Round Lake Preserve Opens to the Public
On September 12th, 2015, the Town of Malta, NY and Saratoga PLAN held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the first phase of the Round Lake Preserve, a 92-acre passive recreation park located adjacent to Round Lake and the Anthony Kill watershed. More than half of the Round Lake Preserve property is comprised of wetlands and unique ecological habitats, including a large wetland system adjacent to Round Lake and the Anthony Kill and smaller isolated wetlands located throughout the site. In addition to ecological resources, the Round Lake Preserve land is rich in archaeological history attributed to the Mohican Nation and their past use of the site as a seasonal settlement for thousands of years.
Once the site for residential estate lots
In 2008, the Town of Malta and Saratoga PLAN partnered to protect this unique property in an effort to preserve this archaeologically sensitive area and critical environmental watershed. The Round Lake Preserve property was at one time an approved subdivision for residential estate lots. The property changed focus when the owner contacted Saratoga PLAN regarding their interest in selling the land for conservation purposes.
Stakeholders working together
With the assistance from a New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant, a Saratoga County Open Space grant, funding from the Town of Malta’s Open Space and Recreation Preservation Reserve, and funding from Saratoga PLAN, approximately 92 acres of unique agricultural and wetland habitat have been permanently preserved and protected. In doing so, farmland, scenic vistas, critical environmental areas, and archaeological resources of the site and region are protected and public access to Round Lake is provided.
The LA Group played a key role
The LA Group played a key role in the project, from early master plan concept development through construction documentation and construction administration. The first task in evaluating the project site was to obtain a thorough awareness of existing conditions, environmental features, and land character. In addition, natural and man-made features, environmentally sensitive areas, and site opportunities and constraints were documented. Also key to the success of the Round Lake Preserve was the acceptance and active participation of the community and project stakeholders. The vision of these groups was instrumental in the completion of the project. In an effort to foster and guide the early development of the Round Lake Preserve, a series of public meetings were facilitated by The LA Group to review the findings of the site analysis, discuss preliminary concepts and opportunities, and develop the program and goals for the site.
Finding the balance
Based upon the evaluation of existing site conditions, permitting and regulatory controls, and public and stakeholders’ input, a preferred master plan concept and phase one implementation project was selected for the Round Lake Preserve property. Finding the right balance between passive recreational development and a respect of the unique environmental attributes of the site played a significant role in the design of the property. Ultimately, this balance served as the design basis for the recreational development of the property and the determination of the maximum carrying capacity of the site. The resultant Round Lake Preserve is intended to provide multiple passive recreational and cultural opportunities to the community, including, but not limited to, improved site access, a formalized parking area, accessible trails; boardwalks, fishing access, and viewing areas; and educational and interpretational opportunities. The Round Lake Preserve will provide a unique sense of place for the community and create a destination park that will attract a wide variety of users throughout the year.