Join Us for the 2023 Leadership Awards Gala!
Friday, September 15th, 2023, 5:00-9:00
Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, NY
Cocktail Reception and Dinner

Featuring the Presentation of the 2023 Hutchins Award and Community Service Award

Registration and program information will be available shortly.

10th Annual Awards Gala via ZOOM

Friday, September 17th, 2021, 5:00-6:00
Sponsored by Paul Smith's College

From top left clockwise:  Caroline Draper Lussi, 2021 Frank M. Hutchins Environmental Education Leadership Award; Dan Berggren, 2021 Community Service Award; Special Guest Speaker, Dr. Curt Stager, Draper Lussi Endowed Chair in Lake Ecology and Paleoecology at Paul Smith’s College; and, the late Peter Hornbeck to whom this Gala was dedicated.  A special thank you to our State Senator, the Hon. Dan Stec, for participating in the program.  Many thanks to Paul Smith’s College President, Dr. Scott Dalrymple, and SUNY ESF President, Ms. Joanie Mahoney, for serving as Honorary Gala Co-Chairs.  

Thank you to the 2021 Gala Host Committee for your generous support!

See a Press Release about the Gala.

Couldn't participate in the Gala, please consider a tax deductible donation.

The Adirondack Research Consortium (ARC) and the Adirondack Park Institute (API) partnered to hold the 2020 Fall Virtual Awards Program.  The Virtual Awards Program was held in lieu of  the Annual Fall Gala which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  During the program, API’s 2020 Frank Hutchins Adirondack Educational Leadership Award was presented to Betsy Folwell, long-time editor of Adirondack Life and an award-winning writer.  Special guest, Bill McKibben, talked about his friendship and working relationship with Betsy, as well as, his latest work related to worldwide climate change.  Col. Robert Lilly received the 2020 Community Service Award for his many volunteer contributions to his hometown of Newcomb and the Adirondack region.  Assemblyman Dan Stec presented the award to Col. Lilly and reflected on Bob's long and distinguished carreer in the United States Air Force.  ARC’s 2020 Liz Thorndike Adirondack Achievement Award was presented to the Adirondack Foundation for their good work during the COVID-19 crisis.  Cali Brooks, President and CEO of the Foundation, accepted the Award reflecting on the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and expressing appreciation for the recognition of the team effort during this crisis.  She also noted her special relationship though the years with Liz Thorndike.  The API expresses appreciation to Paul Smith's College Professor Melanie Johnson and her students for their management of the event's production.



Please, support this event with a tax deductible donation!

Many thanks to Paul Smith's College for supporting this event and environmental education in the Adirondacks!

Also, a big thank you to Paul Smith's College Professor Dr. Melanie Johnson who directed the virtual production and is pictured below!

The 2020 Season News

See videos from the Paul Smith’s College VIC celebrating Pollinator Week and Anna Butler's Butterfly House tour. VIC staff are thrilled with the capabilities of the 2020 summer seasonal staff and are poised to provide better quality visitor services and experiences than ever.  For more progam information, click here.

SUNY ESF is also offering modified programming for the 2020 season at the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb.  To learn more, click here.

The 2019 Leadership Gala Awardees

See More Photos from the 2019 Gala


API President Frank Pine, center, with Neil Woodworth, left, Executive Director and Counsel of the ADK, holding the 2019 Frank Hutchins Leadership Award with Steven Engelhart, Executive Director of AARCH, holding the 2019 Community Service Award.  Seventy people attended the Gala at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake. The Gala is the major fundraiser for the API with all proceeds supporting environmental education programs at the Paul Smith's College VIC and SUNY ESF's Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb. Photo by Willie Janeway.

The 2019 Annual Leadership Awards Gala
Friday, September 13th, 2019, 5:00-9:00 PM
Adirondack Hotel, Long Lake, NY

At the Gala, the 2019 Frank M. Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award will be presented to Neil Woodworth the retiring Executive Director and Counsel of the Adirondack Mountain Club.  During his nearly two decades with the ADK, Neil has been a valued partner and a true champion for the Adirondacks.  The 2019 Community Service Award will be presented to Steven Engelhart, Executive Director Adirondack Architectural Heritage, a nonprofit historic preservation organization for the Adirondacks. AARCH was formed in 1990 with a mission to promote better public understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Adirondacks unique and diverse architectural heritage. Phil Terrie, Adirondack Author and Historian and Mike Pratt, President and CEO of the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority, will serve as Honorary Chairs of the event.

You can register for the Gala with a credit card by clicking here, or you can mail us a check with this the following reply card.  Hope to see you in Long Lake!


