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PRST STD

A Chronicle Special Section:

Lake George Association’s 125th Anniversary!

U.S Postage Paid Glens Falls, N.Y.

PERMIT NO. 150

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Northern New York’s Leading Newspaper • Down to earth and growing • Vol. 30, No. 1,347 • Aug. 12-18, 2010

Started in 1885, LGA is nation’s oldest lake protection group Sixteen fishermen formed the Lake George Association in 1885. “Their early mission: Protect the fish!” says LGA communications director Lynne Rosenthal. “Their later mission: Protect the water where the fish swim!” “We are the oldest lake group in the U.S. and the second oldest environmental organization behind only the Audubon Society,” says outgoing president Please turn to page 9

125th annual meeting Aug. 20 The Lake George Association will convene for its 125th annual meeting on Friday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m. at the Lake George Club in Bolton. The public is invited. Details, page 7

The LGA’s Floating Classroom provides thousands of area students as well as other adults and children hands-on experience doing water quality research, here led by LGA watershed educator Kristen Rohne.

Phone: 518 792-1126 e-mail: chronicle@loneoak.com

© 2010. All rights reserved.

Emphasis now: Stormwater & education By Cathy DeDe

Chronicle Managing Editor

“Our ultimate goal is for people to understand the lake and know what to do,” says Lake George Association executive director Walt Lender. “Our two major thrusts are stormwater projects and education outreach. “Stormwater has proven to be Walt Lender has been the largest the Lake George Ascontributor sociation’s executive director since 2005. to a lake’s water quality degradation. It brings pesticides, pollutants, nutrients and sediment, which lead to the

Please turn to page 8

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This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

2

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

Experience the lake from the best seat on the water!

Map maker & project steward, Randy Rath

to the LGA � Congratulations on your 125th Anniversary �

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“We’re trying to put little Band-Aids here and there on Lake George,” says Randy Rath, LGA project manager/geographic information systems manager. “The West Brook project [on the former Gaslight Village property] — West Brook is the big Band-Aid.” Mr. Rath serves two functions for the Lake George Association: Creating maps of Lake George and its watershed area, and overseeing the LGA’s many projects by working with government agencies (including the Adirondack Park Agency, Department of Environmental Conservation, the Army Corps of Engineers), and local municipalities, partner organizations (such as Warren County Soil and Water) and property owners. “Sometimes it can be very frustrating, but other times it’s rewarding,” Mr. Rath says. “The pretty things you see on my wall, these maps — doing those is few and far between. Most of the time, I’m doing the paperwork to get the permits we need for projects.” Mr. Rath, who helps organize and competes in the annual Lake George Triathlon, worked for the LGA briefly in 1999 when he was pursing his PhD in geography and climate change. He signed on permanently in 2001. “I work with agencies so the project satisfies everyone and also benefits the lake and the area. It’s not always easy to do. Our relationships have gotten better with working with each other.” The key, Mr. Rath says, is minimizing stormwater runoff and sediment buildup in Lake George. “Upland issues accumulate on the way down. A small problem at the top of the watershed can become a big problem down towards the lake. “You can’t blame the homeowners along the lake — everybody in the basin needs to participate. We’re all in it together. Sometimes it’s challenging, but if the lake goes bad, everything goes bad.”

Mitigate, not quash development Mr. Rath warns, “Once you build up a watershed to where 10 percent of the land is developed, it has a negative effect on water quality, potentially changing the dynamic of the whole water cycle.”

Randy Rath, onsite at the Gage Brook Reservoir cleanup.

“Consider the difference of 10 percent of runoff entering the lake, versus 50 percent runoff,” he says. “That runoff is collecting oil, sediment, debris, anything on the roads. This can affect the temperature of the water, too.” The LGA’s goal, Mr. Rath says, is to work with property owners to mitigate the impact of development on stormwater runoff. One large map on his office wall, created in 2002, melds data derived from sources such as satellite imagery, elevation measurements, runoff routes and distance from the water to identify key “hot spots” of the watershed. He says, “A lot of people worried, the map would be used to tell us what to do. Our goal is to use it as a tool, especially with the municipalities. If there’s a development coming in, and the site is an identified hot spot, that’s something to be aware of in the planning process.” To that end, Mr. Rath says he often works closely with LGA educator Emily deBolt on helping property owners and municipalities incorporate new technologies. An example is dry well catch basins, which fi lter stormwater runoff from perforated sides as well as the bottom, so runoff is filtered back into the ground, “recharging the water table,” rather than getting captured at the bottom of sediment-clogged traditional catch basins. “We’ve been doing that project a little at a time for the last three years,” Mr. Rath says, and 28 such catch basins have been installed in Lake George Village alone. — Cathy DeDe

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This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


3 The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

West Brook Initiative at old Gaslight seen as best chance to clean LG water By David Cederstrom

Chronicle News Editor The “3 E’s” and the “3 M’s” have combined on the West Brook Initiative that offers “the greatest potential for improvement of water quality in Lake George that we’ve seen,” says Walt Lender, executive director of the Lake George Association. The 3 E’s are environmental groups — the Lake George Association, the FUND for Lake George and the Lake George Land Conservancy. The 3 M’s are municipalities — Warren County and the Village and $15-million Town of Lake project has 3 George. The site is a environmental 12-acre property in Lake groups joining George Village with 3 local formerly owned by the late municipalities. Charles Wood, where he operated Gaslight Village and other businesses. In early September, demolition is expected of the old Charley’s Saloon building on the south side of West Brook Road. A wetland then will be re-created to control and fi lter stormwater runoff from Route 9 before it reaches Lake George. Runoff from Route 9 & the Northway The Route 9 runoff actually includes runoff from the Adirondack Northway and numerous buildings and parking lots. It’s the “single largest source” of pollution in Lake George, said Peter Bauer, executive director of the FUND For Lake George. Also planned are a park and infiltration meadow on the north side of West Brook Road (the former Gaslight Village site) and re-channeling of West Brook to control siltation.

