The Northern Forest Center has released a new strategy outlining how Adirondack communities can arrest demographic and economic decline by attracting new residents. With an aging population, many Adirondack communities are struggling to maintain strong schools, a robust workforce, and vital civic institutions.
The Center’s strategy identifies opportunities for the Adirondack region to address these challenges and attract new residents by building on regional and community strengths and capitalizing on existing assets.
The strategy identifies the attributes that young people are looking for in a new community and defines the steps that places can take to provide these elements for potential residents. Intended as a guide for community leaders, nonprofits, and public entities, the strategy provides processes and tools. Early activities in this regards are expected to include establishing affinity groups to make progress in key sectors such as housing and recreation, and partnering with some communities to plan and execute projects designed to make them more attractive to a new generation.
Hundreds of people contributed ideas to the strategy through individual interviews, focus groups, and the 2020 Common Ground Alliance forum, where hundreds of participants focused on the topic of attracting new residents.
In addition, more than 350 alumni of area high schools and colleges completed an online survey about their interest in moving back to the region, or their satisfaction about having stayed or moved back. Of those who currently live outside the Adirondacks, 21% said that they would love to move back, and 52% said that they would consider moving back if the conditions were right.
Attracting New Residents: A Strategy for the Adirondack Park and its Communities is available on the Northern Forest Center’s website. Communities interested in learning how to partner with the Center to implement the strategy should contact Leslie Karasin at firstname.lastname@example.org.