Tag Archives: Finger Lakes Museum

Finger Lakes Museum Breaks Ground

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined local officials recently to break ground on the Finger Lakes Museum, a new educational and cultural center that will be located on the Discovery Campus in Branchport, along Keuka Lake.

The project was identified by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as a priority project in 2011 and was awarded $2.3 million to support the renovation of the former Branchport Elementary School into a historical center highlighting the Finger Lakes region.

“The Finger Lakes Museum is a transformational project that will create much-needed jobs and provide a significant boost for the tourism industry and local-area businesses,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy.

The Discovery Campus is the first of a two phase multimillion dollar indoor/outdoor natural and cultural complex highlighting the Finger Lakes region. The project is sponsored by The Finger Lakes Museum and will create and retain 100 direct jobs at the Museum, create 330 construction jobs, and generate an estimated $12 to $15 million annually in the region through increased tourism, which will spur local economic activity with area businesses and benefit the surrounding communities.

“The Finger Lakes Museum’s Business Plan sets forth a series of small steps leading to the creation of a premier educational institution with goals of stewardship, entertainment and regional economic health,” said Don Naetzker, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Museum. “Establishing the Museum’s Discovery Campus in the quintessential Finger Lakes hamlet of Branchport is a satisfying first step in ensuring the future of this pristine region for generations to come.”

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. The Museum was awarded funding from three state agencies, including $1.5 million from Empire State Development (ESD), $400,000 from New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and $381,000 from the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC).

Kenneth Adams, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development said, “This is great news for the Finger Lakes region, as this project creates much-needed jobs and will boost the region’s tourism industry, which will generate significant economic activity and help foster growth for local businesses.”

ESD’s $1.5 million will help to offset the costs of acquiring and renovating the Branchport Elementary School site and the construction of the Discovery Campus. EFC’s Green Innovation Grant Program will create an innovative and interpretive storm water management system, including a porous pavement parking lot which will absorb rainwater and reduce the runoff of polluted water into Sugar Creek. A rain-absorbing “green roof” and eco-friendly bio-filters will further treat storm water runoff, stream banks along the creek will be restored and protected, and OPRHP’s resources will be used to increase public access to the waterways at the Discovery Campus including the creation of a waterfront program center and a hand-carry boat launch.

In May, final design plans and a virtual tour of the exterior and interior improvements of the Discovery Campus were unveiled and can be seen online at The Finger Lakes Museum’s website.

Finger Lakes Museum Hires Development Director

The Finger Lakes Museum has announced the appointment of Richard Lane as Development Director. Richard brings over 20 years of senior level experience in the non-profit sector to the Museum, which will open its Discovery Campus, in Branchport in 2013 and plans to open its exhibit-based museum facility and aquarium in 2014-2015 at Keuka State Park.

While serving four nationally-recognized organizations, Richard has worked on capital campaigns, including construction projects, ranging from $12 million to $18 million. He has extensive experience in community outreach and advocacy, working diligently with non-profit boards to accomplish those projects.

Executive Director Don Naetzker stated, “We are very pleased and excited to have Richard on our team. We are impressed with his capabilities and look forward to working with him.”

Upon accepting the offer, Lane said “Having vacationed on the Finger Lakes since 2001 at my in-laws, and having been married at Norton Chapel, Keuka College, I have grown to love this very special region with all it has to offer. I am especially attracted to the Museum’s focus on protecting and sustaining the natural beauty and resources of the Finger Lakes, while promoting a green economy. I am truly excited about working with Board and staff to realize the Finger Lakes Museum, which will greatly benefit the region.”

Contact Richard by email at rlane@fingerlakesmuseum.org or by phone at 315-418-0536 to set up a time to meet with him to discuss giving opportunities, questions about future donations, or to get to know one another over a cup of coffee.

