Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Future for Oakdale Lake

At tonight's Common Council meeting, the aldermen will be voting on a resolution "supporting the efforts of The Friends of Oakdale Lake"--in particular supporting a design project to be undertaken by the Hudson Valley Initiative at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning.

The idea for the project originated with Tamar Adler, who realized, when she started taking her two-year-old son to Oakdale, "both what a treasure we have in Oakdale and how badly certain things were needed there. It was easy for me to see that some of its underuse was the fault of perception issues: even the most basic understanding of how humans interact with their environments dictates that we need clues, encouragement, and to see other people doing what we might want to do." Adler suggests that "human interventions in the form of docks, platforms, stairs, free paddle boards or paddle boats, natural/ecological water quality improvement etc. can keep humans in excited and regular interactions with this/these [natural] spaces."

Adler's enthusiasm for Oakdale and her desire to see its many "lovely and promising attributes" enhanced and appreciated led her to the Hudson Valley Initiative, a program of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning, which "facilitates applied research into complex spatial, ecological, and economic opportunities in the Hudson Valley." The Hudson Valley Initiative was interested in working with Hudson on a vision for Oakdale's future.

The Hudson Valley Initiative project will cost $10,000, for the stipends, travel expenses, and material expenses of the graduate students who will undertake the studies, conduct the workshops, create the renderings, and write the report. As of this afternoon, all but $120 of the $10,000 has been raised--the first $5,000 in large donations, and the remaining $5,000 through a GoFundMe campaign. Adler says of the proposed study: "This is not 'outsiders' coming and designing something which will then be built, but a group whose specific goal is site-specific, community-specific, collaborative work. Their specialty is helping to tease out a vision in collaboration with a community."

To learn more about the goals of the project, check out "Oakdale Lake: Ideas for Design and Use" and visit the Friends of Oakdale Lake website.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea. the complex is really interesting in its vintage style. Its like lake side swim clubs from an earlier era. all for hudsonites.

    it can be upgraded for the whole community in a way that everyone can use.
    and columbia has a great school of architecture. Applause to those who made this happen.