Bolton Landing, NY – On August 3rd, more than 240 guests gathered at the Inn at Erlowest for the Lake George Land Conservancy’s 19th Annual Land and Water Conservation Celebration. More than $240,000 was raised during the evening, breaking last year’s record and exceeding fundraising goals for land conservation, which is the most effective tool for ensuring the long-term health of Lake George.
The LGLC’s trademark “Fund-A-Need” raised over $130,000 for crucial current projects including combating the invasive pest Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), acquiring the Saddlebrook property along the sensitive Indian Brook stream corridor, and protecting a large parcel on French Mountain that the LGLC is working with municipal partners to conserve.
This year’s Celebration also commemorated the LGLC’s 30th Anniversary, during which time the LGLC has conserved 10,867 acres of land, 6.6 miles of shoreline and 17 miles of stream corridor.
To date, the annual Celebration event, which is the LGLC’s primary benefit dinner and auction, has generated over $2.6 million towards the LGLC’s programs that protect the land that protects the lake. These funds have allowed the LGLC to purchase lands vital to protecting water quality.
“I sincerely thank all of our board members, friends, supporters, partners, volunteers, committee members and staff for being an integral part of this year’s success,” said LGLC Executive Director Jamie Brown. “Thank you also to our 30th Anniversary Honorary Committee, Corporate Sponsors, Silent Auction in-kind donors, all attendees and everyone who had a hand in this year’s event. I’m excited to move forward on the projects we have in motion, thanks to the support given this evening.”
The Indian Brook/Northwest Bay Brook Initiative (the Initiative) focuses on protecting the land that protects the water quality of Indian Brook, one of the top ten tributaries of Lake George. To date, the LGLC has protected 2,325 acres within this sensitive area.
Funds raised during the evening are going towards the purchase of a conservation easement on 140 acres within the Initiative area. The property, named Saddlebrook, contains nearly one-mile of Indian Brook stream corridor and nearly 30% of the property is covered by wetlands that naturally clean water before it enters the lake.
Funds raised during the evening are going towards the purchase of a conservation easement on a 317-acre property on French Mountain, which is split almost in half within the towns of Lake George and Queensbury. The protection of this property will prevent homes, driveways and septics from being constructed on sensitive lands near East Brook, a main tributary to the lake. This project is a partnership between the LGLC, the towns of Lake George and Queensbury which will provide public access, hiking and biking trails and the potential to connect to the Warren County Bikeway.
This project is part of the South Basin Initiative, which is focused on land protection within the southeastern region of Lake George, from the Lake George Battlefield Park to the LGLC’s Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Funds raised during the evening will go towards LGLC’s efforts to combat the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an aphid-like pest that is an invasive threat to the health of the lake. HWA can be detrimental to the health of the Eastern Hemlocks in the area, which play a major role in protecting water quality as the trees regulate stream temperatures and control erosion. If hemlocks are removed from the landscape, the effects can be devastating to other species (including birds and aquatic species) and costly to remediate.
LGLC’s efforts, which are already underway, include extensive forest mapping, tree surveys and monitoring on the ground and from the water, volunteer trainings, the development of education and outreach materials and continued collaboration with partners. The LGLC is continuously working with the NYS Hemlock Initiative, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and NYS DEC to formulate early detection/rapid response plans to manage any potential invasions in the watershed and increase public awareness.
All of these projects, as well as other ongoing efforts led by the LGLC, are resulting in the permanent protection of stream corridors, shoreline, ridges and forests around Lake George, all of which help to protect the water quality of Lake George.