In April, The Finger Lakes Museum launched its annual campaign titled “Preserving your Passions”. By the end of December, the Museum hopes to raise $450,000. Contributions are being accepted to help the Museum make their first annual giving campaign a success so they can continue supplying the Finger Lakes community and its visitors with educational programming focused on the preservation and stewardship of this beautiful Finger Lakes region. Donations can be made online or by mail to: The Finger Lakes Museum, PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is proposed as the premier natural and cultural resource dedicated to the enjoyment, education and stewardship of the Finger Lakes Region – and to fresh water conservation. The Museum is chartered by the NYS Education Department and incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization.

For more information or to make contact, visit www.fingerlakesmuseum.org

Finger Lakes Museum Opens New Satellite Office

The Finger Lakes Museum has a new satellite office space at 81 Browns Race in the High Falls historic district of Rochester. The Museum signed a co-location agreement with the Philipson Group, a creative communications and marketing firm. According to a statement issued to the press, the main purpose of the new office space is development. Current and potential supporters and consultants of the Museum from the surrounding Rochester area are expected to have the place to visit one on one with Museum staff and keep abreast of their progress. Plans for the Museum will be on display and collateral material will be available inside, museum officials said.

To schedule a time to meet with the Museum staff at their new location, call 315-595-2200 or email as follows:

Executive Director, Don Naetzker dnaetzker@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Interim Development Director, John Adamski jadamski@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Communications/Programs Director, Natalie Payne npayne@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Photo: The Finger Lakes Museum employees, Executive Director Don Naetzker and Communications/Programs Director Natalie Payne, stand outside of their new satellite location in High Falls, Rochester.

Finger Lakes Museum Exceeds Fundraising Goal

The Finger Lakes Museum’s board president, John Adamski, has announced that the organization has surpassed its Founders Campaign goal of raising $1 million by December 31st.

The total includes pledges that are still being paid and in­kind contributions for legal and other pro­bono professional services, which the museum would have otherwise had to pay for. The fund is currently $12,000 over the goal.

The Founders Campaign was launched and initially funded by the museum’s board of trustees in July 2010. The first major boosts came as grants from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, the James P. Gordon Charitable Trust and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, which totaled $120,000.

Adamski said that some larger private donations ranged between $500 and $50,000 but “most contributions were $100 grassroots gifts from individuals and families.” Every donor’s name will be permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the main museum building when it opens in Keuka Lake State Park.

Last December, The Finger Lakes Museum was awarded $2.3 million in New York State economic development grants as one of 10 Finger Lakes Region Economic Development Council ­recommended transformational projects. Those funds will be used to convert the Branchport Elementary School, which the museum purchased a year ago, into The Finger Lakes Research &
Education Center.

That part of the project is shovel-­ready and will serve as the museum’s operations center and a place where regional academic institutions can collaborate in the study of issues like water quality, invasive species, and sustainability. It will become a permanent adjunct facility to the museum and serve as a center for local and area community gatherings as well.

Adamski said that an annual fund drive to support the day-­to­-day operation of the project is being planned to replace the Founders Campaign and that an announcement is forthcoming. He is also looking for sponsors for the museum’s 2012 educational program, which is being developed to tell the stories of grape­-growing and wine­-making in the Finger Lakes Region.

Anyone who may be interested in becoming a sponsor can contact him at jadamski@fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Eagle Naming Contest Winner

The Finger Lakes Museum’s first school-based program, Name the Eagle, was featured participation from over 20 school districts and private schools across the Finger Lakes region. Students from all grade levels were given the opportunity to submit their favorite name for the future Finger Lakes Museum bald eagle.

Hundreds of submissions were received from kindergarteners to seniors. After careful review, the Education/Programs committee of the Museumchose their top choice as well as a second, third and a special recognition.

Broden Harron, a first-grader from Frank Knight School in Seneca Falls, was the first-place winner with his name, Soren – the new name of The Finger Lakes Museum bald eagle. Second place was a tie between Elli Cromkeecke, a fourth-grader from the Penn Yan Elementary School with his name Eco, and Luke Monfort, a second-grader from State Road Elementary School in Webster with his name Lakely. Third place goes to Adrienne Marie Vedder, a fourth-grader from Cincinnatus Central School with her name Shadow. Special recognition goes to Ariana Boshack, a fifth-grader from Northstar Christian School in Rochester, who named the eagle Curtis, after a loved one who is serving overseas.

