Monday, June 18, 2018

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 Crystal Lake reopens to public in Newburgh


Scenic Hudson and Newburgh city officials are joined by residents in celebrating the restoration of Crystal Lake

NEWBURGH – After a yearlong restoration, the historic Crystal Lake in the City of Newburgh opened to the public on Saturday.

Public and private stakeholders collaborated to bring the lake back to life for residents, namely Scenic Hudson and the City of Newburgh. Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President Steve Rosenberg marveled at the progress that was made.

“We celebrate the Newburgh community for coming together to restore this special place,” he said.  Rosenberg discussed the history of the lake and how he was first taken there by longtime Newburgh philanthropist Bill Kaplan.

“He brought me personally to Crystal Lake about seven or eight years ago, and it looked nothing like it does today,” Rosenberg said.  “Few remember what Crystal Lake was like from the 1940s through the 1970s. This was the destination in the city for swimming, fishing, picnicking and recreation.”

Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey extended his congratulations to everyone who worked on the project.

“It takes many hands, many minds and one goal,” Harvey said, quoting a Chinese proverb, “and that goal has been achieved. It’s about knowing and understanding that when we come together, anything can be done.”

City Councilman Anthony Grice reflected on the history of the lake and the pollution that once existed there.

“I was here a long time ago when they were doing illegal dumping,” Grice said. “There was litter here. I think that now people are going to start thinking more positively about our lakes and watersheds and what they can do here.”

Younger generations of Newburgh residents also got involved in the cleanup project. Angelica Ramirez, a student at Excelsior Academy, gave a speech in Spanish to the crowd and explained afterwards why she got involved.

“I’m glad that Crystal Lake has become what it was,” Ramirez said. “I’m originally from Mexico and I want to encourage Spanish people to come here and get involved in the community.”

In addition to Scenic Hudson and the City of Newburgh, local businesses, schools, groups and dedicated city residents got involved in the cleanup of Crystal Lake. Critical funding for the project was provided by Scenic Hudson Land Trust Board member Wheelock Whitney III.

 


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