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Adventures in Conservation

Adventures in Conservation September 26, 2023
Photo of people walking over a small bridge in the woods.
Amy’s Adventure Race. Photo by Wialliam Adamczak

Amy’s Adventure Race for the Lake, an event sponsored by the Lake George Land Conservancy’s Next Generation Committee, will be held this year on Saturday, September 30 at the Conservancy’s Amy’s Park Preserve in North Bolton.

The 4.5 mile/7.2-kilometer race challenges competitors to adapt their abilities to a rugged terrain that incorporates ponds, marshes, forests and other elements of the 500-acre preserve.

According to Giulia Casella, the LGLC’s Events Manager, Amy’s Adventure Race is “a true trail run.”

“Most trail races take place on groomed trails, unlike ours, which is why we call it an ‘Adventure Race.’” said Casella. “Amy’s Park Preserve is a living landscape, which means the terrain can change from year to year, whether because a beaver dam breaks or we have an excessive amount of rain. We warn runners they may confront obstacles they won’t find in other races.”

Envisioned as a way to affirm the many links between land conservation and water quality, the race starts at 9 am, following a sign in and day-of-race registration from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. The fee to register is $40 and includes a raffle ticket for use at the after-party in Bolton Landing, which starts at 11 am.

According to Giulia Casella, Amy’s Park holds the headwaters of Northwest Bay Brook, one of the largest and most important tributaries of Lake George, which makes it the logical place to celebrate “the land that protects the water.”

“We wanted to bring a greater awareness of this place that’s right in Bolton Landing’s backyard and is so important to the protection of Lake George,” said Casella.

The Adventure Race is also intended to promote the Bolton Recreation Hub Strategy, an initiative of the Town of Bolton, the LGLC and the Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce to make the community “a recreation hub of the southeastern Adirondacks.”

Linking hiking trails to Bolton Landing’s resorts, shops and restaurants is a key part of that strategy and according to Casella, Amy’s Adventure Race advances it by soliciting sponsors from within the business community and by collaborating with businesses such as Local, Bixby’s Best and the Bolton Landing Brewing Company, which  hosts the annual after-party.

Proceeds from Bolton Landing Brewing Company’s After Party will Aid LGLC’s Management of HWA

At this year’s after-party, the micro-brewery will release and sell its third “Keep It Fresh” IPA, brewed with Oregon hops delivered to Bolton this week, whose proceeds will benefit the Lake George Land Conservancy.

According to Giulia Casella, the LGLC will use those funds to manage an infestation of hemlock wooly adelgid at its Clark Hollow Bay Preserve, a 60-acre forest on the northeastern shore of Lake George. 

HWA was discovered there this past summer, said Casella.

Working with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and Dr. Mark Whitmore, the founder of the New York State Hemlock Initiative (NYSHI), where research is conducted on HWA, the LGLC will implement a plan to combat the invasive pest.

According to Casella, the plan includes treating infested trees with two different insecticides, one fast-acting, killing the insect before it can reproduce, the other affording the tree long-term protection.

This fall, Whitmore and researchers from the Hemlock Institute will also release a biological control: Laricobius beetles. Imported from the Pacific Northwest, they are naturally engineered to prey upon adolescent and adult Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.

In spring, two species of silverflies, also native to the Northwest, prey on the adelgid’s eggs. They, too, will be released at the Clark Hollow Bay Preserve.

According to Mark Whitmore, the releases correspond to the life cycle of the HWA and complement one another.

“Dr. Whitmore is excited to work with us on this project,” said Casella. “He believes the Clark Hollow Bay Preserve is an ideal location to release the bugs. Their release there could serve as a model for the biological control of HWA throughout the Adirondacks.”

Proceeds from registration fees will benefit the Lake George Land Conservancy’s Indian Brook/Northwest Bay Conservation initiative. The initiative was created to work with willing landowners to protect more than 2,500 of land, including 4,150 feet of lake shore, 300 acres of wetland and more than 4.5 miles of stream corridor.

On September 15, the LGLC announced that an additional ten acres within this environmentally sensitive area had been acquired and would be permanently protected.

This year, competitors will have the option to create individual and team fundraisers, with awards going to the individual and team raising the highest amount.

An Active NextGen Committee

Since it was established in 2017, the Lake George Land Conservancy’s Next Gen Committee has been an active one.

Among other things, it raised $1,500 to build a new information kiosk at Amy’s Park and sponsored presentations on the Bolton Recreation Hub Strategy.

This past June, the committee held a Summer Solstice party at Wiawaka, the historic women’s retreat on Lake George’s east shore, to benefit an LGLC project to protect the 47 wooded acres overlooking the retreat. The event included a barbecue, refreshments, a raffle, a scavenger hunt, a concert and remarks by Sawyer Bailey, AdkAction’s new executive director.

In March, it co-sponsored a discussion of “Equity in Land Conservation and Recreation” at YMCA Camp Chingachgook in Pilot Knob.

“We believe that sharing the benefits of land conservation with every individual is necessary if we are to ensure equity in the landscape of outdoor recreation and land protection,” said Casella. “Having a space to talk about these things is important.”

According to Casella, events such as these help engage younger people in land conservation and interest them in the Lake George Land Conservancy.

“We want to give younger people a voice,” said Casella.

Casella said the NextGen Committee seeks to expand its reach and welcome even more people into its orbit, so it constantly works constantly to develop new events.

Among those under discussion: a snowshoe race this winter.

For more information, call the Lake George Land Conservancy at 518-668-9673.

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