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 Lancaster Rotary Club and the Northern Forest Center have teamed up to ensure that all students at White Mountains Regional High School (WMRHS) and Groveton High School can access the internet to fully participate in the distance learning necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

190606 NFC LancasterSchoolWalk 002 DSC09171 crpd smallThe Center donated $2,500 to the Lancaster Rotary Club to purchase mobile hotspots with prepaid data plans for students who lacked the internet access they needed, either because broadband internet is unavailable at their homes, or due to data limitations. “This should be enough data for them to use Google Classroom, watch assigned videos, email teachers and peers, maybe do a 10-minute hang-out for discussions,” said Rob Scott, WMRHS’s Career and Technical Education Director, who began distributing the hotspots and helping to set them up April 17.

WMRHS surveyed families by phone to see how many students would need a better digital connection to do their schoolwork and initially found 12 that needed help. As of April 28, Scott had delivered 12 data hotspots to WMRHS students, provided 10 devices to Groveton High School for students in SAU 58, and had 2 devices remaining.

Joe NEK Day Testifying

The 2nd annual Northeast Kingdom (NEK) Day took over the Vermont State House Jan. 28 as more than 150 people traveled to Montpelier to celebrate and share their successes and priorities for the Northeast Kingdom.

Center Vice President Joe Short joined the crowd and testified before the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs about the impact and importance of state support for regional marketing, the working lands economy and other strategies to attract and retain new residents and businesses in rural Vermont.

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.