Showing legislators through the ‘Wild Walk’ display, one of dozens of attractions at Adirondack Day, is Hillarie Logan-Dechene of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake (center). Listening to her presentation are state Senate Majority Coalition Leader Dean Skelos (center right), Town of Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe (left) and state Sen. Betty Little of Queensbury (right). Staged in the Legislative Office Building in Albany on April 29, Adirondack Day hosted dozens of exhibitors and vendors to raise awareness among lawmakers and their staffers about life within the Blue Line as well as Adirondack culture, commerce and history.
State lawmakers and staffers were immersed in Adirondack culture, recreation, history and ambiance this week —and the plunge was remarkably popular.
Monday April 29 was Adirondack Day in the state capital, and “The Well” in the Legislative Office Building featured an expo of Adirondack recreational opportunities, locally grown food, local microbrewery beer, as well as displays detailing educational, economic, historic and natural resources. The hallways were decorated with pine boughs — and live wild birds native to the Adirondacks were on display.
Laurie Davis of Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension and coordinator for the local farm produce initiative Adirondack Harvest, said the expo was popular with legislators and staffers as well as state employees. She and her Extension boss Anita Deming were busy during the entire day handing out samples of cheese from Chateaugay, apples from Crown Point, and shots of Adirondack maple syrup produced in northeastern Essex County.
“The place was mobbed,” Davis said. “It was non-stop with legislators, their assistants and staff members who lined up at the dozens of tables all day long.”
Cheeses from Nettle Meadow Farms in Thurman were also featured, as well as rafting enterprises, canoe crafters and various environmental organizations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among those passing through and reviewing the myriad of offerings.
While the expo of all-things-Adirondack was conducted from 10 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m., a supplementary “Taste of the Adirondacks” event followed from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — in which a chef from Lake Placid cooked up delicacies for legislators to sample — supplied with food from the North Country, including produce obtained through Adirondack Harvest.
Adirondack Local Government Review Board CEO Fred Monroe of Chestertown said Adirondack Day really shifted into high gear as soon as the beer and food was available
“Adirondack Day was very well received,” he said. “It highlighted a lot of good things happening up here.”
Representatives from various participating Adirondack organizations had the opportunity to accomplish some lobbying work during the expo, Davis said, noting that among the objectives were support for family farmers, promotion of self-sustaining local economies and strengthening Adirondack communities.
“People from the Adirondacks got a lot of ideas across, and groups shared their missions,” she said.
State Sen. Betty Little, who arranged for the expo, said she was pleasantly surprised with the robust turnout among her peers.
“It was really exciting,” she said. “We’ve since heard a lot of good reactions.”