An easement reserves for the municipalities a 2.5-acre “festival space” on the north side of the property. Mr. Lender said it’s possible that demolition of Gaslight buildings could also begin this fall, if the state Department of Transportation gets formal approval of a pending $600,000 grant. Mr. Bauer said that in October or November rough grading will be done on the south side and the wetland restoration will be completed next year. A $15-million capital campaign has been launched to pay for the project. Mr. Bauer said commitments are in place for $8.5-million of the $9-million

Congratulations TO THE

Lake George Association ON

125 Years OF

Lake Saving Efforts.

in public funds being sought, and that $2.5-million has been raised of the $6million goal in private contributions. Village of Lake George Mayor Bob Blais said the contract for a $2.5-million state Transportation Enhancement Project grant for the public park is “signed, delivered; the money’s here.” The mayor said the next steps are for the 3E’s and 3M’s committee to hire a project manager, and a fi rm to design the park. Hopefully, the work could be put out to bid next spring, he said. Fate of Cavalcade bldg. an unknown The fate of the former Cavalcade of Cars building in the festival space is still

not decided. Fred Monroe, Warren County board chairman and town supervisor of Chester, said the board is waiting for a tourism study report by the county Economic Development Corporation, which is asked to recommend whether having a building makes sense, and if the Cavalcade is the right building. “I hope the report comes in August and we can make a decision at the Aug. 20 board meeting,” Mr. Monroe said. Mr. Bauer said work on the West Brook stream channel would be undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2011 or 2012.

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(802) 373-4096 (802) 989-9984 Jay Jipner Ofce: (802) 453-3101 © Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


4 The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

By Carl Heilman, of course. The masthead for the LGA’s member newsletter incorporates an image by Adirondacks photographer Carl Heilman II, who lives in Brant Lake.

Emily DeBolt: People want to do right thing “A lot of what we do is education and spreading the word on prevention,” says Emily DeBolt, the Lake George Association’s director of education. “People want to do the right thing. They love the lake and want to protect it. It’s just a matter of educating them about it.” She oversees workshops for professionals; student-centered programs aboard the LGA Floating Classroom (as well as Floating Classroom outings for all ages); the annual Lake George bookmark contest in the spring and the Lake Georgethemed Christmas carol contest in the winter, both for elementary students; weekly family-oriented workshops in the summer; lectures for adults; and other outreach programs. “Every day is different,” she says. “I take a lot of phone calls, a lot right now about dealing with geese. I’m not an expert on that, but I’m learning quite a bit. Our members call with all kinds of questions. That’s what we’re here for.” She says, “We spend a lot of time on the stormwater issue. Randy [Rath, the LGA project manager] and I go hand in hand. I think of buffers and rain gardens, he’s

LGA Education Director Emily DeBolt is originally from Virginia. Cathy DeDe photo

coming from more structural things like dry wells and catch basins.” She adds, “The idea is to make good projects ahead of time, versus coming in after the project and saying we don’t like it. We more traditionally came in after, but the more we can work with people ahead of time, the better for everyone.” Ms. DeBolt observes, “We are a mem-

bership organization. We could go extreme and argue for no lawns along the lake, and that would be great, but people want their lawns — so we say, what about you use phosphorus-free fertilizer, and have a buffer to help protect the lake? We’re working together with people, versus coming out with extreme positions. “Especially the kids who live here, they don’t realize how unique this lake is, or the number of people who come here to use it. We want to impress on them how lucky they are to be here. “If we can just get them caring about the lake, we’ve done something — and if we get the kids, then we get the adults, too. They come along because it’s a nice program for their kids, but they end up really learning themselves. We get them, too.” Ms. DeBolt, who grew up in Virginia, came to New York by way of Cornell University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. When the job opened up at the LGA, “I said, Lake George — sure!” she laughs. She adds, “We had a house in the Poconos that my grandfather built. That’s what got me into water and wildlife,” she says. “Water, it makes such a unique im— Cathy DeDe pression on people.”

LGA opposes sea walls, supports controversial stream corridor regs The LGA has advocated against sea walls, notes education director Emily DeBolt. “They deflect wave energy onto neighboring property,” exacerbating erosion, she explains. She notes that where the state Department of Sea walls are fallEnv i ron ment a l ing out of favor. Conser vation previously approved sea walls regularly, they’ve reversed their position, “in favor of more natural shorelines,” she said. On the more controversial proposed Lake George Park Commission Stream Regulations, apparently tabled for the moment, she says: “It’s still out there, and we support it. We held a roundtable with the municipalities to talk about it, to hopefully have them understand how it works and come to a decision. The exact number of feet from the stream [to be regulated] isn’t as much our point as pro— Cathy DeDe tecting the lake is.”