You can win either a Hornbeck Lost Pond Boat handcrafted here in the Adirondacks or a beautiful Adirondack quilt, "Adirondack Celebration", designed and made by Pat Burdick, OR BOTH! Both are currently on display at the Paul Smith's College VIC. Tickets to win are available at the Interpretive Centers, at the API office, and at the Adirondack Hotel. Don't miss out!

2019 Butterfly Coordinator Reception

The 2019 Butterfly Celebration was held at the Paul Smith's College VIC on Saturday, August, 17th, 2019. The day was filled with tours of the Breck Chapin Native Species Butterfly House with Butterfly Coordinator Cindy Watson, demonstrations, presentations, and games.  The Butterfly Coordinator position is funded annually by the API.  The day ended with a cake reception in Cindy’s honor.  Pictured top, left, and clockwise:  VIC Program Coordinator Martha Van der Voort far left, VIC Naturalists in Butterfly regalia in the center, with Dan Fitts and Cindy Watson far right;  Martha and Dan at the cake; the cake; and, Cindy cutting the first slice.


2019 Artist-in-Residence, SUNY ESF's Adirondack Interpretive Center, Newcomb

2018 Hornbeck Boat Winner!

 The Hornbeck was won by Dore Rugg from Buffalo, an Adirondack visitor and enthusiast. 

Many thanks to Bob and Marilyn Lilly for the kind gift of a beautiful Hornbeck Lost Pond Boat and to Peter Hornbeck for this donation!

To all the ticketholders, best of luck next year and thank you for supporting environmental education in the Adirondacks!

Abbie Verner's family and friends honoring her memory at the 2018 Gala. Photo by Abbie's family.

Liz Thorndike accepting the 2018 Hutchins Leadership Award.  Photo by Laurinda Minke.

API President Frank Pine at the 2018 API Gala.  Photo by Laurinda Minke

Abbie Verner's daughters, Alex and Vickie, center, with friends at 2018 Gala.  Photo by Abbie's family.

Past API President Bob Lilly at the 2018 Gala.  Photo by Laurinda Minke.

Sally Neenam at the 2018 Gala.  Photo by Laurinda Minke

Dan Fitts with API President Frank Pine at the 2018 Gala.  Photo by Laurinda Minke.


Liz Thorndike



See photos from the reception.



This program is part of the 2018 Butterfly Celebration at the VIC. 
Join us for a full day of fun and exploration as we celebrate 25 years of the Butterfly House!

Artist Reception at SUNY ESF's AIC by Laurinda Badger Minke

See more photos from the reception.


We have exciting news!  Recently the API and Paul Smith’s College have rejoined forces to revive the API’s historic role managing the Friends of the VIC membership group. The API will also continue to manage its current membership focused on SUNY ESF's Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) and other Adirondack programs.  This collaboration allows our members to make a broader impact across the region by leveraging the efforts of the API Board of Trustees and capitalizing on the natural synergies that the Newcomb and Paul Smiths facilities share.

Going forward, all new and renewed memberships will be overseen and managed by the API. Your API membership form will include options to designate your contribution to fund the Paul Smith’s College VIC, SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center, or to the area of most need as identified by the API Trustees.  The API administration will continue working from its office in the Newcomb Town Hall. We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the API’s partnership with the Colleges, and are excited to work together with you on the future success of the Interpretive Centers!

Needle Felting Workshop

Ruth Olbert, local businesswoman and API Trustee, led a Needle Felting Workshop at SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb on April 28th, 2018.  This API sponsored event was attended by 22 people, who came as far away as Latham and Glens Falls, as well as, from local communities. Ruth, pictured above standing, leads workship participants with their projects.  Photo by Jackie LaCourse.

See more photos  from the workshop.

Elizabeth Thorndike to be Honored at the 2018 Leadership Awards Gala

The Adirondack Park Institute is pleased to announce that its annual fundraising Gala will be held Friday, September 21st, 2018, 5:00-8:00 p.m., at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, NY.  At the Gala, the 2018 Frank M. Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award is being presented to Elizabeth Thorndike.  The Award will honor Liz’s exceptional leadership in fostering educational programs as a foundation for stewardship of the Adirondack’s natural resources and sustainable communities.  For more information about the Gala, please contact Gala Chairwoman Susan Goodspeed at the API office.

2018-19 NYS Budget Contains Environmental Protection Fund (EPF)
Support for the Adirondack Visitor’s Interpretive Centers!

The recently enacted NYS Budget contains $180,000 in operating funding for the Paul Smith’s College VIC and $120,000 for SUNY ESF's Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb. Don't forget to thank our local state representatives for supporting this critical funding which will keep our Interpretive Centers prosperous and thriving!


The API Board of Directors approved the 2018 Annual Budget at the Winter Board Meeting held at SUNY ESF's Huntington Lodge in Newcomb, NY on February 1st, 2018.  It contains funding for summer programs at the Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths.  To learn more about these programs and learn about some events we are planning, CLICK HERE.  

