Lakes to Locks Passage, Inc. held its 2012 Annual Meeting on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls NY. Carmella Mantello of Troy, John Giordano of Delmar and Stephanie Safka of Whitehall, NY were elected to serve as Directors. Officers for the upcoming year include Randy Beach, President; Bob Bullock, 1stVice-President; Peter Repas, 2ndVice-President; Bruce Ferguson, Secretary; and Mark Galough, Treasurer.
The Annual Meeting marked the tenth anniversary of the organization and serves as a forum for the region’s community development stakeholders, the event generously sponsored by Adirondack Studios. Senator Betty Little was the Keynote Speaker, she shared her thoughts on how tourism is an important tools for economic development and building regional identity, key elements for economic revitalization in the North Country. She commended the work Lakes to Locks Passage has done over the past decade to combine history and culture with recreational biking and boating to lure travelers to the region. She noted that the collaboration with National Geographic for the website www.lakestolocks.com with recommendations for places to visit, all nominated by local residents, to be particularly effective. In her discussions with members of the audience, she urged people to contact her if they have ideas and suggestions for how to further tourism and recreation in the North Country.
The Lakes to Locks Passage Annual Partnership Award was presented to the Champlain Canal Trail Working Group for their exemplary work in the stewardship of natural, cultural, recreational and historic resources while fostering inter-municipal cooperation; thereby furthering the vision, goals and objectives of Lakes to Locks Passage. In 2007, Lakes to Locks Passage secured support and technical assistance from the National Park Service River and Trails Program to create a “Champlain Canal Trail Cooperative Action Plan.” This project brought together numerous stakeholders to develop a cooperative and comprehensive plan to establish the Champlain Canal Trail as an important recreational resource for Washington, Saratoga and Warren Counties, stretching from Waterford to Whitehall. The Champlain Canal Trail will serve as the “spine” for the region’s multi-use trail network, providing access to the natural, cultural, historic, scenic and recreational resources. The trail links sites and attractions with the Zim Smith Trail, Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail, Warren County Bikepath, Lake Champlain Bikeways and the interpreted travel routes being developed by Lakes to Locks Passage. Members of the Working Group includes: the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program; the Agricultural Stewardship Association; Canalway Trails Association of New York; Washington County Association of Snowmobile Clubs; Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor; Feeder Canal Alliance; Hudson Crossing Park; Hudson River Valley Greenway; New York State Snowmobile Association; Parks and Trails New York; Rogers Island Heritage Development Alliance; Saratoga County Snowmobile Association; Saratoga National Historical Park; Saratoga PLAN; Town of Whitehall; Village of Whitehall; Village of Fort Ann; Town of Fort Ann; Town of Kingsbury; Village of Fort Edward; Town of Fort Edward; Town of Northumberland; Town of Greenwich; Village of Schuylerville; Town of Saratoga; Village of Victory; Town of Stillwater; Village of Stillwater; City of Mechanicville; Town of Halfmoon; Town of Waterford; Village of Waterford; NYS Canal Corporation; NYS Department of State; NYS Department of Transportation; and NYS Offices of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.