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5

Who was Helen Froehlich & why her foundation gives millions for LGA’s work

Walt Lender: Froelich Foundation support is critical to the LGA “We could not do the programs we do without them,” Lake George Association executive director Walt Lender says of the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation. Since 1994, Mr. Lender said, the LGA has received slightly more than $6million from the foundation, including $378,500 this year, more than a third of the organization’s $913,000 budget. “We receive between $350,000 and $500,000 annually from the Helen Froehlich Foundation,” Mr. Lender says. “It depends on how much we ask for. We are specific each year about the projects

By Gordon Woodworth

Chronicle News Editor Since 1994, the Lake George Association has received more than $6-million from the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation. This year alone, it gave $378,500 to help fund LGA programs. The Froehlich Foundation has also supported the FUND for Lake George, the Lake George Land Conservancy and the Darrin Fresh Water Institute. But who was Helen Voltz Froehlich, and why is the foundation she established before she died in 1992 so generous to the LGA and other lake organizations? Mrs. Froehlich’s niece, Ann Goldsmith, who summers in Huletts Landing, fi lled us in. “She was an exceptional woman who loved the outdoors and had a deep love affair with the lake and its people,” Mrs. Goldsmith said of her Aunt Helen. “Without a doubt, she would be very pleased with the LGA’s work. She was very much an environmentalist, and she loved Huletts Landing because it’s not as developed and doesn’t have houses marching up the mountainside like there is in Bolton.” Mrs. Goldsmith said the foundation started with $30-million and principally supports three entities — organizations helping to preserve Lake George and its watershed, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Mrs. Goldsmith said the foundation is run by Northern Trust bank in Chicago. “The Foundation is being run very well,” Mrs. Goldsmith said. “It is fulfilling her desires.” Chicago native, Vassar graduate A native of Chicago, Mrs. Froehlich graduated from Vassar College in 1923 and two years later married Forrest Kerr, accompanying him on many geological surveys in the Yukon and other parts of Canada, Mrs. Goldsmith said.

Helen V. Froehlich in an undated photo supplied by the Hyde Collection. Mrs. Froehlich supported the Glens Falls museum, which named its auditorium after her.

Mr. Kerr died in a car accident in 1938, and following Mrs. Froehlich’s father’s death a year later, she moved briefly to California before returning to Illinois to continue a writing career. “She was a very prolific writer who wrote novels and short stories,” Mrs. Goldsmith said. In 1940, her aunt married Edmund Froehlich, who Mrs. Goldsmith said was Mrs. Froehlich’s family’s attorney. “She grew up bouncing on his knee,” Mrs. Goldsmith said. “He told her, ‘I will never be the love of your life, but I could love to take care of you.’ “She accepted and they got married. They traveled extensively and were both avid hikers and climbers.” Mr. Froehlich passed away in 1971 at the age of 91, Mrs. Goldsmith said. ‘She fell in love with Lake George’ Three years earlier, Mrs. Froehlich had visited her niece in Huletts Landing. “I brought her to Taft’s Point and we had a picnic on the rock there,” Mrs. Goldsmith said. “She fell in love with Lake George. It was reminiscent for her of the land she had camped on with her fi rst husband in the Yukon.” Later in 1968, Mrs. Froehlich and Mrs. Goldsmith’s father-in-law purchased Taft’s Point. Mrs. Froelich built a home there in 1971.

Always very active, Mrs. Froehlich would hike up Black Mountain and especially enjoyed the view from the top of Spruce Mountain, said Mrs. Goldsmith. “She would love to climb up there and look down over her property. And during the winter, she would cross-country ski to the post office to get her mail. “She was a very active outdoorswoman and loved to absorb all of the nature around her. She especially loved to see the footprints of animals in the snow.” John Schaninger, an LGA board member who has a home in Huletts Landing, said Mrs. Froehlich “was a very, very nice person. She climbed mountains up to a year or two before her death. And she loved the lake.” Mrs. Froehlich also was involved with the Lake George Opera, the Hyde Collection art museum in Glens Falls and the library in Huletts Landing, supporting these organizations with her money and her time, Mrs. Goldsmith said. “She was a responsible donor,” Mrs. Goldsmith said. “She demanded results from these organizations.” Mrs. Froehlich died on Sept. 3, 1992,

and programs that we would like them to be involved in, and that changes every year.” The Foundation has helped fund free Floating Classroom outings for schoolchildren from communities around the lake, some costs of the West Brook environmental project at the former Gaslight Village property, stream bank stabilization projects, sediment retention pond construction and equipment purchases. “The trustees have been very generous with us,” Mr. Lender said. LGA President Buck Bryan said, “We could not get along without Froehlich Foundation grant money, and they love our work. We always get kind comments from their board of directors.” — Cathy DeDe/Gordon Woodworth

The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

in Glens Falls Hospital, said her obituary in The Post-Star. A memorial service took place on Oct. 11 at the Mountain Grove Memorial Church in Huletts Landing.

Randy Rath: It’s a challenge to work with many agencies, but he says it can also help LGA project manager Randy Rath describes the complications that arose during a dredging project last year to clear out a delta in Huletts Landing. “We were removing material out of the lake and made arrangements with a landowner to deposit the materials on their property. DEC tested it and called the sand and gravel coming out of the lake ‘clean fi ll.’ It was 98 percent clean sand and cobble. But the APA considers anything removed from the lake waste material. “The land owner was naturally concerned about that classification. We worked with the APA to change their determination, but they would only re-word the permit, and the landowner still said no. Even though the DEC said it was clean fill, we had to fi nd another pit site. “That was hard, but it also brought to light a discrepancy between the DEC and the APA, and now they can talk about what they can do in the future.”

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6 The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

Buck Bryan has seen growth of the LGA, urges all to join

Gala Committee chairperson Cheryl Lamb at the Lake George Association’s 125th AnPhotos courtesy of the LGA niversary Gala on July 16, 2010, at the Inn at Erlowest.

