Thursday, June 7, 2018

Valuing and Revitalizing Oakdale

Oakdale Lake is an artificial lake created in 1915 as an enhancement to the "beautiful suburb" then being established by the Oakdale Park Improvement Company. Gossips has reported about the original plans for the lake and how those plans have worked out in the present. On Tuesday night, Tamar Adler came to the Conservation Advisory Council meeting to share her hopes for the future of Oakdale Lake.

The possible improvements to Oakdale Lake identified by Adler involve design (new docks and platforms), landscaping (eliminating the buckthorn and other invasive species and rethinking parts of the trail), water ecology (finding ways to help the lake clean itself), and updating the benches and tables, the beach house, and the playground.

During the recent Fishing Derby, Adler identified people interested in improving Oakdale Lake and possibly forming a Friends of Oakdale Lake group. Adler approached the CAC looking for "an organization or committee" that could be "an umbrella under which the Friends of Oakdale Lake can organize, strategize, plan, and seek funds." Adler explained that the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Department at Columbia University has a Hudson Valley Initiative, and there is interest in sending current students or recent graduates to Hudson to research, do feasibility studies, and conduct community workshops about Oakdale Lake to build community consensus, make design recommendations, and help to identify funding sources. CAC chair, Jonathan Lerner suggested that the nascent Hudson Parks Conservancy might be the organization that could be an umbrella for the Friends of Oakdale Lake and assist in moving the effort forward.


  1. This is a good step for the man-made Oakdale Lake, and all thanks to an involved citizen.

    But why won't the Conservation Advisory Council express a like concern for Underhill Pond, a natural waterbody which the CAC has known for years is under threat from Crosswind's negligent erosion?

    As specified on a stormwater permit issued to Crosswinds in 2006, the State of New York bears a direct and ongoing responsibility for having approved the failed runoff system, yet the CAC won't even bother to notify the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation about the problem.

    The ongoing negligence impacting Underhill Pond is a good reflection of a poorly run CAC. Left to its own devices, our CAC is about feel-good projects and grant-getting, where difficult issues are refused from the Agenda.

    But under the leadership of Mr. Lerner, who was handpicked for the job by Council President Don Moore, the vanity show which is our CAC can't even fulfill its fluff assignments!

    It is stunning that it's left to this commenter, and to this comment, to inform my neighbors that Mr. Lerner's chosen consultants for the City's Natural Resource Inventory have made off with the City's money!!! (Evidently this was not newsworthy, though Chairman Lerner was specifically warned beforehand that something was amiss with these consultants and with their contract obligations.)

    Perhaps the worst consequence of a poorly-run CAC is that it gives residents the false impression that our local environment is somehow safer for the CAC's existence. Think again.

  2. sounds like some great ideas, and for sure nothing will happen.