The N.H. Land and Community Investment Program has awarded $176,000 to the Northern Forest Center to support its renovation of the historic 11,000-square-foot Parker J. Noyes building in Lancaster.

PJN sun web“We’re very grateful to the LCHIP board for supporting this ambitious project,” said Rob Riley, president of the Northern Forest Center. “We’re bringing back this historic gem to contribute to the vibrancy of Lancaster’s Main Street and economy.”

Beginning in the late 1800s, the building was home to Parker J. Noyes Pharmaceutical Company, which developed the sugar-coated pill and an automated machine to form, coat and cut tablets at the rate of 5,000 pills per hour. The company evolved into manufacturing animal feed and moved to another location in Lancaster in the 1980s, where its successor, Trividia, still operates.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance listed the Noyes building on its “Seven to Save” list in 2017 due to the building’s historical significance.

The Center is renovating the building to help position Lancaster as a hub for growth in the North Country, to attract and retain the next generation of families and leaders committed to creating a vibrant future for the town.

The Center helped Tupper Lake secure a $100,000-grant to support recreation planning and development through the Smart Growth grants from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Cycling with child AdirondacksThe goal of the project is to expand year-round recreation opportunities to support the tourism economy and create a framework that will help prioritize resources and position the community for future economic growth.

At a November public meeting held by the DEC in Tupper Lake, numerous local residents spoke about the need to create a more stable year-round economy in the community and give visitors more reasons and opportunities to visit in all seasons.

Key partners in this effort include grant recipient Town of Tupper Lake as well as the Village of Tupper Lake, the Wild Center, and others. This work will also capitalize on the Adirondack Community Recreation Alliance’s future place-based initiatives. The Alliance is a new, ad-hoc group dedicated to enhancing and developing new community-based recreation assets.

The Center is involved in two new rural design projects in Millinocket, Maine. The Center secured a USDA Rural Business Development Grant to develop a wayfinding design system for Millinocket. The project will advance town goals of active and healthy living, and provide better experiences for visitors to encourage repeat and longer visits, which would strengthen the local tourism economy.

In a complementary project, Millinocket is one of three communities chosen nationally to participate in the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design (CIRD). The rural design workshop will focus on downtown improvements and generate a guidebook of design principles for downtown revitalization. The Center helped the town and Our Katahdin, a local nonprofit, secure the designation from CIRD and is facilitating and participating in the project. As part of the project kick-off, Katahdin Project Director Ailish Keating attended the CIRD Learning Cohort Summit in early October.

The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (CSG) just released its final report on “Rural Development Hubs” as effective community and economic development partners in rural America. Rob Aspen InstituteAs part of its research for Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure, Aspen CSG interviewed the Northern Forest Center and other members of the Rural Development Innovation group, which the Center helps lead.

The report focuses on the role of intermediaries “doing development differently” in rural America. Rural Development Hubs like the Center are key players in advancing an asset-based and inclusive wealth-building approach to rural community and economic development in this country.