LGA’s Gala for 125th drew 309 at Erlowest

“People know that the LGA Gala is really one of the social events of the season,” said Cheryl Lamb, who has chaired the Lake George Association’s Gala Committee the past two years. Especially this year — the LGA’s 125th anniversary year, when 309 people attended the event, on July 16 at the Inn at Erlowest. “We had almost 200 people who had bought tickets even before the invitations went out,” Mrs. Lamb noted. “The Inn at Erlowest did a great job, and we had an excellent turn-out and a fabulous response from the public for auction items,” she said. For instance, Lake George Steamship Company owner William Dow donated a private dinner cruise for 12 people on the Lac du Saint Sacrament including music by Ray Alexander and a photographer to document the evening. The vessel accommodates up to 400 people. The intimate cruise sold for $4,000, to Tom and Dusty Putnam. The fund-raiser grossed $100,000, and should net the LGA about $75,000, said executive director Walt Lender. Mrs. Lamb and her husband Buzz long owned and operated Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing and have been LGA members for over a quarter-century. She says of the LGA, “we’re not police,

but we are watchdogs, and we really try to get the answers to the questions that people have so we can solve the problems. And now we have the Floating Classroom, which is great because we need to educate the young people. That’s the secret to keeping this going. “Lake George is a gem for all of us, and hopefully it will remain so for future generations. So, will Mrs. Lamb chair the 2011 Gala Committee? “We haven’t discussed that yet,” she said with a laugh. — Gordon Woodworth

Nancy Cobb-Zoll: ‘We’re like plumbers: Our work on the lake often goes unnoticed’ Nancy Cobb-Zoll, Director of Membership Development, says of the Lake George Association, “We’re kind of like plumbers. You may put thousands of dollars of new plumbing into your home, but no one will ever see it. “We put thousands of dollars into restoration projects on that lake that people don’t necessarily see, but we’re doing a better

J. Buckley Bryan, Jr., known as Buck, is fi nishing up his second stint as president and is a 50+ year member of the Lake George Association. “In 1975, when I fi rst became president, we had one paid employee and an annual budget of $30,000,” he said. “Now, the LGA has eight full-time employees and several part-time interns and an annual budget of just under $1-million.” Mr. Bryan, who lives on Northwest Bay in Bolton, donated $100,000 to the West Brook remediation project and says he’s leaving $1-million to the LGA in his will. “I have benefitted from the people who have gone before me in the LGA, and now it’s time to pay back, and I’m fortunate to be able to do it,” he said. “It’s my fi rm belief that were it not for the LGA, we would not be enjoying Lake George to the extent we are today. “One of the LGA’s tremendous contributions was the establishment of a marker system on the lake, long before the Department of Environmental Conservation did it. The LGA put out big can buoys, which were actually beacons, in the spring and took them out in the fall. They started doing this in 1909. job of communicating what we do. We’re doing a better job with the newsletter. When someone gets it, it needs to be very clear what we’re doing with their money. “My job is not just to bring money in, but about making people feel good about why they are giving the money.” The North Creek native said fund-raising in this economy is “tough, and nationally environmental groups are struggling the most. But we feel very fortunate.” Ms. Cobb-Zoll said at this year’s 125th anniversary gala, the silent auction alone raised $30,000, up 33% over 2009’s total of $20,000. “And all of the items for our live auction and silent auction are donated, which speaks volumes about the support we get from the community,” she said. Final numbers from the 2010 gala are not yet known, she said. Ms. Cobb-Zoll said the LGA will soon start a fundraising campaign to pay off

“We are still conservationists in the LGA, rather than preservationists. We believe in a balance between development and nature. The LGA has grown into the leading educator and public awareness organization in the area, with 20-plus active board members and 10 committees, plus a very talented and well-educated staff. “It is imperative that anyone with any interest in Lake George should immediately call the Lake George Association at 668-3558 and become a member. It’s not expensive and the paybacks are enor— Gordon Woodworth mous.” the environmental easement purchased by the LGA, the FUND for Lake George and the Lake George Land Conservancy at the former Gaslight Village property. “It’s an educational process, but so far, so good,” she said. “We haven’t done a community ask yet. We’re focused on lead gifts right now.” The LGA decided to not hold a golf tournament in 2010 because “so many organizations are doing golf tournaments, and we thought there might be better ways to spend our time and resources. These events, like our gala and the golf tournament, wear people down.” A few years ago, Ms. Cobb-Zoll said the LGA started holding small cocktail parties around the lake. “We call this friend-raising, which can turn into fundraising,” she said. “Now people are calling us when they see us working on the lake near their home, asking to host cocktail parties.”

Congratulations

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7

Happy Anniversary! Happy Anniversary to the Lake George Association.

years of We look forward to many more protecting our cooperation and partnership in Lakes.” wonderful “Queen of America’s

Dave Wick (in the white shirt) of the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District helps install stormwater infiltration chambers at Bixby Beach in Bolton Landing in the sumPhoto by the LGA’s Randy Rath mer of 2008. Helping him is technician Dean Moore.

Soil & Water’s Dave Wick: LGA finds ways to get people involved, make projects happen “We’ve been working very well with the Lake George Association for going on two decades,” says Dave Wick, district manager of the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District. He said the LGA has been a leader in helping to obtain grants and matching funds for grants, and in joint projects

with the Soil & Water Conservation District, the LGA “has the financial resources to put dollars on the ground.” For example, he said, the LGA advanced $20,000 to $30,000 for a stormwater project this month at the Town of Lake George Highway Department, so the project could move forward more quickly. LGA strengths, Mr. Wick said, include “outreach to all different parties across the spectrum” in conservation. The LGA has been “getting involved much more heavily in on-the-ground projects” in the last decade, he added.

