Earlier this month we had the pleasure of facilitating two half-day workshops with the 7th and 8th graders at Long Lake Central School. The process we used was really the idea of the teachers there. For the first session, we worked with the students to imagine what a future endstate for their community and school could look like. We also looked at some of the broader possibilities for the Park as a whole. For the second session, we had the students think about what events would have to happen to make their endstate come about. At the end, we asked them to think about the ways in which they could participate in making three of those events happen some day. The teachers are going to continue working with the students to help them understand what they have to learn during their time in school in order to be able to make those contributions.
The students were thoughtful and creative and easily engaged with the major issues, such as balancing environmental protection with developing the local economy. They also wanted more local control and less imposition of rules by people who live outside the Park. This is the endstate that they came up with.
Long Lake and the Adirondack Park in 2028
A Stronger, More Vibrant Community
More jobs, residents, and families,
A bigger hamlet with a new neighborhood, more buildings
More visitors and retirees, who create jobs by spending money in the community
More jobs in agriculture, logging, light manufacturing, healthcare and using the broadband network; maybe a community college
More services: stores, bakery, restaurants, movie theater, arcade, retirement home, cellphones
Using Greener Energy and Less Fossil Fuel
More renewable energy like solar, wind, hydro and biomass based on wood pellets; the conversion to renewables will generate jobs and save money in the long run
Waste less energy and save money
More electric and hybrid cars, more use of synfuels, especially as gasoline gets more expensive
Revive the rail system
More biking, walking, ride sharing so you use your car less
Government and Adirondack Park policies that support renewable energy including wind turbines
With Smaller, More Local Government
Less waste and duplication. Share government positions with other towns in the county (e.g., tax collector, highway supervisor, coroner, town and school boards).
More local control: People who live in the Park should have the say over the rules in the Park. Lessen the role of the APA and let local communities regulate and enforce laws in their own towns. Let towns modify hunting regulations.
Cut through the red tape and be more self-reliant. Government that this friendly toward economic growth, that promotes good projects and helps then succeed.
A little bit bigger school that is more diverse, and shares resources with neighboring schools
And That Protects the Environment
Adirondack waters need more protection from invasive plants and animals, storm water runoff from farms and lawns, and leaking septic systems
The Park is large and can support many kinds of recreation, some wild and some not, some with and some without motors.
The people of the community want to protect the waters and forests and wild life of the Park from pollution and over use. Responsible hunting, fishing and logging don’t degrade the environment.