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Lake George Association celebrates 125th year, boosts outreach

LAKE GEORGE - A group that for generations has worked tirelessly to protect the purity of Lake George is not only celebrating a major milestone this year, it's expanding their programs and educational outreach.

The Lake George Association, the oldest lake association in the U.S., celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2010.

Established in 1885 by concerned fishermen to protect water quality for healthy fish, LGA was a pioneer in environmental preservation and conservation. Now, the 5,000 members of the group work together to protect, conserve and improve the quality and beauty of the Lake George basin.

In recent years, the non-profit LGA has been actively involved in both educational and lake-saving projects. The LGA Floating Classroom is a custom-built 40-foot catamaran that takes tourists, resort guests, residents and school children out on the lake for learning about ecology and waterway stewardship. Floating Classroom guests enjoy hands-on experiences testing the lake's clarity. Public trips are scheduled for every Wednesday in July and August, leaving the dock at Shepard Park in Lake George Village.

All are invited to participate in free hands-on water ecology programs at Bolton Landing's Rogers Park Pavilion, the Lake George Recreation Center and at Shepard Park in Lake George.

Free "Lake-Friendly Living" workshops are offered on Saturdays at the LGA offices in Lake George. Workshops on Landscaping with Native Plants, the Do's and Don'ts of Aquatic Invasive Plants, Water Conservation, and Lawn Care and Pest Management will be offered this summer. Also, the LGA can custom-design presentations.

Citizen scientists join the LGA each year to monitor water quality, as well as loons, turtles, and zebra mussels. Volunteers will participate in clean-ups at Log Bay on July 27 and at West Brook on June 15.

In cooperation with local community groups, the LGA coordinates major projects to stabilize eroding stream banks, divert and purify stormwater, enhance wetlands and reduce sand and salt deposition in waterways. LGA-hired lake stewards inspect boats for invasive plants during the summer season. In addition, the LGA helps landowners find lake-friendly solutions for erosion, stormwater, landscaping or septic problems, as well as helping plan environmentally conscious developments.

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