Steve Wight moderates Woodstock ME town meeting 6.22.20The town of Woodstock, Maine, has formally started the process to consider creating a Community Forest in town. 

Voters attended Woodstock's socially distanced Town Meeting on June 22 in their cars, while the Board of Selectmen and the meeting's moderator, Steve Wight, used the bed of a truck as a stage. Center Program Director Julie Renaud Evans gave a brief presentation about the benefits of Community Forests and the ways they can serve town goals before the vote.

Voters passed a Warrant Article to create a committee to explore the feasibility and practicality of creating a Community Forest.

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The Bike Borderlands initiative – a collaboration between eight trail organizations facilitated by the Center – has created a campaign to instill a strong code of ethics within the mountain biking community. Ride With Gratitude calls on riders to respect the gift of mountain biking, care for others, protect nature, and hold each other to account.

"It’s a simple concept," said Maura Adams, program director for the Center. "Being able to use trails is an incredible privilege, and everyone benefits when we trail users recognize it. It makes us careful about how we treat landowners, trail managers, town residents, and the land itself."

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.”