Lake George Mirror
Lake George’s Charles R. Wood Park, which includes a wetland constructed to capture storm water and an open-air events space, will be formally dedicated on May 29.
“We're planning a grand opening celebration,” said Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais. According to Blais, the celebration will include a performance by the Lake George Community Band, a reception for major donors and speeches by local and state officials.
Among those invited to speak: Governor Andrew Cuomo, “We haven’t heard from New York’s Secretary of State or the Commissioner of Transportation, but we received an immediate response from Governor Cuomo’s office. We were told we would be contacted if he’s able to participate,” said Blais.
Blais suspects that if Cuomo does choose to attend, he will use the opportunity to announce a grant for Lake George’s new $24 million wastewater treatment plant.
According to Ron Conover, the chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, the events space has become a leading generator of tourism revenues for the county, “perhaps second only to the lake itself.”
And the artificial wetland is doing the work it was intended to do: filter urban runoff before it reaches Lake George, In fact, it’s doing a better job than originally anticipated, according to a study prepared by retired New York State scientist Dr. Jim Sutherland and Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, released in December.
“We’re really pleased that the storm water treatment complex is working as designed and operating above expectations,” said Walt Lender, the executive director of the Lake George Association. “We’ve demonstrated that constructing wetlands, retention ponds and other devices is a great way to treat storm water. We can now consider replicating this system in other parts of the Lake George basin.”
The Lake George Association was one of the original partners that purchased the twelve acre, former amusement park for $4.1 million in 2008 and transformed it into an event space, conservation park and and storm water management complex.
The other partners were The FUND for Lake George, Lake George Village, Warren County and the Lake George Land Conservancy.
A decision to demolish the theme park’s old buildings, which Lake George Town officials opposed, led that municipality to withdraw from the project. Funds for the project were raised from state grants, foundations and private individuals.
Events are scheduled to start at 11 am.