In just three years The Lake George Music Festival has grown from a small grass-roots classical musical event with a handful of volunteers to a destination event with hundreds of helping hands providing free public access to award-winning classical musicians.
Executive Director Alexander Lombard says, “We have an amazing amount of support from individuals, businesses, sponsors and volunteers. The community has embraced having a classic musical festival in Lake George.” » Continue Reading.
This year marks fifty years since the passing of John S. Apperson, Jr., a celebrated Lake George conservationist. To honor his memory and accomplishments, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) held a gathering on July 21 hosted by LGLC Director Debbie Hoffman and her husband Bill, at their Bolton Landing home in the heart of “Apperson Territory”.
Over 60 people joined together for the casual event. Guests were able to walk around the property, which neighbored Bill and Kathleen Horne’s home known as the Annex, and enjoy the lakefront views. » Continue Reading.
Clean water advocate and distance paddler Margo Pellegrino will shoot for a speed record for paddling the length of Lake George from Moss Point to Shepard Park this Saturday (July 20th). Her attempt will be one of several events scheduled for the 4th annual Love the Lake Paddle on Lake George.
On her outrigger canoe, Pellegrino has paddled the entire Atlantic Coast from Miami to Maine, the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Sand Diego, and the Gulf Coast advocating for clean oceans and watersheds. » Continue Reading.
Fort Ticonderoga will hold a two-day battle re-enactment highlighting the 1758 Battle of Carillon when the British amassed the largest army in North American history to date, but was stunningly defeated by a French army a quarter of its size. The event takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, 9:30am to 5 pm.
Highlighted programming featured throughout the weekend brings to life the story of the French soldiers that protected their lines of defense against all odds as British and Provincial soldiers attempted to drive the French from the rocky peninsula and fortress of Carillon, later named Ticonderoga. Recreated French and British armies will maneuver across Fort Ticonderoga’s historic landscape during re-enactments at 1:30 pm each day. » Continue Reading.
I recently came across an essay by Edmund H. Richard in The Forest Preserve, written during the big conservation battle over the proposed construction of Panther Dam in 1947:
“A citizen may not have title to his home, but he does have an undivided deed to this Adirondack land of solitude and peace and tranquility. To him belong the sparkling lakes tucked away in the deep woods and the cold, pure rivers which thread like quicksilver through lush mountain valleys. His determination to preserve his personal treasure for posterity has been tempered by memories of campfires, and strengthened by pack-laden tramps along wilderness trails and by mountaintop views of his chosen land. To him the South Branch of the Moose is a River of Opportunity, for he has come to regard it as the front line of defense against the commercial invasion of his Forest Preserve.”» Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Conservation plans to move forward with a $3 million project to reconstruct a section of Beach Road on State lands and the Lake George Beach parking with porous asphalt and other storm water management features to protect water quality, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The project is funded by the state’s New York Works initiative.
Under the plan, the current DEC boat launch would also be moved to the east side of DEC’s Lake George Beach (aka Million Dollar Beach) as part of the two-year project. The project must be approved by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Lake George Park Commission. » Continue Reading.
In celebration of its 25th Anniversary the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is hosting a Hike-A-Thon on July 5th, the first of its kind for Lake George. The lake-wide event will involve eight parks and preserves in six towns and is expected to engage hundreds of participants of all ages.
The Hike-A-Thon will include nine simultaneous hikes and events at eight locations around Lake George: eight different hikes and one gathering at LGLC’s Peggy’s Point, an accessible park in Hague. Participation is free and open to the public. Everyone who pre-registers will receive an event t-shirt and certificate of participation.
To document the occasion, aerial photographs will be taken by photographer Carl Heilman II, from a helicopter flown by Bruce Mowery of North Country Heli-flite. Copies of the photos will be made available for purchase by request and at LGLC’s annual meeting on July 15th at the Lake George Club. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Association (LGA) Lake Stewards are back on duty for the boating season in an effort to protect Lake George from new introductions of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Last Saturday, May 4, was their first day out at launches on the lake.
In years past, the lake stewards have not started at the launches until Memorial Day weekend. However, this year with an additional $20,000 being provided through the Lake George Park Commission from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, the program is starting earlier and will be collecting data throughout the month of May. Lake stewards are currently on duty 8 am to 5 pm Thursdays through Sundays at the Mossy Point Boat Launch in Ticonderoga, Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing, and the Million Dollar Beach Boat Launch in Lake George . » Continue Reading.
