The town of Lake George is currently looking into funding to transform a vacant six-acre parcel of land off Joques Farm Road into a nature park. Officials have applied for a $250,000 grant for the “Yonder Hill Park project.'”
The grant would cover the purchase of the land, but the full estimate of the project has not yet been calculated. This would be the first new park the town has seen in about 40 years.
In addition to the funding, the town needs approval from the Village Board to move forward unless zoning requirements are waived.
The town is also working to alleviate concerns from residents.
Some neighboring residents to the land have expressed reservations, noting that the area is currently used by young people to drink and smoke marijuana and has heavy foot traffic. With a park there, these issues could possibly be exacerbated.
Runoff is the other worry with the park. An engineer who looked at the site said something was wrong with one of the culverts, and he recommended installing a larger one.
With regard to the land providing a party spot for teens and the foot traffic, Town Board member Marisa Muratori believes that by turning this area into a park the consistent policing and monitoring of the area would reduce those sorts of issues. Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and also hunting and fishing, would all be prohibited in the park. Finally, a fence might also be considered to prevent people from going onto private property.
One resident did express his support for the project to The Post Star: “I’m for the park,” said Robert Smith of Cooper Street. “I think it will be an asset to the community.”
The town is proposing the following for Yonder Hill Park:
- Two trailheads, one where the land connects to the back of Town Hall
- Woodchip trails
- Signage and a trail map
- Additional signs explaining the history of the property
- Benches and garbage cans
- Ponds created from a stream on the property
- A bike trail
The proposed bike trail would actually fill in a missing link on a trail that goes all the way to Canada.
The park would be open from daylight to dusk, and would remain mostly in its natural state, without too much being changed. This spot is the largest single vacant parcel of land in the village of Lake George – it’s also one of the only natural vegetation areas in the village.
Further, Muratori maintains that there is a demand for more park space. “All of our parks are successful. They’re all used,” she told The Post Star. “Some of the parks we have in town are overused. I don’t think we’re going to go wrong creating a park that’s geared towards the residents.”
- The Post Star: Residents concerned about Yonder Hill Park project