Working with stakeholders in the Keeseville area, ANCA applied for and received a federal planning assistance award for 2016 called Local Foods, Local Places that is building the momentum around local food by connecting this movement with the broader community and revitalization efforts. The project worked with a wide variety of Keeseville residents, businesses and organizations to ­integrate existing revitalization efforts, ­identify new opportunities and ­developed a project action plan.

Broad goals for this initiative are:

  • create synergy and increase usability of Keeseville resources
  • increase healthy food access
  • benefit low income and disadvantaged populations
  • develop green space and park land
  • capitalize on recreational opportunities in and around town (for example there are >80,000 visitors per year to  Ausable Chasm, less than one mile away)
  • embrace seasonal fluctuations in the market and food production through food preservation.

Keeseville was among the 27 communities selected from over 300 applicants to receive this assistance. A team of experts joined local stakeholders in a two-day workshop to develop an action plan to better tie together resources, identify missing pieces and bridge gaps. We worked to prioritize next steps and identify roles, responsibilities and resources to move forward. If any of the topics listed above interest or involve you, we encourage you to contact us to learn more.

The workshop was a participatory planning process on local foods and community livability, including group work sessions and networking that will result in an Action Plan. The two-day process was spent sharing ideas and information, enhancing coordination and cooperation on a number of important topics related to the local food economy and place-making, which included but were not limited to:

  • the need for a grocery store for residents in and around Keeseville
  • opportunities for using existing building infrastructure for storefronts  or commercial
  • the need for job opportunities and planning around a seasonal economy
  • address challenges many new farmers face in marketing and distributing products
  • make Keeseville become a hub for two new cuisine trails
  • better understand and create synergies between activities and momentum
  • strengthen and grow farm to school and youth programs
  • waterfront revitalization through parks, greenspace and a more walkable downtown