2017 Leadership Awards Gala was held on Friday, September 15th, 2017 at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake. It was the 6th year of this annual fundraising event that raises money to support environmental education programs at SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center, the Paul Smith’s College VIC, and programs throughout the Adirondacks.  Fifty people enjoyed a festive evening which was capped by a visit by President Teddy Roosevelt.  Cathy Dove, President of Paul Smith’s College, and Quentin Wheeler, President of SUNY ESF, were Gala Co-Chairs.  The Adirondack Experience received the 2017 Frank M. Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award for exceptional leadership in presenting educational programs and experiences that capture and teach the rich history and heritage of the Adirondacks.  David Kahn, Executive Director, accepted the Award on behalf of Adirondack Experience.  Marilyn Lilly of Newcomb and spouse of API President Col. Bob Lilly, was the winner of a beautiful Hornbeck boat, generously donated by Pete Hornbeck.

See PICTURES from the Gala.


Arto Monaco Banner on Exhibit at the Paul Smith's College VIC

The API’s Arto Monaco banner is on display at the Paul Smith's College VIC through October.  It celebrates the remarkable life of this Adirondack artist, theme park designer, toy designer, and cartoonist.   Pictured below with the banner is Shannon Oborne, the Chief Marketing Officer for Paul Smith’s College.  The public is welcome to stop by the VIC to see this and other fabulous exhibits and programs going on there. (Photo by API)

August 14, 2017

2017 Artist-in-Residence

The API is pleased to welcome Artist Emma Percy to SUNY ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center as the 2017 Artist-in-Residence.  The Artist is a graduate of the School of Art & Design at Alfred University and works primarily in the fields of book arts, printmaking, paper making and mixed media sculpture. During the summer, Emma will be giving talks, leading workshops, and teaching classes about the Artist’s perspectives on the natural environment of the Adirondacks through artistic interpretation.  A reception welcoming Emma was held at the
Center on June 15th.  Pictured below is Emma Percy the 2017 Artist-in-Residence and Emma presenting the Artist’s work, “Sharing a Bed, 2015”, at the welcoming reception.  Photos provided by Frank Pine.

This program is made possible in part, by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County.

June 15, 2017

Save the Dates!

Thursday, July 27 is API Day at SUNY ESF's Adirondack Interpretive Center.  The staff of the Interpretive Center have planned programs, presentations, and hands-on fun for our membership.  Please join us!

Friday, September 15, 2017, The 5th Annual Leadership and Awards Gala
The Historic Adirondack Hotel, Long Lake

Presenting the 2017 Frank M. Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award to: 

Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake

Gala Co-Chairs
Cathy Dove, President, Paul Smith’s College
Quentin Wheeler, President, SUNY-ESF

 The 2016 Leadership Awards Gala

The 2016 Leadership Awards Gala was held on Friday, September 16th, 2016 at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, NY.  The Honorary Co-Chairs were Wes Miga, Supervisor, Town of Newcomb, and Dan Stec, NYS Assemblyman representing the 114th District.  

The 2016 Frank M. Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award was presented to Joseph J. Martens, currently a Senior Fellow at the Open Space Institute.  The award recognized Joe's distinguished career in public service dedicated to the protection of the natural resources of the Adirondacks and promoting opportunities for public access to them.

Those attending the Gala were treated to special appearances by Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir.  The drawing to win a Hornbeck 12’ New Trick Canoe generously donated by Peter and Ann Hornbeck was won by Jean Claude Fouere from Poughkeepsie, NY.  Below, API President Bob Lilly and President Roosevelt draw the winning ticket for the Hornbeck boat. (Photo by Frank Pine)

See More Gala Photos by Frank Pine

Arto Monaco Banner on Exhibit at the Adirondack Research Library at Union College

An API interpretive banner celebrating the life and accomplishments of Adirondack artist and entrepreneur Arto Monaco was displayed during the spring of 2016 at the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College in Schenectady, NY. The banner was made possible by a generous grant from the Charles R. Wood Foundation for the purpose of promoting the Adirondack Interpretive Center by celebrating partnerships with other Adirondack programs. The banner was previosly on display at the Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown, NY, and the Adirondack Interpretive Center.  More display locations are being planned.  Pictured below at the Adirondack Research Library at Union College are CLIR Grant Project Archivist, Abi Simkovic with her dog Douglass, and Caleb Northrop, Special Assistant to the President of Union.


2015 Leadership Awards Gala

Friday, September 18th, 2015
Adirondack Hotel, Long Lake NY 

The 2015 Frank M. Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award
was presented to
The Rockefeller Institute of Government and Adirondack Wild
for the 
50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act Celebration in 2014

Press Release

See the Awards Gala Video Presentation 






Thanks to Our Sustaining Partners