SARANAC In 1978, eight environmental studies students from Plattsburgh State University had a dream to preserve a large plot of land in the Adirondacks. Their dream was realized when they pooled their resources and began making monthly payments on 286 acres of Adirondack wilderness near the base of Lyon Mt. Their original mission was to preserve the wild habitat of the property through environmental and ecological stewardship.
Their mission has endured and expanded with a growing membership and the addition of the Adirondack Eco Farm in 1998 on the six acres closest to the barn. Their additional mission focuses on growing food and raising livestock with ecological and humane practices and educating and encouraging the community to do the same.
Two of the members, Damian Gormley and Monica Clark, make their home on the land trust in part of the barn that has been renovated through the years with salvaged materials. Gormley is the executive director/caretaker of The New Land Trust and Clark is the treasurer.
Chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, pigs, Alpine goats, and Jersey cattle also make their home on the farm. Gormley and Clark make yogurt from the goats' milk and are planning to train two of the cattle to be an oxen team.
The farm has several organic vegetable gardens and this year they have added a berry orchard with elderberries, blueberries, blackberries, and June berries. The abundance of flowering plants are benefitting from the newest addition to the farm, two honey bee hives.
It is the honey bees that will be the main focus of the Land Trust's 32nd annual summer celebration on Aug. 3 through 5. The Samples, a popular musical group, will be providing the main entertainment on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. The concert will take place on a stage built in a meadow a short hike behind the barn with a sweeping view of the Adirondack High Peaks.