The protection of water quality is of singular great importance for the Adirondack Park and Adirondack communities. In the coming decades, if we are able to maintain stable water quality trends, this will help Adirondack communities enormously, not only for protecting the area’s high quality of life, but economically too. Clean water will be our edge.
Clean water is going to be a commodity that becomes less plentiful in the future. Communities that provide good stewardship for their waters will be communities that have something special to offer in the coming years. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens was atop Prospect Mountain this morning to announce the state’s purchase of more than 2,460 acres that will help protect the world-renowned scenery and water quality of Lake George and its tributaries.
The purchases, made through the Environmental Protection Fund, include the Cat and Thomas Mountains parcel, a 1,900-acre property in the town of Bolton (Warren County), previously acquired by the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC), which was sold to the State for $1.5 million. The State also purchased the 565-acre East River Road Tract of the former Finch lands in the Town of Bolton from The Nature Conservancy for $381,000. This parcel is adjacent to the Cat and Thomas Mountains parcel. The parcels will be added to the State Forest Preserve. The State will pay full local property and school taxes on the newly acquired land. » Continue Reading.
After nearly two years of research and discussion, the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) voted unanimously at its monthly meeting Tuesday to present its draft plan to limit the spread the invasive species into Lake George to the public for comment. Once the Draft Lake George Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Plan is finalized it’s expected the Commission will begin the rule-making process required to put the plan into place.
Invasive species are non-native plants and animals that, when introduced in an ecosystem, can rapidly reproduce and overwhelm their environment. Eurasian watermilfoil was the first invasive species to reach Lake George in 1986, and millions of dollars have been spent to keep infestations of the plant in check. Since that time, four other invasives have been introduced to Lake George, including Asian clam and Spiny Waterflea which were discovered in Lake George since 2010. Asian clam eradication efforts by both the State and local governments have topped $1.5 million dollars in only two years time. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the addition of 27 properties and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including five in Northern New York.
Listing these properties on the State and National Registers can assist their owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. » Continue Reading.
As the proposed Adirondack Club & Resort in Tupper Lake wound its way through the approval process, two planning consultants separately recommended in 2008 that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) require clustering of homes in the backcountry. Under a draft clustering policy written by one consultant, the resort’s “Great Camp” estates would have consumed 280 acres of forest instead of 2,800 acres.
“The same number of homes could have been constructed, but the project would have been largely concentrated near the [Big Tupper] ski area,” said Jeff Lacy, a consultant in Shutesbury, Mass., who proposed the policy on behalf of the Adirondack Council. “My guess is it would be under construction today rather than under review by a court.” » Continue Reading.
Although many books are available about the “great and gracious” on Millionaire’s Row at Lake George, few authors have written about the social and political drama that unfolded there, starting around 1920, as automobiles and improved roads began to change the status quo, revealing the tension between commercial interests and those who wished to create a Lake George Park.
Among those in favor of creating a park were several millionaires, including William K. Bixby, who donated land on Tongue Mountain to the state, and George Foster Peabody, who gave land for a campground (Hearthstone) and a park, on Prospect Mountain. Another wealthy landowner, Mrs. Stephen Loines, a widow with three unmarried daughters, contributed significantly to the cause, not only through her gifts of land, but in her efforts to influence public opinion. » Continue Reading.
According to local lore, Robert Moses, secretary of the State Parks Commission, and John Apperson, leading defender of the “forever wild” clause of the NY constitution, had a confrontation of historic proportions, one summer day in August of 1923. Moses, who was already carrying out an ambitious scheme to grab power, had convinced Governor Al Smith that the development of state parks would be a very popular election issue.
As the center-piece of his plan, Moses wanted to build a parkway on the Tongue Mountain peninsula (plus, eventually, gas stations, scenic overlooks, and hotels). Apperson wanted to prevent development altogether. He dreamed of bringing the central portion of the lake (Tongue Mountain, the Narrows, Black Mountain and Paradise Bay) under state ownership, and thus under the protection of the NY constitution.
The battle over the highway at Tongue Mountain happened quietly, behind the scenes, and out of the headlines. In fact, Robert Moses’ biographer, Robert Caro, never mentioned this story, and apparently knew little about the work of John Apperson at Lake George. Fortunately, we can now examine letters and documents long hidden from view that shed considerable light on the politics concerning the creation of a Lake George Park. » Continue Reading.
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