What's Up North

  • Inclusion, Diversity & the Future of Our Rural Communities
    April 29, 2019
    Jacob Vennie-Vollrath, Regional Advocacy Coordinator
    Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization. — Mahatma Ghandi A little over five years ago my wife Erin and I visited the Adirondacks for the very first time. Prior to that we knew very little about the region aside from the Adirondack chairs that we had growing up. While visiting, we did many of the things that some first time visitors do. We hiked Cascade, hiked Baker Mountain, spent a few nights in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, experienced...Read more



  • Food brings people together
    March 15, 2019
    Joshua Bakelaar, Local Economies and Agriculture Director, Jacob Vennie-Vollrath, Regional Advocacy Coordinator
    As I waited in line for a mouth-watering local-food lunch of baked potatoes, butter, cheese, sour cream, ground beef, salsa and butternut squash soup and chatted with a colleague who lives nearly three hours from me, I found myself pondering a thought that has become a mantra for me throughout my six-year tenure at ANCA. Food brings people together. The act of sharing a meal is a communal bonding experience in every part of the world. Out of necessity, for pleasure and for social connection, we...Read more



  • The Future of Rural: Part 1
    January 24, 2019
    Kate Fish, Executive Director
    In the wake of the 2016 election, the media dispatched reporters to rural areas across the country to gain insights into a largely ignored part of America that had an outsized impact on the outcome of the election. The resulting spate of articles provide useful perspectives and recommendations. But a clear-eyed set of solutions for the future of rural America remains elusive. The nation’s 1,976 rural counties (as classified by USDA) include nearly 72 percent of the land area of the United...Read more



  • A store built around community
    December 13, 2018
    Audrey Schwartzberg, Communications Associate
    In the face of the continuing onslaught against local retail businesses by the Amazons of the world, it is really gratifying to see that one retail store, born of community need, and capitalized and led by community members, stands strong against the Amazon tide — The Community Store in Saranac Lake. As the nights get longer and the year comes to a close, the holiday season is a time for renewal and fresh possibilities. This winter, The Community Store is launching a new image with a revived...Read more



  • 2018 Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide
    December 12, 2018
    Audrey Schwartzberg, Communications Associate
    Your local purchases this holiday season make a difference for your neighbors, your community and the region. Buying locally increases local wealth and creates local jobs, having a multiplier effect in local economy — comprised of three types of impacts: Direct impact is operational spending by a business that is done locally, including inventory, utilities, equipment and employee salaries. Indirect impact occurs when money spent by these local businesses re-circulates among other local...Read more



  • Tapping the old economy in new ways: the Innovation Challenge in Greater Old Forge
    September 11, 2018
    Guest blog by Jeffrey Grimshaw, Executive Director of View Arts Center Like many places in the Adirondack Park, we rely on tradition as a component of our economic development engine. Also, in many places there have been entrepreneurs who have a need, find neighbors and others that have a similar need and then share their skills, product or expertise to help others. In today’s economy we call those people Makers and where they do their thing — Makerspaces. This has been going on for a very long...Read more



  • Solar keeps local food cool
    August 16, 2018
    Audrey Schwartzberg, Communications Associate
    It has been a sizzling summer in the Adirondack North Country, but The Hub on the Hill is keeping its cool. This spring, it became official. The Hub’s retrofitted refrigerated box truck hit the road, delivering locally grown and processed food to buyers and markets around the region and beyond. The Hub on the Hill is a local food hub based in Essex, NY which provides Adirondack and Champlain Valley farms and local food businesses access to shared resources including a commercial kitchen,...Read more



  • Coming to Grips with Large Solar
    August 1, 2018
    Sean Connin, PhD, Clean Energy Program Director
    The number, size and distribution of ground-mounted, photovoltaic solar projects that generate electricity for off-site sale or consumption are expanding at quite a clip in New York. In fact, electrical generation from solar has grown by more than 1000% in the North Country over the past 6 years. There is money to be made and policy to provide the nudge. It also doesn’t hurt that the cost of solar production is now comparable to, and in some instances, less than that of fossil fuel based...Read more



  • POWER – owning our energy future
    June 25, 2018
    Sean Connin, PhD, Clean Energy Program Director
    My attention, of late, has fixed on a tagline created to promote ANCA’s Clean Energy Economy Conference. It’s a pithy phrase that has both rhetorical spirit and visual appeal: “ POWER – owning our energy future .” A call to action conveying optimism and collective possibility. Nothing subtle. That is, until you start to unpeel it. ANCA’s purpose is to advance a New Economy in the Adirondack North Country that builds community capital, strengthens local economies and safeguards the natural...Read more



  • Cryptocurrency & Blockchain: new words for the New Economy?
    June 13, 2018
    Kate Fish, Executive Director
    Just when you thought you’d learned a whole new vocabulary (Uber, Airdrop, gig economy, mansplain, bloviate, co-sleeping, kombucha, glamping...) so you can communicate with your kids or understand the news, along comes another whole new vocabulary. Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin miners, Ethereum, Nonce, Gigahash. Do you really need to learn these? We think so. ANCA is focused single-mindedly on growing the New Economy up in the northern parts of the state. And we are digging into...Read more



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