Broden Harron and his class at Frank Knight School will be receiving a visit from the Museum’s guest bald eagle, Liberty. All students will receive a special certificate of participation.

Name the Finger Lakes Museum Eagle Contest

The Finger Lakes Museum has announced “Name the Eagle,” its first school-based program for area students. Every K-12 student in the Finger Lakes Region will have an opportunity to leave an imprint on the new museum by naming its bald eagle. The winning student will be eligible to have a live bald eagle visit his or her school.

The vision of The Finger Lakes Museum is to create a premier, eco-friendly educational institution that provides entertaining and compelling experiences for visitors and residents. Static and interactive exhibits will immerse visitors in discovery experiences that inspire pride, appreciation, and stewardship for the protection of the region and its water resources.

The eagle is not only the national symbol of the United States, but it represents the new museum as well. It is also one of the most successful conservation stories in American history. In 1965, a single pair of bald eagles remained in all of New York State and nested on Hemlock Lake. Through the dedication and hard work of private individuals and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, more than 200 bald eagle nesting sites occur across the state today.

The Name the Eagle contest will challenge students from across the Finger Lakes Region to identify a name for the museum’s eagle. Students will be encouraged to submit names that are relevant to their region’s cultural and/or natural history. The winning name will be chosen by The Finger Lakes Museum’s Education Committee and the winner’s school will be rewarded with a special program and visit from a live bald eagle.

The contest is open to students in grades K-12- contest entry forms will be distributed through principals and curriculum coordinators in early October- or they can be downloaded from the Museum’s website. For questions about The Finger Lakes Museum and the Name the Eagle contest, contact eagle@fingerlakesmuseum.org.

The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes

Part 2 of The Finger Lakes Museum’s three-part inaugural program series, Back from the Brink- The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, will be presented at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m. The series highlights the natural and cultural history of the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes.

Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present, “Blue Blood to Blue Water”, a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of quaint cottages, elegant summer homes, bustling resort hotels, and passenger-ferrying steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Morgan’s program will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part 3, “Lakes Go Wild”, will be presented in the Finger Lakes Wine Center on Thursday, September 1st at 7:00 p.m. It will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

According to museum board president, John Adamski, Part 1 of the series, “From the Brink of Extinction”, which was presented at the Wine Center on Saturday, August 6th, “told the story of the successful restoration of the bald eagle—a conservation effort that began in the Finger Lakes Region and spread across the nation.” He added, “People were excited to see Liberty, a live bald eagle, in-person, and were enthusiastic about The Finger Lakes Museum’s vision.”

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are welcome.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District in January.

The Museum’s Board of Trustees has launched a Founders Campaign to raise $1 million to retain design professionals and other consultants, hire staff, and pay for day-to-day operations. With a donation of $100 or more, anyone can become a Museum Founder and have their name permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the lobby of The Finger Lakes Museum. Donors will also receive a Founder certificate and decal.

For more information on the Founders Campaign or to pre-register for these programs, visit our website at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org or call us at 315-595-2200.

Photo: A 1910 Reunion at the Hemlock Lake Resort Springwater.

Update on Finger Lakes Museum Efforts

The president of The Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees announced that the project’s Founders Campaign is nearing the halfway mark in an endeavor to raise $1 million by December 31st. The drive is financing operations at the former Branchport Elementary School, including hiring staff, and paying consultants for architectural and exhibit design services.

Board President John Adamski said, “The Founders Campaign was launched by the board late last year and has resulted in hundreds of donations that range from $100 to $100,000. We’re almost halfway there but there is still a long way to go.” He is asking people from across the Finger Lakes Region to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the project. Significant funding has been received from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. “We are also looking for program sponsors,” he added.

