Adirondack Neighborhood Recreation Alliance Awards 12 Grants to Enhance Recreation Facilities –

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The Adirondack Community Recreation Alliance (ACRA) has awarded 12 grants to help communities create new bike and ski trails, upgrade ice rinks, upgrade terrain parks and more.

The grant program is part of the Alliance’s work to improve and develop recreational facilities, strengthen regional stewardship and promote policies to ensure long-term community and economic benefits for Adirondack towns and cities.

The Northern Forest Center supports and participates in the alliance and raised funds for this funding round. The alliance awarded nearly $40,000 to help communities from Caroga to Vermontville improve recreational opportunities for residents.

Grants include funds to strengthen ice skating facilities and resources in Newcomb, Inlet, Ticonderoga and Elizabethtown, support pump tracks in Vermontville and Saranac Lake, create new or expanded mountain bikes in Caroga, Chestertown and North Creek, improve hiking opportunities in Long Lake and, to expand, Terrain Park at Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake and strengthen a volunteer network dedicated to backcountry avalanche safety education.

“It is clear from the applications we have received that Adirondack residents genuinely value having quality community-based recreational facilities in their communities and we are excited to be able to help meet this incredible demand,” said Aaron Woolf, member of the ACRA steering committee. “We have received over $100,000 in grant applications and have been able to fund a significant portion of it. We are confident that this round of grants will make a significant contribution to strengthening assets that improve the quality of life for residents of the Adirondacks.”

In Inlet, the grant will be used to buy new, safer gear for their youth hockey team, the Inlet Mighty Loons. Last January, 71 children enrolled in the program, far exceeding their expectations, and all of their equipment was donated.

“Northern Forest Center’s help and support for the Inlet Mighty Loons Youth Hockey Organization has brought our community a sense of pride and togetherness for all of our neighbors,” said Bret Thompson, President and Coach of the Inlet Mighty Loons. “Not only do our children have the opportunity to stay active and engaged year-round, but they gain friendships and learning skills that will lead them to success throughout their lives.”

A young rider on the Wheelerville Mountain Bike Network. Northern Forest Center website photo.

The City of Caroga has been developing the Wheelerville Mountain Bike Network on city-owned land adjacent to Caroga’s hamlet for a number of years. This grant will help the city expand and maintain this network of trails.

“The Wheelerville Trails project has greatly expanded recreational opportunities and improved the quality of life for both visitors and residents of the City of Caroga,” said Jeremy Manning, Trails Manager. “Before, there was only one way that allowed bicycles in the city. In just two years of construction, we’re seeing mountain bikers from all over the East Coast come to hit the trails, many of which have never been to the city before. While we are excited about this surge in recreational tourism, perhaps most exciting is to see current residents excited to learn a new sport and explore a previously underutilized area of ​​the local forest.”

Members of Saranac Lake Innovative Cycling Kids. Northern Forest Center website photo.

“Saranac Lake Innovative Cycling Kids is excited to bring a pump track and connecting trails to Saranac Lake,” said Will Miemis, 16-year-old SLICK member. “Youth cycling is booming in our area and the track will serve as a meeting place for cycling enthusiasts and promote outdoor recreation. Did we mention it’s going to be super fun?!”

Photo above: The Inlet Mighty Loons youth hockey team had the opportunity to play at a Utica Comets game during the break. Photo provided by the Inlet Mighty Loons program.