In & About the Park

In & About the Park

Adirondack Council Expands Low-Carbon Micro-Grant Program to Other Small Businesses in Addition to Farms

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John Sheehan
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Adirondack Council Expands Low-Carbon Micro-Grant Program to Other Small Businesses in Addition to Farms
Organization Building Low-Carbon Economy for the Adirondack Park

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council is seeking applicants for the low-carbon micro-grant program the organization established last spring with a round of grants to local farms.

“This year, we are expanding the micro-grant program to include other small businesses in the Adirondack Park, not just farms,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Farms will still be a focus of the program, but we also want to help other small Adirondack entrepreneurs become and remain sustainable in the face of a rapidly changing climate.”

Micro-grants of between $500 and $1,500 will be awarded for energy conservation, carbon emissions-reduction, habitat planting, and clean and environmentally healthy, sustainable farming/small business efforts. Projects should enhance the economic, human, and/or environmental sustainability and climate resiliency of the Adirondack Park.

Applications are due on March 31.  They can be found here: http://bit.ly/2lvHX4j

The Council’s 2016 grants went to projects that helped local farms remain sustainable.  Projects that also saved energy or reduced reliance on fossil fuels qualified for the largest grants.

Farmers earned grants for solar-powered animal watering stations; horse-powered wood splitters; better cold-storage; climate-resilient crops; growing tunnels that extend the food-production season; more efficient milking technology; and more. 

“We want to help small business, and our communities, prosper despite the challenges of climate change,” Janeway said.  “We know Adirondackers can’t stop global climate change on our own.  But we can stand as an example to others and show the world that it’s possible to prosper while protecting the environment.”

Janeway noted that farms play an important role in maintaining water quality, wildlife habitat and open spaces for recreation.  Well-run farms are an asset to any community, he said.

“When farmers go the extra step of finding low-carbon, non-polluting solutions to their daily work challenges, everybody wins,” Janeway said.  “That’s what we want to support and encourage.  We also want to encourage that throughout the small-business community.” 

On Earth Day 2016, the Adirondack Council awarded Cool Farms/Healthy Park micro-grants to 12 Adirondack farms, with support from the Klipper Fund, working with a coalition of partner organizations.

In January, International Paper Company’s Ticonderoga paper mill gave the Council an additional $2,000 toward the micro-grants program.

In addition, the Council supports the micro-grants through its Cool Farms/Healthy Park program in which the organization obtains carbon pollution allowances from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and works with donors to retire them -- unused.  Every allowance retired prevents one ton of carbon emissions from Northeast power plants.  Donated funds are reinvested in both farm grants that reduce the local carbon footprint, and in obtaining additional allowances.

So far, the Council has retired more than 13,000 tons’ worth of carbon allowances from the RGGI program.  Donors receive a certificate explaining how the donation is helping to protect public health, clean water, wildlife and ecologically sensitive places like the Adirondack Park. The certificate is suitable for framing, made out to whomever the donor wishes, recognizing support for cool farms, a healthy park, climate-smart farming and carbon reduction.

The Adirondack Council doesn’t accept government grants or taxpayer-supported funding of any kind. The Adirondack Council is an independent, privately funded, not-for-profit organization. 

The Council’s mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. The Council envisions an Adirondack Park comprised of large, core Wilderness areas, surrounded by working forests and farms and vibrant local communities.

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States. 

 

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