Adirondacks for All:

Identity & Environmental Justice in the North Country

Join us for our new virtual program series, “Adirondacks for All: Identity & Environmental Justice in the North Country.” This summer series will examine the intersections between racial and environmental justice. Through engaging discussions with a diverse group of local activists, archaeologists, teachers, land stewards, and more this series will explore experiences of inequity and oppression in the Adirondacks and the ways in which those realities connect with issues of preservation, pollution, and access to land, water, and nature.

The Adirondacks have long been celebrated as one of the nation’s signature conservation achievements. A unique patchwork of residential hamlets and forest preserve, the park’s extensive network of woods, waters, and high peaks have inspired generations of residents and visitors seeking their own “Forever Wild” experience. Hiking a backcountry trail, summiting a 4000-footer, paddling a clear lake, or enjoying some of the Northeast’s remaining old-growth forests, wilderness preservation and resource conservation secure these recreational opportunities for the general public and protect threatened ecosystems from destruction and development. The challenges of climate change make the difficult and sometimes controversial work of forest preservation all the more pressing now and for future generations. 

And yet beneath the surface, and inside the park’s blue line, legacies of dispossession, systemic racism, and inequality contribute to the unfortunate sense that the Adirondacks belong to some but not others. Established in 1892 for “the free use of all the people for their health and pleasure,” the reality has rarely matched this high-minded democratic ideal. 

The “Adirondacks for All” program series was developed by the Adirondack Experience in partnership with the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, The Wild Center, and the Nature Conservancy. This series was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

Upcoming Events

Deep History and Belonging in the Adirondacks

May 31 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Adirondack mountains, lakes, and forests are an international symbol of wilderness within which humans are often considered...

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Adirondack Equality: Nineteenth-Century Black Settlement & Environmental Justice in the North Country

June 14 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In 1846, communities and organizers from the Hudson River Valley mounted the first voting rights protection efforts for African...

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Incarceration, Wilderness, & The Adirondack Paradox

June 28 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

For nearly two centuries, the remote forestlands and high mountain peaks of the Adirondacks have provided opportunities for...

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Previous Adirondacks For All Events

Recordings will be available below after each live program.