LAKEGEORGE - Area philanthropist J. Buckley Bryan Jr. of Bolton Landing has pledged a donation of $45,000 to the West Brook Conservation Initiative in Lake George Village, considered a landmark environmental effort.
This gift brings Bryan's investment in the park development project to $107,000, making him the second largest individual donor in the project.
Now under construction on the south parcel of the former Gaslight Village property, the initiative calls for developing a park with wetlands intended to reduce pollutants flowing into Lake George.
Encompassing a 12.7-acre property straddling West Brook, the park is envisioned to include a festival area with public parking, as well as walking and bicycling trails, wildlife-filled marshes, and scenic overlooks.
The initiative is considered the largest environmental project in the lake's history.
Buckley said this week he was pleased that the wetlands, complete with settling ponds and marshlands, would effectively treat the single biggest source of the pollution to the lake's southern basin. He is a recent past president of the Lake George Association, one of the several environmental groups involved in planning and overseeing the park and wetlands development.
"After all our hard work, it was gratifying to see physical work begin on the project," said Bryan.
The demolition of Charley's Saloon on the south side of West Brook Road is now complete, and now rough grading is underway.
The inlet and outlet culverts have been installed, according to Walt Lender, Association executive director. Describing the intended water purification process, he said stormwater from state Route 9 will enter the first settling pond via the inlet culvert, then travel through shallow marsh wetlands where pollutants in the runoff will be naturally treated through uptake by the plants. Then, the water will be diverted into either a deep water marsh or a gravel wetland, where dense root mats, crushed stones and a microbe rich environment will purify the water before it returns to West Brook via an outlet culvert.