The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

Trustees Lake George Village Board of Mayor Robert Blais

www.villageoflakegeorge.us

— David Cederstrom

More LGA events, August & Sept. Here’s what’s still to come from the Lake George Association in this its 125th season. Call for info and reservations: 518-668-3558 or email to info@lakegeorgeassociation.org. August Thursday, Aug. 12 — Creek Critters, Family Hands-on Ecology Adventure at the Lake George Recreation Center on Route 9N. Meet at the first, top parking lot. 10-11 a.m. Free. Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Public Floating Classroom, 2-hour eco-learning adventure on Lake George. Departs 11 a.m. from the dock at Shepard Park, Lake George. Program is now FULL. Call for waiting list. Thursday, Aug. 19 — Fish Food, hands-on Water Ecology Adventure at Rogers Park Pavilion, Bolton Landing. 10-11 a.m. Free. Friday, Aug. 20 — Lake George Association Historic 125th Annual Meeting at the Lake George Club in Bolton, at 10 a.m. Speaker is Ken Wagner. Meeting is free to the public. Optional lunch is $21 per person. Reservations required. Join LGA members and others interested in protecting the environment, ecology and economy of Lake George. Meet the LGA board of directors and receive updates on LGA’s lake saving projects and educational programs. Thursday, Aug. 26 — Water Conservation with Emily DeBolt, LGA director of education. An LGA lake-friendly-living talk at the Lake George Association headquarters. Learn how to use less water in your home and how to decrease stormwater runoff on your property. 78 p.m. Free. Wednesday, Aug. 25 — Public Floating Classroom 2-hour eco-learning adventure on Lake George. Departs 11 a.m. from the dock at Shepard Park, Lake George. Program is FULL. Call for waiting list September Thursday, Sept. 16 — Lawn Care and Pest Management with Laurel Gailor of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. An LGA lake-friendlyliving talk at the Lake George Association headquarters. Learn about lake-friendly ways

Fishing got John Schaninger involved with LGA’s mission

LGA board member John Schaninger summers in Huletts Landing on the east side of Lake George and can often be found trolling for lake trout and salmon. “I shut off the big engine and putt along at slow speeds,” he said. “I try to catch some fish and just watch the world go by. “I’ve always done a John Schaninger lot of fishing, and Carl Simmons, the chair of the fish and game committee of the LGA, thrust the chairman’s position upon me many years ago,” said Mr. Schaninger, who has a degree in ecology and limnology from the University of Wisconsin.

Ken Wagner to speak at the LGA’s annual meeting on Aug. 20 Ken Wagner, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker at the Lake George Association’s 125th Annual Meeting, Friday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m. at the Lake George Club in Bolton Landing. “For decades, he’s played a role in environmental research on Lake George, working with the LGA and other organizations,” said an LGA press release. Dr. Wagner holds a B.A. in environmental biology from Dartmouth College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in natural resource management from Cornell University. He owns Water Resource Services, a lake management consulting firm, and is editor in chief of the international journal Lake and Reservoir Management. The LGA meeting is open, free to the public. An optional lunch is for $21 per person. Reservations are required. Call: 668-3558 or email to info@lakegeorgeassociation.org.

Proud to have the LGA as one of our over 400 Members! Our professional staff is here to serve our regional business community and millions of visitors!

LAKE GEORGE REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & CVB 2176 State Route 9, Lake George 518-668-5755 www.LakeGeorgeChamber.com

of using chemicals for lawn care and pest control. 7-8 p.m. Free.

An LGA member since the late 1970s, he said the LGA “has been doing more for the lake than any other organization. We’ve done $6-million in projects around the lake, and the West Brook project is $15-million itself. “We recognize that we have to work with people. We strive for cooperation with the various municipalities, because if you don’t enlist them, the relationship tends to be adversarial. “I see the LGA helping the lake. I see improvement in the quality of the water. If you take care of the upstream remediation, then you take care of the deltas.” Mr. Schaninger said the LGA’s lake stewards are doing important work limiting invasive species in the watershed. “God help us if we get the quagga mussel in Lake George,” he said. “It decimated the Lake Huron fisheries. The food chain collapsed. We need to be vigilant about invasive species in Lake George.”

Congratulations to the

Lake George Association on their

125th Anniversary -John & Mary-Arthur Beebe

— Gordon Woodworth

© Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


8 The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

Walt Lender, LGA chief: Priorities are ‘stormwater & education’ From front page

lake’s decline. “Our goal is to stop that stormwater before it enters the lake, or even before it leaves a property, to get it back underground, where it will be filtered and get it underground into the groundwater supply.” With so many projects brewing, Mr. Lender says he relies on “a great staff, and good systems in place.” Mr. Lender is entering his sixth year as director of the LGA. He succeeded longtime director Mary Arthur Beebe, who retired in 2005. Mr. Lender says his own background is in non-profit fund-raising, development, and government-corporate affairs, most recently at Fort Ticonderoga. “I don’t purport to be a scientist or expert in this field,” he says. “That’s why we have the staff of high quality professionals that we do,” as well as working with partnering organizations.

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Lynne Rosenthal: ‘I swear there is magic in Lake George’s waters’

“I fi nd Lake George to be restorative,” said Lynne Rosenthal, the Lake George Association’s communications coordinator since March, “I swim in Lake George every day I can, and as soon as I jump in the water, I feel a lot better. I swear there is some special magic in these waters.” When she’s not swimming in the Queen of American Lynne Rosenthal Lakes, Ms. Rosenthal said her role at the LGA is “to try to capture as much of what is going on and to get that information out to the public.” Her communication vehicles include a regular newsletter, e-mail “blasts,” press releases and the Web site, www.lakegeorgeassociation.org.

