A diverse group of folks – with varying backgrounds and areas of expertise -- made up the first official meeting of the Schroon Lake Waterfront Revitalization Committee.
That’s according to committee member Roger Friedman, one of several participants at Thursday’s gathering.
“We tried to make it a mix of people. Besides people from Schroon Lake we reached out to a woman who has great knowledge of the Pharaoh Wilderness area, we will have two DEC Forest Rangers, who live in Schroon, who have knowledge that will be invaluable,” Roger told Schroon Laker today.
The plan will extend way beyond what to do with the waterfront. Schroon has an enviable position as being the epicenter to numerous hikes which lead to numerous ponds. Roger would like to take advantage of that to bring more visitors to the area.
“There are trails and ponds everywhere. If you go up Hoffman Road there’s a parking lot, with a trial head, which leads to North Pond. Further up, if you go up Loch Mueller, there’s a wonderful trail in Hoffman Notch Wilderness area from a parking area trailhead, to a fun trip with your family up to Bailey Pond and onto Marion Pond”.
Presently, there is not a coherent plan that connects everything together. The Waterfront Revitalization plan is being paid for by a $25,000 state grant, matched by the Town of Schroon.
“I think this is a good use of funds…the bottom line is this is an economic development strategy, something that's going to help to town".
Tammy Whitty-Brown, the Executive Director of the Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, echoed Roger’s sentiments.
“The overall worth of the project will be really documenting our other water assets, such as Paradox Lake, Pharaoh Lake and all the ponds, and finding ways to make them more accessible to our visitors and locals that are interested in nature, and outdoor recreation,” Tammy told Schroon Laker.
“If we can make our natural assets in our area shine, it is one more piece of support we have when we apply for funding for bigger projects to help with economic growth”.
Tammy Whitty-Brown said town officials would also like to include an initiative to preserve and stop erosion of the town beach.
Public hearing dates will be announced soon. The plan is expected to be finished by May of 2018. The LA Group, a consulting firm in Saratoga Springs with an impressive resume with numerous projects on this scale, has the contract for the plan.