Dear Friends,  

As I look back on this year, I remember a July afternoon at Three Sisters Preserve in Wilmington. I pedal along a dirt path, following my 28-year-old son, Sam, as he rides a three-wheeled adaptive mountain bike in a prone position. Sam rolls into a turn. His right hand turns a crank and his left guides the handlebars as he accelerates out of sight.   

This was our first mountain bike trip to the Adirondacks. Before Sam experienced a spinal injury in 2019, we hiked. That’s what had first brought me to the Adirondacks as a teen and kept me coming back every summer during college years, when I worked in the High Peaks Wilderness. I saw how immersion in nature improves our lives and how wild places sustain clean air and water. My wife, Abby, and I wanted our son to experience that too. We carried Sam up his first mountains, and before long he raced ahead.    

I joined the Adirondack Land Trust board in 2014 to give back to a place that gives us so much. I’m constantly impressed by the skill, resourcefulness and commitment with which the staff and board advance our mission, and I’m honored to follow in Bill Paternotte’s footsteps as chair. I’ve learned over the years that lasting conservation is a community effort. For instance, at Three Sisters, the Adirondack Land Trust protects the land and the Barkeater Trails Alliance builds and maintains trails.  

With your support, as the Adirondack Land Trust conserves land, water, farms and wild places, we are also doing more than ever to create safe, accessible opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to enjoy nature. This is personal for me, and I bet it’s personal for you, too. One in four Americans has a disability. Even more face social or financial barriers that limit access to nature. If we don’t live with such challenges, odds are we love someone who does. Together, let’s make them feel welcome in the Adirondacks and valued as partners in conservation. 

To learn more about the Adirondack Land Trust’s work this year, please enjoy our 2023 Annual Report. 

Stephen Burrington, Board Chair

Photo: Siblings Ophelia and Sverre Bailey make a pinky promise on the field located at the corner of State Route 73 and Adirondack Loj Road outside Lake Placid. The field, part of a 187-acre property acquired by the Adirondack Land Trust this summer, was farmed by their grandparents Ron and Beth Edgley from 1983 to 2012 and was then known as the Windy Mountain Farm. The Edgleys sold New York Certified Seed Potatoes up and down the eastern seaboard for more than 30 years. Photo by Erika Bailey, Ophelia and Sverre’s mother.