ACRA thumbs up vote grants headerThe Adirondack Community Recreation Alliance (ACRA) has awarded five grants totaling approximately $15,000 to projects that connect outdoor recreation and Adirondack communities.

“These grants each support community-based recreation initiatives in several different regions of the Adirondacks,” said Matt Strickland of Vert Outdoors, who sponsored a proposal to analyze the feasibility of building a 2 – 3 mile long trail connector between the Hamlets of Horicon and Starbuckville.

The Alliance is a group of community leaders, outdoor enthusiasts and local entrepreneurs dedicated to enhancing and developing recreation assets, increasing region-wide stewardship, and advancing policies to secure long-lasting community and economic benefits for Adirondack towns and villages.

The Northern Forest Center has awarded Turning Page Farm a second Tourism Innovation Program (TIP) grant to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions at its brewery and goat farm in Monson, Maine.

Joy wih goatThe new funding supports installation of a 13-kilowatt solar system to provide all the energy needed for Turning Page Farm’s brewery, cheese making room, tasting room, farm store, and goat milking area. In 2019 the Center awarded the farm a TIP grant that enabled the owners to expand brewing capacity, add a food cart offering, and extend their visitation season with a passive solar greenhouse tasting room. With those improvements completed, Turning Page Farm was ready to move ahead with phase two of its plan.

“As the business has grown quickly, and without the proper energy infrastructure, the costs of running refrigerators, heaters, and freezing was crippling,” said Joy Bueschen who owns Turning Page Farm with her husband Tim. “If we can't afford to keep the lights on, literally, we can't make the business model work.”

getNEKed web clipIn support of the recreation, food and creative businesses of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (NEK), the Center supports and administers the getNEKedVT regional discovery campaign. The website and marketing campaign connects residents and visitors with the region’s amenities and supports businesses that are dependent on visitors.

Covid-19 has inspired the campaign to develop some creative new ways to connect with its audiences to keep the NEK in their minds as a destination for future adventures when it's safe for travel to resume.

The Center is supporting the region’s wood product manufacturers as they contend with the business impacts of the Covid-19 crisis. Dave Redmond, director of wood product programs for the Center, is using his experience in banking and manufacturing to provide 1:1 support to companies.

Dave Redmond crpHe’s helping companies, particularly in Vermont, to navigate the multiple government financial programs available to assist businesses, and advising them on reopening their business in compliance with state guidelines. “This industry-wide shutdown is unprecedented,” said Redmond. “The impacts are huge on individual companies, of course, but also on the entire supply chain. They’ve not only had to cease production, but they’re facing very uncertain market demand when they’re able to reopen.”