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Adirondack Council Expands Micro-grants to Old Forge

For more information:
John Sheehan
518-441-1340 cell
518-432-1770 ofc

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 12, 2018

OLD FORGE, N.Y. – The Adirondack Park’s largest environmental advocacy organization is seeking applicants for its 2018 Cool Farm/Healthy Park micro-grant program and has extended eligibility to small businesses in Old Forge in addition to Champlain Valley Adirondack Park farms.

“This year’s grants are available to Champlain Valley farmers and small business owners in Old Forge who want to conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions or eliminate waste,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Sustainable farms, local food and local businesses are essential to the park’s quality of life.  We want to help all small businesses become and remain sustainable, while limiting our impact on the priceless wild lands that surround the park’s communities.”

The Adirondack Park is a mixture of public and private lands.  Public lands are protected as “forever wild” by the NYS Constitution.  Private lands include commercial timberlands, farms, resorts, private homes, businesses and 130 rural communities.  Its year-round population of roughly 130,000 is spread across 9,300 square miles of forest. 

At 14 persons per square mile, the park is the least densely populated area of the Northeast.  The Northeast is the most densely populated area of the United States.  There is constant pressure to convert farms and other open spaces to new homes and commercial development.

The Adirondack Council’s Cool Farm/Healthy Park micro-grant program has awarded over $40,000 since it began in 2016. The Klipper Family Fund helped start and continues to sponsor the program.  The first request for proposals was limited to Champlain Valley farms.  Thanks to additional support from the Lookout Fund, the Council was able to expand the grant program to small business in the central Adirondacks.  This year, the Council is expanding the program westward to Old Forge.

Why does an environmental organization want to help make communities sustainable? 

“Small businesses and farms are the backbone of the park’s emerging low-carbon economy,” said Janeway.  “Less reliance on imported fuels and imported food means less pollution and more money in local pockets -- a higher standard of living for everyone.

“Taking a longer view, our communities can make the park a model of hope for the future,” Janeway said.  “Communities like Old Forge make it easier for everyone to visit and enjoy the Adirondack Forest Preserve.  Over time, businesses that depend on the Forest Preserve have become partners in the quest to sustain it as the best-protected collection of wild lands on Earth.  We hope these grants keep us moving down that road.”

“Climate-smart Adirondack farms and businesses provide our communities with safe local food, jobs and tourism attractions while helping to combat global climate change and to protect Adirondack water, wildlife and wilderness,” said Courtney Klipper, co-founder of the Klipper Fund.  “These Adirondack farmers and business owners are taking it upon themselves to be greener.  We are thrilled to help them achieve that goal.”

“Sustainable local farms and businesses help everyone avoid burning huge amounts of fossil fuel to obtain the food, products and services we need every day,” said Nathaniel Klipper, the other co-founder of the Klipper Fund.  Courtney and Nathaniel are part-time residents of Essex.

Every day, producers across the agricultural spectrum deal with the consequences of a warming planet, including more frequent and severe storms and abrupt changes in annual rainfall patterns.  In keeping with the program’s roots, the micro-grants will continue to be available to farmers located within the Champlain Valley of the Adirondack Park.

Given the remoteness and rural nature of Adirondack hamlets and villages, small businesses are particularly vital to the overall health of the communities they serve. In 2017 the Adirondack Council awarded nearly $9,000 to seven small businesses in the central Adirondack region. Projects included insulation of doors and windows, installation of LED lights, solar project, new air conditioning systems, and purchase of energy efficient appliances.

For the second year, the geographical focus of the small businesses grants will correlate with the location of the Council’s annual member meeting. This year, the Council will be hosting its annual Forever Wild Day celebration and annual meeting in the hamlet of Old Forge.

Program Details

The Council will award micro-grants of between $500 and $1,500 for energy conservation, carbon emissions reduction, and clean and environmentally healthy sustainable farming/small business efforts. These projects should enhance the economic, human, and/or environmental sustainability and climate resiliency of the Adirondack Park, and/or help applicants apply for additional funds for similar projects. For more program information and application details, visit our website at: http://bit.ly/2ooTQfe.

The Adirondack Council will select awardees with guidance from a team including the Open Space Institute, Adirondack North Country Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, American Farmland Trust and the Adirondack Foundation. Applicants need only submit the simple one-page application form linked above to microgrants@adirondackcouncil.org.

Applications are due on March 30, 2018.  Information on past grants is available at: http://bit.ly/AdkGrants.

Anyone Can Help

In addition to generous grants from the Klipper Fund and the Lookout Fund, and a grant from International Paper, the Council supports the micro-grants program through the sale of Carbon Reduction Certificates and Carbon-Zero certificates.

The purchase of a $25 Carbon Reduction Certificate allows the buyer to fund future micro-grants and reduce the regional carbon pollution cap. For every $25 donated, the Adirondack Council will multiply the positive impact of the micro-grants by permanently retiring one carbon emission allowance from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park.  The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, as well as vibrant 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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