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“I’ve been here since 1979,” says Lake George Association office manager Mona Seeger. “I have kind of a historical perspective…I’ve watched the LGA grow into this nationally known organization.” During her tenure, the staff has grown from two to eight full- Mona Seeger time employees, and

Mary-Arthur Beebe was LGA chief for 27 years

Mary-Arthur Beebe, executive director of the Lake George Association from 1978 until retiring in 2005, said she is “most proud of being able to get a variety of programs to protect the lake established,” such as shoring up stream banks to control erosion, developing stormwater ponding areas, dredging sediments and working on natural landscaping Mary-Arthur Beebe with homeowners. She said that at first “we had to beg people to pay attention,” but by her retirement, they had “a good 10 years of restoration projects…all around the watershed.” “It’s encouraging to see the way the LGA has been expanding its programs,” Mrs. Beebe said. “I’m looking forward to the celebration of 125 years.” Development of the “Floating Classroom” for hands-on lake education of schoolchildren “was a real positive program,” and obtaining grant funding from the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation was instrumental in carrying out programs

Focus: Global & proactive Mr. Lender says that in his tenure, “we have changed focus a little bit to looking at things on a more global scale, rather than reacting to individual projects. That means changes in our approach to the management of properties around the lake, to be more positive and informative. “When folks have a question, we can offer the expertise of the people on our staff. In some cases, it’s more expensive to do the right thing, but if they’re willing to make an investment on Lake George, they’re usually willing to do it right.” “Awareness has such an impact,” Mr. Lender says. “You can see the light bulb going off.” Rather than react to a problematic project after it’s in the works, the goal is to get involved earlier and educate people before a project even begins. He gives the example of choosing property plantings. “The native shrub may be the same price, locally available, and will probably last longer and thrive better in this climate,” says Mr. Lender. “Some changes don’t have to cost more. People just need to be aware of them and understand the effect of their choices.” “Most folks appreciate knowing how to do something that does not have a negative effect on the lake,” he says, “to move forward with a well-designed project that A particular focus is helping director of education Emily DeBolt get her message out, as Ms. Rosenthal did this spring when Ms. DeBolt discovered wall lettuce, an invasive species never before thought to be in the Lake George watershed. The LGA has two main functions, in Ms. Rosenthal’s eyes: to educate the public on water quality issues, and “to coordinate municipalities and entities to make sure these projects happen. “The LGA is very much a facilitator. We’re very good at building partnerships and coordinating projects, and a lot of these projects needed to keep the lake clean would never happen without us.” Ms. Rosenthal says awareness of the LGA’s many projects is gaining, but “we still need all people on the lake to keep their eyes open. People are constantly bringing things to our attention, and the challenge is prioritizing these projects. “The more educated people become, maybe they will think about minimizing their impact on the lake. There are a lot of little things people can do that together will make a big difference.” — Gordon Woodworth

the LGA office went in a single room in the old Warren County Courthouse in Lake George, among other locations, to having built its own headquarters in 1990 on Route 9N in Lake George, near Northway Exit 21. Mrs. Seeger’s duties include overseeing the operation of the headquarters building, helping taking care of their computers and computer network, and coordinating use of the LGA’s “Catch Vac,” a machine communities around the lake use to clean out stormwater catchment basins. Mrs. Seeger said she also planted and takes care of the native buffer plants in front of the headquarters. — David Cederstrom

and providing matching funds for government grants, Mrs. Beebe continued. — David Cederstrom

LGA’s newest staffer: Database & event focus

Lorie Gollhofer, a Greenwich, N.Y., native who recently moved with her family to Bolton Landing, is the Lake George Association’s newest employee. As development assistant, “I maintain the membership database, and I helped with the Gala.” Ms. Gollhofer worked at the Hyde Collection before moving to Maine 12 years ago. She called the LGA office “a wonderful place to work. Everyone is on the same page....It’s nice to come to an office that works so well together.” She said her eightyear-old daughter, Kirsten, recently attended an LGA aware- Lorie Gollhofer ness program at Bolton Day Camp, “and she came home telling my husband and me what we should be doing to keep the lake clean. “Those awareness programs are wonderful. The information filters through the kids and comes back to you.” — GW

© Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


9

Stewards protect LG from incoming species; look beyond obvious “One of our big focuses is the Lake Stewards program,” said LGA director Walt Lender. Four paid stewards at key boat launches inspect incoming boats for presence of invasive species. “We have to make sure we keep up our guard,” Mr. Lender says. “We currently have zebra mussels, milfoil and curly leaf pondweed in the lake. If 20 or 30 years ago we’d been doing this, we would have at least curtailed the introduction of milfoil and these others into the lake.” He adds, “Water chestnuts are out there in the world, but we don’t have them here. The spiny water flea, it’s like a plankton; it could completely alter the fisheries if it were to get here.” Mr. Lender warns, “It’s not just a piece of milfoil hanging off the exhaust pipe. Stewards help boat owners understand to empty bait buckets, get the bilges dry, clean their fishing equipment. “There are all sorts of hiding places for these things — check the scuba gear. “The stewards physically inspect boats, pass out info and talk about the ways things get into Lake George. Just four miles away from our northern boat launch, Lake Champlain has many times more invasive species than here.” In the previous two years, when the program was state-funded, as many as five stewards worked four or five days a week, overseen by an assistant coordinator. With state cutbacks, the LGA has received funding from municipalities and other local agencies. The four stewards are stationed strategically — Friday to Sunday at Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing, weekends at the boat launch in Hague, five days a week at Mossy Point in Ticonderoga and at Rogers Rock. “We’re also trying to do a lot with the big fishing tournaments,” says LGA education director Emily DeBolt. Ms. DeBolt said she’s relieved the program is moving forward despite state cuts: “A lot of other people around the state are looking to our program. I get

T

fied on sampling protocol and scientific methods in order to inventory the current populations of must, map, painted, snapping, wood and spotted turtles,” Ms. Rohne said. There were 411 turtle sightings in 2009, the majority Northern Map turtles. For more information on the LGA’s turtle monitoring project, call Ms. Rohne at — Gordon Woodworth 668-3558.

