This is the site of the lake saving project of a LIFE TIME. Where once the Gaslight Village Amusement Park stood, there will be an exciting new environmental park.
The biggest threat to Lake George is stormwater runoff that enters the Lake. Every time it rains, stormwater carries sediment and along with it pollutants, chemicals, and nutrients into the Lake. Currently, fifty percent of all contaminants entering the South Basin of Lake George enter via West Brook, and from there they travel throughout the Lake.
Sodium levels have doubled in only 20 years and total phosphorus levels have increased as well. The West Brook delta, the result of excessive sediment in the brook, has grown to over 7,000 square meters and is easily viewed from the shoreline.
The Lake George Association formed a partnership with two other environmental organizations, the Lake George Land Conservancy and the Fund for Lake George, and two municipalities, the Village of Lake George and Warren County, to create a project that would protect Lake George for many years to come. The project's name is the West Brook Conservation Initiative (WBCI). The two municipalities (2 M's) own the land and the three environmental organizations (3 E's) own the conservation easement over the land, forming a joint venture that will oversee this historic project through to completion.
Twelve acres of land surrounding West Brook -- the old Gaslight Village property -- was purchased. The dilapidated buildings on the property were demolished.
A state-of-the-art system on the south parcel will treat stormwater runoff from Route 9 and surrounding properties. This part of the project includes a settling pond, marsh areas, gravel wetlands and a deep water pond that will remove sediment and nutrients from the stormwater before it is redirected back into West Brook and Lake George. We are creating a natural filtering system that will treat millions of gallons of stormwater before it enters the Lake.
On both the north and south sides of West Brook, we will be creating an exciting new environmental park that will include nature trails, exhibits, gazebos, benches, and native plants. Interpretative signs will address the processes that are filtering the stormwater, the types of plants and structures that are doing the work, as well as broader environmental concerns and issues on Lake George.
We've received federal, state and local support from NYS Parks and Recreation, USDA Urban Reforestation, NYS Quality Communities, the NYS Dept. of State Title 11 Environmental Protection Fund, the NYS Dept. of Transportation and the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation. Other partners include the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
We are still raising money to repay the loan for the conservation easement portion of this project.