Anyone, including regional businesses, can become a founder of The Finger Lakes Museum by making a contribution of $100 or more. Donors will receive a founders’ certificate, vehicle decal, and have their names permanently inscribed as members of the Founders Society on the Founders Wall in the entrance to the main museum building. Contributions can be made online or mailed to the museum at PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from development offices in the school, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

Adamski said that the project is being planned to become a primary tourist destination that will feature one of the largest freshwater fish aquariums in the Northeast. Studies show that it has the potential to increase tourism in the Finger Lakes Region and create hundreds of jobs in the private sector, he said.

Adamski also announced the election of two new members to the organization’s board of trustees. Tim Sellers of Geneva, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Keuka College, and retired lumber executive John Meisch of Rushville were both elected in a unanimous vote. Adamski said, “Tim’s expertise as a limnologist and professor of biology and environmental science will be a tremendous asset in planning the natural history component of the museum. We are all very excited to have him aboard.”

He also said, “And John Meisch brings a lifetime of business management experience and a working knowledge of American History to the board, which balances the cultural history component. I think that we’ve hit two home runs here.” The addition of Sellers and Meisch brings the number of board members to 13.

For more information or to make contact, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Presents Inaugural Program

The Finger Lakes Museum will present its inaugural program series, “Back from the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes”, at Keuka College in three separate installments during the month of July. The first part of this series will begin with the telling of one of North America’s most fascinating conservation stories. Parts 2 and 3, which are scheduled for later in the month, complete this chronicle series. Each of the programs will be held at the Lightner Library.

Part I – From the Brink of Extinction: On Saturday, July 2nd at 2:00 p.m., bald eagle specialist Mike Allen, who recently retired from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will talk about the discovery of the last remaining pair of nesting bald eagles in New York State in 1965 and the decades-long endeavor that ensued to restore their population. The original pair nested at the south end of Hemlock Lake. While telling his story, Mike will also present his original photographs and will be accompanied by Liberty, a magnificent live bald eagle.

Part II – Blue Blood to Blue Water: On Thursday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m., Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice Lakes—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of cottages, summer homes, resort hotels, and steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Doug will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part III – Lakes Go Wild: On Thursday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m., Jim Howe, executive director of the Central New York Chapter of the Nature Conservancy- Don Root, the Hemlock-Canadice Watershed Conservationist for the last 30 years- Steve Lewandowski, founder of the Coalition for Hemlock and Canadice Lakes- and Paul D’Amato, Regional Director for NYS DEC Region 8—all longtime advocates for the permanent protection of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes—will present this program. They will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are encouraged. For more information or to pre-register, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Note: This series will also be taking place at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on August 6th, August 18th, and September 1st.

Finger Lakes Museum Publishes New Guide

As part of its mission to serve as a gateway to the Finger Lakes Region, The Finger Lakes Museum has published the premier edition of Pathways, a full-color map and guide to attractions and historical venues throughout the 14-county area. The publication is a partnership venture with Life in the Finger Lakes magazine and is being distributed as a removable insert in the Summer 2011 issue, which will be on newsstands soon. It can also be ordered online.

In a prepared statement the museum’s executive director, John Adamski, said, “The Pathways guide will be a valuable resource for anyone who is traveling in the Finger Lakes Region and looking for something to do.” It provides a map and directions to major museums, historical centers, historic sites and villages, state parks, visitors’ centers, nature centers, scenic vistas, byways, hiking trails, and waterfalls.

He added, “This publication is the result of an enormous amount of work by a group of tireless volunteers in a very short period of time. The research and graphic design efforts that went into this project are incredible.” The guide is planned to be updated and published annually in time for the tourism and vacation seasons.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009. The museum is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY (Yates County), which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

As part of its strategic plan, the Finger Lakes Museum has been forming collaborative partnerships with other historical and academic institutions in the region. Adamski said, “Pathways is the best way that we know of to direct people to the places where they can learn more about something that is of particular interest to them. And it has helped to cement some exciting new partnerships for us.”

An operational fundraising effort is presently underway in the form of The Finger Lakes Museum Founders Campaign. To learn more or to volunteer visit their webpage.