NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION & HISTORIC PRESERVATION
MUSEUM AND STATE PARKS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP
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
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
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.