The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) and Wiawaka Center for Women (Wiawaka) announced their partnership to conserve 47 acres of upland forest with a conservation easement. Under this conservation easement, the land will continue to be privately owned by Wiawaka, and the LGLC will ensure the land’s permanent protection and assist with its stewardship.
Wiawaka, located in the Town of Lake George, is a non-profit organization and the longest continually operating women’s retreat center in the country. The center was founded in 1903 as a destination for women working in the factories of Troy, NY, to escape the city and enjoy an affordable vacation. Today, Wiawaka continues to offer affordable accommodations and weekly programming, retreats, and evening lectures from mid-June to early September.
Wiawaka Executive Director Doreen Kelly said, “We are excited to play a part in protecting the landscape that has served as a peaceful backdrop for our guests for over a century. We look forward to working together with the LGLC to complete this conservation project, and to enhance the existing uplands trail system for greater use and enjoyment by the community in the future.”
The upland property to be protected is a forested tract that contains over 1,500 feet of stream corridor and five acres of wetland within the southern basin of Lake George. Town zoning would allow for residential and commercial development on the site, which would be visible from the lake and surrounding lands. In its natural and undeveloped state, the land will continue to slowly filter and clean rainwater and runoff from upland storm events, before the water reaches the lake. In addition to protecting the water quality of the lake, this project will also provide public educational and recreational opportunities and will protect precious habitat and scenic views.
“Wiawaka was established on Lake George due to the lake’s unique beauty and restorative character,” said LGLC Executive Director Michael Horn. “Working together, Wiawaka and the LGLC will ensure that these qualities are forever protected.”
Scene at Wiawaka, a retreat and event facility on Lake George. Photo by Nancie Battaglia/Adirondack Explorer file photo