Sunday, June 13, 2010




Groups Join Forces to Move Project Forward

BRANCHPORT, NY – The president of the Finger Lakes Museum and the Regional

Director of Finger Lakes State Parks have announced the formation of a partnership

that will work to move the proposed project forward. In April, the museum’s board

of trustees announced that Keuka Lake State Park had been selected as the

preferred site for a world class museum that is planned to showcase the cultural

and natural history of the 9,000 square mile Finger Lakes Region.

Museum president, John Adamski, said that board members and Office of Parks,

Recreation, & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) officials from Albany and the region

have already met and toured the park as the first step in developing a joint master

plan for the museum and public use of state parkland. Regional parks director, Tim

Joseph, arranged the meeting and led the tour.

A little-used 60-acre section at the north end of the park, bordering Route 54A, is

being considered as the location for the museum’s main campus. Opportunities for

interpretive exhibits in other areas of the park are also being examined. Camping

and public use of the existing beach, facilities, and boat launch will not be affected.

Adamski said, “This is a unique opportunity to develop a partnership with a state

agency in order to build an educational institution on state-owned land that can

serve as a model for similar projects in the future. I am enthused and excited.”

Joseph said, “The mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation

includes educating the public about both nature and history. A partnership with the

proposed Finger Lakes Museum is a great fit and an exciting opportunity for both of


Andy Beers, OPRHP Executive Deputy Commissioner, stated that while the agency

will not be involved in funding the $40 million project, it will make its expertise and

services available to help museum organizers develop their plans.

The Finger Lakes Museum is a privately-held not-for-profit educational institution

that was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009. While some

federal and state funding may be available through grant programs, the bulk of the

funding is planned to come from private sources and corporations.

In other developments, museum trustee and former site selection committee

chairman, Don Naetzker, resigned from the board in May to accept a paid position

as the museum’s Project Manager. A licensed landscape architect and professional

land planner, Naetzker will coordinate planning efforts with museum organizers,

state parks, and architectural and exhibit designers. His recent master planning

projects include Frontier Field, Corn Hill Landing, and Charlotte Harbor at the Port

of Rochester.

Commercial real estate developer and president of the Finger Lakes Visitors

Association, David Wegman, was elected to the museum’s board of trustees in May.

He is also owner of Esperanza Mansion Inn and Restaurant in the hamlet of Keuka

Park and the tour boat, Esperanza Rose, which offers dinner cruises on Keuka Lake.

Wegman was instrumental in bringing the Finger Lakes Museum to Keuka Lake

State Park.

From left to right: Don Naetzker, FLM project manager; Tim Joseph, Finger Lakes

State Parks Regional Director; Mike Wasilco, DEC Region 8 wildlife biologist; Andy

Beers, OPRHP Executive Deputy Commissioner; Chris Pushkarsh, OPRHP, Tom

Alworth, OPRHP; Bill Banaszewski, FLM; John Adamski, FLM president; John

Eberhard, OPRHP; Henry Maus, FLM; Jim Zimpfer, OPRHP; Dan Davis, OPRHP;

and Tom Lyons, OPRHP.

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