lake Placid Public Library, which maintains the Mary MacKenzie Historic Archives.
Two unrelated efforts this spring show that bicycling may be getting a little more attention here in the Adirondacks.
For starters, you can take part in a local survey, looking for input for a future Web site dedicated to promoting bicycling in the Adirondacks. The survey is reachable here.
The survey is part of a program called Bike the Byways, which is sponsored by the Adirondack North Country Association, a community development group in Saranac Lake. The idea, says organizer Tim Holmes, is to figure out what bike resources already exist in the park. The group is most interested in road rides, he said, especially to promote the 14 federally-designated “Scenic Byways” located in the park.
Because of the lack of roads in the park and the sheer splendor of most of them, apparently most roads in the park are in fact scenic byways. So cyclists could just unfold a map and take their pick. Nevertheless, visitors might appreciate a site offering more specific descriptions.
Meanwhile, work continues on the Upper Hudson Rail Trail, a proposed 29-mile route that would go from North Creek to Tahawus on a right-of-way currently owned by NL Industries. A year after the idea was first made public, organizer Curt Austin, a photographer from Chestertown, has planned his first official organizing meeting.
Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail Inc. will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 12 at the North Creek Ski Bowl lodge.
“There are a lot of details to work out,” he said. But the meeting may include some more fun activities, such as a drive out to some of the route’s more scenic spots and possibly a bike ride in the afternoon.
The group is seeking to buy the railroad from NL, remove the track and lay down a bike trail through some of the Central Adirondack’s most remote woods.
“We don’t have that many formal members yet, but we’re going to try to make it entertaining and worthwhile for new people,” he said.
Just a quick reminder that Adirondack region new media / social media writers and producers are invited to gather at the Adirondack Museum on Friday, May 7, 2010 from 5 until 7 pm for a networking event and backstage tour of the Adirondack Museum’s exhibit “Let’s Eat: Adirondack Food Traditions”.
Local bloggers, Twitter users, social media writers and producers and new media journalists, will be getting together in the Adirondack Museum’s “Living With Wilderness Gallery” for food, drink, and networking, before taking an early behind the scenes look at the Museum’s featured 2010 exhibit. This event is sponsored by the Adirondack Pub and Brewery and the Adirondack Winery and Tasting Room (both in Lake George), the Adirondack Museum, and Adirondack Almanack.
Please RSVP as soon as possible to John Warren at email@example.com
Well, Punxsutawny Phil got it right again this year. We’ll see another 6 weeks of winter, but those of us living here in the Adirondacks already knew that. In fact we can look forward to another 6 to 8 weeks of snow, slush, and the occasional deep freeze. March and April’s weather can be very finicky. Take comfort in knowing that the birds are getting restless down there in their tropical locales. They want to start flying north as soon as they can. However their arrival is still some ways off. So to placate our wishes for green grass, warmer temps and sunny skies, I give you several offerings. Cams, or remote video cameras placed near a bird nest, have thrilled millions of birders and non-birders alike. This Eagle cam from Virginia is a very well-known cam that shows the daily nesting habits and egg-rearing behavior of two adult bald eagles in Norfolk, VA.
Another popular video is this cam from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland.
Are you California dreaming? Here’s a cam from the far western state’s Channel Islands.
Maybe you’re interested in Osprey nests? This one in Hilton Head, South Carolina looks active.
When the weather is not an issue, nesting can begin in earnest for these predators well before our Adirondack eagles and ospreys.
On Friday, February 12th the Winter Olympic Games started in Vancouver, Canada. The day after, in Lake Placid, the Olympic Torch was lit to commemorate the 1980 Olympics that took place there 30 years ago. At the Vancouver Games, there are several athletes representing Lake Placid and the Adirondack region, including Bill Demong, Andrew Weibrecht, Peter Frenette, and more. Luckily, for the casual fan, there are many ways to keep in touch with what is happening with your favorite athletes. One of the latest crazes in technology is the 140-character phenomenon known as Twitter. Many celebrities and businesses, in addition to everyday folks, use the web service to update what is happening in their lives. Now Olympic athletes use the Twitter service as well to keep us in the loop during the Games- for a list of the athletes who are “Tweeting”, check out this list.
Olympic fans can also follow the action at the Olympics at the following sites: Team USA News; NBC Olympic site;Vancouver 2010 site; and Google Maps. Team USA news is a site that allows fans to receive updates on the team, as well as donate and promote the Olympics through social media sites. Both NBC Olympics and the Vancouver 201o site offer news, photos, and videos from the Games. Google maps, which is known more for finding street addresses all over the globe, take it one step further for the Olympics by providing a glimpse of the Olympic venues.
With a hat tip to the outstanding birding blog The Zen Birdfeeder we point readers to an interesting new online database of 57 years of the New York State Ornithological Association’s (NYSOA) quarterly journal The Kingbird. 229 issues of the journal are currently online, along with 4 ten-year indices; four new issues will be added each year. The journal includes commentary of historic bird lists, natural history field observation reports, an archive of NYSOA development and history, and a lot more.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
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