On Wednesday, May 25, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the opening of the new Lake George Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) at 75 Fort George Road in Lake George. The new facility will enhance the visitor experience at DEC’s Lake George Battlefield Park and also serve as the new headquarters for the Lake George Park Commission.
“DEC and our partners at the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance are dedicated to preserving the beauty and history of Lake George through interpretive work and public education,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The VIC will provide park visitors with a welcoming and inclusive space that guides them on a historical journey through artifacts and interpretive displays. Bringing DEC, the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, and the Lake George Park Commission under one roof demonstrates the close partnerships working together to improve visitor education, recreation, and conservation in this environmentally unique and historic region of New York.”
Ken Parker, Chairman of the Lake George Park Commission said, “Following four years of planning, design and construction, the Lake George Park Commission is extremely proud to call this beautiful new building its home. This new multi-use, environmentally friendly facility – shared with the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance – stands in honor of the incredibly rich history of the region, and as a focal point to continue the important protections of Lake George for future generations.”
Lyn Hohmann, former President of the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, said, “From the time this area started being set aside as a public park in 1898, there has been a desire to have a visitors center to provide an overview of its history. The LGBP Alliance is proud to have delivered on that dream with funding from several foundations, members and the community and support from DEC, Lake George Park Commission, and the New York State Museum.”
Visitors can tour the Lake George Battlefield Park, which contains the site of the Battle of Lake George (1755). The site was a fortified camp during the siege of Fort William Henry (1757) and a major military camp throughout the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The site also housed a hospital and supply base during the American Revolution (1775-1783). The ruins of an unfinished fort, now called Fort George, and numerous other buildings and fortifications can be found throughout the site. Many monuments commemorate and explain the role the site played in American (and Canadian) history.
The May 25 announcement corresponds with a ribbon cutting and open house held to officially open the VIC to the public. DEC’s construction on the new building began in June 2020, and is part of the 2018 Amendment to the 1981 Lake George Beach and Battlefield Park Unit Management Plan (PDF). It was funded with $1.1 million from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Among the many environmental victories in the enacted 2022-23 State Budget, Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders increased the EPF to $400 million, the highest-ever level of funding in the program’s history. The EPF supports climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, improves agricultural resources to promote sustainable agriculture, protects water sources, advances conservation efforts, and provides recreational opportunities for New Yorkers.
For more information about Lake George Battlefield Park, visit DEC’s Lake George Battlefield Day Use Area webpage or the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance webpage. To learn more about the Lake George Park Commission, visit the Lake George Park Commission website.
Photo at top: Grand opening of the new Lake George Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) at DEC’s Lake George Battlefield Park. (Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance website photo.)