ADK Highpeaks Foundation

Our Mission: The purpose of the ADK Highpeaks Foundation is to provide financial assistance to individuals or organizations whose activities provide a benefit to the New York State Forest Preserve and the people that use it.
The Foundation has a particular interest in funding wilderness zone and environmental protection, safe recreation, public education and biological research.

Wilderness Zone and Environmental Protection

ADK Highpeaks Foundation has been a proud supporter of the Adirondack Summit Steward Program. In 2011 the foundation was asked if we would be interested in providing funding to place a summit steward on Cascade Mountain on weekends. Cascade is the most often first climbed of the Highpeaks due to its roadside trailhead and short distance. It is an excellent opportunity to engage with many newer hikers and talk to them about how unique and special the alpine zones are in the Adirondacks. We provided over $30,000 in grants between 2011 and 2018 and several of out members have also dedicated hundreds of hours as volunteers for the program.

The foundation also supported other organizations such as the Ausable River Association to help protect the waters in and around the high peak’s region.

Safe Recreation and Public Education

Check presentation to LASAR, Lower Adirondack Search and Rescue for $5,300. All the funding came from Executive Board Member Neil Luckhurst’ “Project Full deck” in which he summitted 48 high peaks in 15 days.

Our very first grant as a not-for-profit organization was to the Keene Valley Fire Department Wilderness Rescue team. The grant was for $5,000 and was used to replace and purchase new equipment.

We feel that it is very important to support those who provide lifesaving service in the Forest Preserve. The foundation has also provided grants to similar organizations such as SARNAK the Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks to help upgrade equipment and to provide public education on wilderness safety.

Other similar programs in this category that we have supported was the Adirondack Ski Touring Council to help fund a parking turn out and easement purchase in the McKenzie Wilderness for the Jack Rabbit Ski Trail.

Biological Research

In 2011 we coordinated with another Northeast non-profit to support a study of the effects of climate change on alpine vegetation, specifically Prenanthes boottii also known as Bootts Rattlesnake Root. The goal of the project was to assess the effect climate change has on highly imperiled plant life. The study was conducted by Kristen Haynes of SUNY ESF and incorporated DNA sequencing and inventory of the plants in the high peaks in order to better understand the plant’s ability to cope with change through adaptation or natural relocation.