Home-originally written 9/6
When you think of New York, what do you think of? Many see visions of the Statue of Liberty, the I ❤️ New York, city skylines. Some picture mountains and rivers, especially Niagara Falls.
MY home is in the town of Santa Clara, 11 miles outside the village of Saranac Lake. My town consists of 300 residents compared to the villages 6,000 residents. We are nestled in the center of the Adirondack Park, the large green circle on the map. It is 6.1 million acres in New York State deemed forever wild’ in the early 1900’s. It is often poked that their are more deer than people. That could very well be true.
To give you an idea, my home is in the Adirondack Park is the largest park in the continental US. Many National Parks and many states, including Massachusetts, could fit inside of it.2.7 million acres (46 percent) is state-owned Forest Preserve, protected by the state constitution as “forever wild.” One million acres of the forest preserve is further classified as Wilderness and is off-limits to motorized recreation. More than 3 million acres of private lands are devoted mainly to forestry, open-space recreation and agriculture. The Mountains within the Adirondack Park are growing at a faster rate than the Himalayas. Hiking, paddling, and skiing are popular attractions. Really, this is a common vacation spot for many. But it is my home.
A place full of super small towns. We are now starting to get high speed internet. A place full of small schools. Schools that care for each and every student. Schools that are community centers of activities. Schools that need focus and attention. There are so so many tangible and intangible things that could benefit our communities and schools.
What we do have is a rugged, individualistic yet authentically caring population. A population that when something happens to someone they unite, weave together, and help that person. I know from experience when many people helped me and I was told ‘you are one of us’. At the time I didn’t realize the sheer power of those words. After years of living here I also know that I’ve seen more caring for others than one could ever imagine.
This is a place like no other. And somewhere, in spite of being reminded it is in the middle of nowhere, I’m proud to call my home.