Lake Steward Monika LaPlante inspects a boat about to enter Lake George. Monika removed milfoil, pondweed and zebra mussels from just one boat on her first day out, May 28.

LGA is nation’s oldest lake protection group

The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

From front page

calls from other lakes non-stop who want to know how we do it.” — Cathy DeDe

Water quality ‘doesn’t happen by itself’ “One factor in why Lake George is in the shape it is in, is through the efforts of the Lake George Association,” asserts LGA director Walt Lender. “It doesn’t happen by itself. We have to take an active role. Look around the state and count the many lakes that have lost the quality we have, because there wasn’t a group looking over it.” He says that Lake George water is rated “Double A” by the state, the highest level of water quality. “Its best use is for drinking water and recreation.” ‘People still drink this water’ “There are people who still draw their drinking water directly from the lake,” Mr. Lender notes. He recalls growing up lakeside in Ticonderoga (in the house where he still lives today with his own family!): “We had a pump in the basement attached to a pipe that went out to the water, with nothing but a strainer at the end to keep out the big stuff.” — Cathy DeDe

Northern Map Turtles, like this one spotted on Aug. 7 in Northwest Bay Brook by LGA president and turtle monitor J. Buckley Bryan, Jr., and The Chronicle’s Gordon Woodworth, are the most common species seen by volunteers. Chronicle photo/Gordon Woodworth

Monitoring turtles on LG for research

Some 80 trained, volunteer turtle monitors fan out on Lake George four times each summer looking to count turtles for the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Endangered Species Unit and a research project by field biologist Karen Robbins. “The ultimate goal is to increase current knowledge of the resident turtle species in the Lake George watershed,” said Lake George Association watershed educator Kristen Rohne. “Volunteers are trained and certi-

J. Buckley Bryan, Jr. Nearly from the start, says LGA executive director Walt Lender, runoff and water quality were key. “I was looking through some old newsletters and articles,” he says, “and one of the first things they did was talk about runoff. Back then, the issue was with farms. More recently, it’s development.” The LGA is an action organization. Projects include beach erosion control, delta reduction, pond cleanouts, waste treatment, stormwater management (catch basins, drywells and sediment basins), stream corridor management (bank stabilization with riprap or plantings), and the creation and restoration of wetlands. Since 2000, the LGA has funded and coordinated more than 70 remediation projects. Advocacy has also been key. “There was a time many years ago that the water level of Lake George was managed entirely by private industry,” Mr. Lender says. In 1947, “we were instrumental in getting the legislature involved, and New York State took over regulation of the water levels, for the better good...” Education and consensus building is another thrust. “We’re trying to educate people more about the issues,” says LGA education director Emily DeBolt, “where in the past we were maybe like a more traditional environmental advocacy group, coming out against a project we didn’t like. We get so much farther ahead making a few compromises and working with people.”

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© Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

10

LGA’S 125TH • THE CHRONICLE

Putnams’ lakefriendly methods include peat moss septic system By Gordon Woodworth

Chronicle News Editor When Tom and Dusty Putnam bought their lakefront home in North Queensbury in 2008, they replaced its 50-year-old septic system with an alternative spaghnum peat fiber biofi lter system. “You have to be good stewards of the lake so our grandchildren can enjoy it, too,” Mrs. Putnam said, her two-year-old granddaughter Lucy Rankin in her arms. “We want Lucy to be able to enjoy this lake, too.” Their peat septic system, designed by Dennis MacElroy of Environmental Design Partnership, “is more expensive than a regular septic system,” Mr. Putnam said, “but in the long run, it requires less maintenance” while eliminating harmful discharge into the lake. Mr. Putnam explained that sewage is pumped to holding tanks next to the house, where the solids settle out. The remaining effluent is pumped up the hill behind their house to four enclosed beds filled with special spaghnum peat moss. “The theory is after the effluent filters through the peat moss, you are supposed to be able to drink the water,” he said. “Now, I’m not going to try it, but I take

Tom Putnam on a portion of his permeable grass paver driveway that allows stormwater to filter down through the soil while wildflowers and grass grow up through the holes.

Tom and Dusty Putnam use this alternative spaghnum peat fiber biofilter septic system at their Lake George home. The special peat moss filters the effluent, resulting in water that is said to be pure enough to drink. “I’m not going to try it, but I take their word for it,” said Mr. Chronicle photos/Gordon Woodworth Putnam.

their word for it.” “There is no odor at all,” Mrs. Putnam said. The peat fiber, a byproduct of the peat mining process, comes from Ireland and needs to be replaced once every 15 years or so, Mr. McElroy said. The holding tanks are pumped out every two to three years, he said. An entire peat fiber septic system costs $35,000 and up, Mr. McElroy said. The septic beds sit in sandy soil surrounded by bunchberry and love grass, native species suggested by the LGA’s Emily DeBolt. The filtered water slowly seeps into the sand and is filtered again. “You can’t have anything with a large root system near the peat,” Mrs. Putnam noted. The Putnams, long-time vacationers on Lake George including island camping in in the Narrows, said they joined the LGA after buying their home. “The LGA is doing an incredible job of raising awareness and educating the next generation about the lake,” Mrs. Putnam said. “We’ve got to make sure that the next generation is as interested in the quality of the lake as our generation is.” The Putnams worked closely with Ms. DeBolt to get a list of native plants they could plant in their buffer zones between their home and the lake. “Gould’s Lawn and Landscaping really went the extra mile to fi nd these plants for us,” Mrs. Putnam said. She said, too, that the previous owner of the home, Bud Brickman, had already established excellent buffers of trees and native plants. Two portions of the Putnams’ driveway are permeable and have wildflowers

“We want Lucy to be able to enjoy this lake, too,” said Dusty Putnam, holding their two-year-old granddaughter, Lucy Rankin. The Putnams were why they initiated several lake-friendly features at their lakefront home.

