Adirondack Couple Win Partnership Award
Stephen Blackmer with Lee and Judi Borland

Stephen Blackmer (right), president of the Northern Forest Center, presents the first Community Partnership Award for New York to Lee and Judi Borland.
BURLINGTON, VT-At a recent conference in Burlington, Vermont, the Northern Forest Center awarded its first ever Community Partnership Award for New York to Lee and Judi Borland of Speculator and Lake Placid, New York. This award is presented "to recognize individuals from each of four Northern Forest states who exemplify the spirit of partnership and cross-boundary collaboration in their work to enhance regional well being."

Northern Forest Center President Stephen Blackmer congratulated the Borlands for their vision and leadership in creating the Adirondack Park Mountain Biking Initiative (APMBI), which seeks to develop a network of multi-purpose trails for four-season use by hikers, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and showshoers.

"Lee and Judi have guided the progress and development of the Mountain Bike initiative since its inception," said Blackmer. "Their selfless efforts have created a network of partners among the Towns within the Adirondack Park, state agencies, local businesses, and others all working toward the goal of developing a sustainable multi-use trail system that ultimately will foster sustainable tourism in the Adirondack Park."

"This has been a labor of love," said Lee Borland, who has spent 60 years vacationing and living in the Adirondack Park. "With two homes in the Park it seemed to us that this is the perfect time of our lives to be encouraging towns and villages to develop new and appropriate sports recreation tourism throughout the Park."

A selection committee of leaders from across the Northern Forest chose this year's winners based on their demonstrated spirit of working through partnerships and collaboration; their work at the intersection of environment, community and economy and across geographic boundaries; and the tangible results of their work to advance the well-being of the Northern Forest at the local, state or regional scale.

The steering committee of the APMBI nominated the Borlands for the Center's Partnership Award. The APMBI is a 20-organization group that the Borlands started in early 2001 to help Adirondack towns and villages expand sports recreation tourism and economic development by developing a network of multi-purpose trails.

"Lee and I are humbled and overjoyed to be nominated by everyone involved in the APMBI Steering Committee," said Judi Borland. "It is a wonderful recognition for how far we all have come in just a little over three years in working together with these great people in the towns and the Park administration."

The other states in the Northern Forest are Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Award recipients from each state were recognized and presented with a cash award of $1,000 and a beautiful framed photograph of a Northern Forest village with matted inscription.

The Borlands have produced a 120-page Guidebook for Developing Mountain Biking in Your Adirondack Town, which is available free to any Adirondack town that is interested in working on a bike or multi-use trail. More information about the project and how to get involved is available at or by e-mailing the Borlands.

The Northern Forest Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to bring together social change and conservation to improve the lives of people and the health of the natural world in the Northern Forest and beyond.

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