The Village of Lake George and the S.A.V.E. Committee has donated the proceeds of the village’s first annual “Festival for the Lake” to the Lake George Park Commission.
Mayor Robert Blais, who organized the festival, recently presented David Wick, Executive Director of the Park Commission a check for $20,000. The money is earmarked for the Commission’s law enforcement patrols on the lake.
Wick said this week that the donation was appreciated and much needed.
“We think it’s fantastic that the Village has taken such an active role in invasive species prevention,” Wick said. “And the mayor’s been a leader in driving this effort.”
Held last September, the Festival for the Lake was designed to raise awareness of the threat of aquatic invasive species and raise funds to support the Park Commission’s new mandatory boat inspection program.
The S.A.V.E. Committee, which is a coalition to abate the threat of aquatic invasive species, has already pledged to contribute half of the $700,000 estimated to implement the program for the initial year. Blais is chairman of the S.A.V.E. partnership of municipal officials and not-for-profit lake organizations including the Fund for Lake George and the Lake George Association.
Several merchants, organizations, not-for-profits and village employees organized the festival that raised over $21,500.
The new mandatory inspection program in the first of its kind in New York State and is expected to be a model for the rest of the state. Over 45 individuals will be trained and staff the eight wash stations to be located around Lake George.
“When I organized the festival we had no idea where the funds would be used, but when we heard the Park Commission budget had been cut and it would result in a reduced presence on the lake, our choice was easy,” Blais said in a prepared statement. “We need to ensure that the inspection program works, is enforced and the lake remains safe. These funds will allow that effort to go forward.”
This year’s Festival for the Lake, planned for Sept. 19 through Sept. 21, is to be held at the new Charles Wood Park’s festival space — on the same weekend as the Adirondack Balloon Festival.