Livable Communities and Land Use Goal 4: include public health in land use planning and sustainability initiatives to encourage healthy communities
Many North Country residents live near recreational opportunities, whether large sub-regions such as the Adirondacks or the Thousand Island Recreational Area, or close to local parks, rivers, and facilities in their towns and cities. Low population densities mean relatively low demand for resources.
In some communities the local population is not aware of the recreational opportunities available to them. Residents discuss that they lack information on access, and discuss how tourists and visitors have better access to recreational information than they do about the lands right outside their door. In addition, access can be limited by long distances to reach some locations and the need for a car or other transportation to get to many regional locations.
Local food sources are growing across the region. The region has embraced the local food movement and while distribution can still be limited, non-profit organizations and for profit companies are providing more options. Being a rich agricultural region should allow for the expansion and improvement of food sources to residents. Local food production is rising in the region and consumers are beginning to find and use local distribution locations for local and imported foodstuffs. While areas of sprawl can be found within the region, much of the city and town development is older and small scale in nature and built in a compact manner. These compact land use patterns mean the opportunity for improving walking and bicycling options are more easily achieved than in a less densely developed suburban environment.
Local food consumption is complicated by a need to link local producers to consumers. With local foods production increasing, more distribution and sales locations will increase local food market penetration. A short growing season limits the year-round production of vegetable and other foods. While proposals for renewable projects may increase low-cost energy for more cold-season production this has yet to be properly explored.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan