Ask any member of Vision2Action (V2A) in Plattsburgh about the group’s goals and they will tell you that in order to thrive we must recruit 3,000 individuals and families to the region by 2040. That’s a big job.
Getting from where we are now to where we need to be will take a plan that recognizes many factors. A Planning Across Generations Study from Cornell University emphasizes that families with young children are an important source of economic growth. They spend the most in the local economy, services for children are an important part of local and regional economies and investment in children builds a productive future workforce and long-term growth.
Parents considering a new community look for good schools, quality health care, affordable housing, and activities that will keep their children busy and happy. In this issue of Strictly Business we look at some of the companies that are offering the amenities that young families want.
Our cover story on the Y showcases a business that has focused on the children of this area for generations. If you grew up in the North Country you may have attended the Y’s Camp Jericho, learned to swim in the Y pool or attended its nursery school. The Y still offers its traditional programs coupled with new and exciting services not only for children but also for people of all ages.
Across the street from the Y, in downtown Plattsburgh, you will find the Public Library with its impressive collections, and now there is another reason to visit—a LEGO wall—and what child does not love LEGOs?
North Country Camps—Camp Lincoln for Boys and Camp Whippoorwill for Girls—offer the traditional Adirondack camp experience so special to generations of families. Even though they are summer camps there is much interest even at this time of year as parents explore their options.
If your child plays a sport or two, you know how expensive equipment can be. Play It Again Sports, located in Plattsburgh Plaza, is a lifesaver for parents who can buy, sell and trade gently used equipment with owners Jan and Ed Freer.
Another physical outlet for children is dance and the North Country is fortunate to have places where they can learn its various forms and then continue to learn as they grow older. Read about the Langlois School of Dance and Center Stage in this issue of SB.
Debbie Burns has carved out a special niche in our area with her distinctive baby photos from “the curl” to “the cake smash.” Don’t miss her story in this issue, as well as examples of her photos.
Once Upon a Book in downtown Plattsburgh features the trendiest reading materials for children from toddlers to young adults, as well as toys and games. In partnership with The Autism Alliance of Northeastern New York, this special place also provides a lending library filled with sensory books specifically designed for children with autism.
And then there’s our Insight feature profiling young adult author, Kate Messner. A former middle school teacher, Messner learned what appealed to her students and then created themes and characters they find fascinating. We are proud that she calls the North Country home.
Our area has always been a great place to raise a family. But as we look to the future, we need to recognize that we must grow and change. In order to do that we need the amenities and activities that will make us attractive to new residents. We’re moving in that direction and with the help of V2A and many other groups we will get there, and that’s good for business.