Adirondack Common Ground Alliance

Semester: 2024 Spring

Students: Ugochinyere Ndupu and Michael Reschke

The Adirondack Common Ground Alliance is a diverse network of dedicated people who focus on addressing issues that affect the Adirondack Park, its communities, institutions, and individuals. The Alliance’s members include students, educators, business owners, community leaders, visitors, residents and other stakeholders who want to make the Park a better place to live, work and play. The Alliance promotes inclusiveness, mutual respect, transparency, candor and trust to guide open discussions and foster productive dialogue across the Park.  

Each summer the Alliance holds a Common Ground Forum attracting hundreds of participants who work to identify and resolve issues of common concern. The result is an annual action plan called Blueprint for the Blue Line (the boundary line around the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park in northern New York), developed from the discussions at the Forum. The Blueprint is a set of recommendations that Forum participants take to their state legislators and agencies to improve park management and the quality of life for residents and visitors.  

The Alliance has engaged the Dispute Systems Design Clinic to conduct an independent assessment of its community engagement processes to determine what is working and where changes are needed to ensure that the Park’s stakeholders continue to prioritize collaboration over division.     

Students will: 

  • Conduct a stakeholder assessment, including connecting with stakeholders, including Forum participants as well as stakeholders who have declined to participate in the Forum, through interviews, focus groups, surveys, and a site visits;  
  • Identify and learn from other organizations around the country with similar objectives; 
  • Present to the Alliance’s Core Team a report evaluating the organization’s processes, with recommendations on improving its effectiveness. 
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