Some of the native plants the Putnams have planted in a buffer zone between their North Queensbury home and Lake George. The tall flowers are joe-pye weed, which the LGA’s Emily DeBolt says is a “very nice native wildflower that blooms in late summer” and also attracts butterflies. A stormwater catch basin is in the foreground.

growing up through them. The permeable grass pavers let water filter down through the soil underneath rather than flow straight into the lake. The Putnams said they take their drinking water directly from the lake and don’t use any pesticides on their lawn or plants. She said that after the LGA wrote about the Putnams’ lake-friendly approach, an LGA member approached them at the 125th anniversary gala and asked to visit their home to see what they had done. “He had no idea that putting fertilizer on your lawns helps create algae blooms

in the lake,” she said. “This work is going to happen one home at a time, one family at a time.” Mr. Putnam said, “There aren’t too many lakes where you can see to the bottom and drink the water, and we want to keep it that way.”

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• Civil/Site Design • Alternative Septic Systems 518-791-9816 © Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


11

LGA: Some numbers

Some numbers, to offer perspective on the Lake George Association: • 125. Years the Lake George Association has existed. • 16. Number of fishermen who banded together to form the Lake George Association for the Protection of Fish & Game in 1885. • $912,795. 2010 LGA annual budget. • $378,500. 2010 grant to the LGA from the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation, which gives the LGA from $350,000 to $500,000 annually, to support specific projects. • $6-million. Amount the LGA has received from the Froehlich Foundation since 1994. • 8. Full-time LGA staff. • 5,000. Estimated number of LGA members, based on 1,200 membership units (individuals, families, businesses, etc.) • 309. Number of guests at the LGA’s soldout 125th Anniversary Gala at the Inn at Erlowest. At least 22 names were on a waiting list that never opened up. • $100,000. Gross revenue from the 125th Anniversary Gala. Preliminary estimate is that the LGA will net approximately $75,000. • $250,000. Cost of the 40-foot Rosalia Anna Ashby catamaran purchased in 2009 to serve as the new Floating Classroom boat. • 4,000. Number of children participants in LGA educational programs in the past two years. • 28. Number of dry well catch basins installed by the LGA around Lake George Village to control runoff into the lake. • 90. Number of attendees at the LGA’s “Alternative Septic Systems” workshop in March, offered free for code enforcement officers and other professionals. • 80. Number of trained volunteer “turtle monitors,” who spotted 411 turtles of various species on the lake in 2009. • 51. Individuals and marinas participating in the “Drop a Brick” zebra mussel monitoring program. (Fortunately, none were found.) • 7. Volunteers who collected water quality data around the lake for the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program in 2009 • 13.55. Number of meters deep in Lake George that a Secchi disk was read on Sept. 2, 2009 — the best reading of all 113 participating lakes around New York State. • 158. Different water bodies visited in previous two weeks by boats entering Lake George, according to data collected by LGA Lake Stewards. Boats entering the lake must take precautions not to carry invasive species in with them. • 91 & 62. Invasive species recorded in Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, respectively. • 3. Invasive species in Lake George (Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed and zebra mussels). • 4. Number of paid Lake Stewards who monitor boats entering Lake George. They’re funded through the LGA and government. State funding was discontinued this year. • 3,866. Boats inspected by Lake Stewards in 2009. • 70. Lake remediation projects undertaken by the LGA since 2000 • $15 million. Expected cost of the West Brook Conservation Challenge, turning much of the former Gaslight Village property into a wetland filtering Northway and Route 9 runoff and having other benefits. • 7,000. Size of the current delta in square meters at the mouth of West Brook. • 141. Streams that feed into Lake George . Just 8 make up some two-thirds of total stream input into the lake. • 32. Length of Lake George in miles. • 233. Square miles encompassed in Lake George watershed (5 times lake’s surface). • 10%. Standard benchmark LGA uses for the percentage of developed land in a watershed beyond which water quality falters. • $50. One year’s dues for an individual LGA membership. • 668-3558. LGA phone number. Website: http://www.lakegeorgeassociation.org/.

Proudly Supporting the LGA on it’s 125th Anniversary!

The Chronicle - Aug. 12, 2010

LGA’S 125TH

Congratulations & Thank You! to the Lake George Association.

The Chronicle congratulates the LGA for a century-and-a-quarter of working to protect this lake we all love so dearly. And thank you, too, for looking to The Chronicle to help you celebrate the milestone. Thanks for reaching for the Quality! 10% of ad sales in this section we donate to the LGA.

Phone: (518) 792-1126 • Glens Falls, NY e-mail: chronicle@loneoak.com © Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.


Thank you, LGA, for 125 years of caring for Lake George

From the people who’ve been caring for Lake George families almost as long

© Copyright 2010, The Chronicle. Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. The Chronicle, P.O. Box 153, 15 Ridge St., Glens Falls N.Y. 12801 • 518-792-1126 • chronicle@loneoak.com

This page is excerpted from The Chronicle - Northern New York’s leading newspaper. — Hot. Free. Weekly. The Chronicle.

Profile for Mark  Frost

LGA 125th Anniversary  

The Chronicle's special supplement for the Lake George Association's 125th Anniversary.

LGA 125th Anniversary  

The Chronicle's special supplement for the Lake George Association's 125th Anniversary.

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