The Onondaga Lake Visitors Center is now open giving the community a chance to experience and learn about the lake cleanup firsthand. The center was designed and built by Honeywell to provide public access to the significant work taking place by hundreds of scientists, engineers, and skilled craft laborers from this region. Displays highlight the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) cleanup plan, progress to date, the re-establishment of wetlands, and extensive habitat enhancements. The Visitor Center’s deck and floor are made out of reclaimed lumber from the Syracuse Chilled Plow Company and the West Bingham School, both buildings that were more than a century old. The center is located along the southwest shoreline of Onondaga Lake.
“The progress that has been made is due in large measure to the talent, creativity, and dedication of so many that reside and work in this community – from the regulators and elected officials to the academic, environmental, nonprofit and business communities to our partners and workers,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe. “We will continue working together to fulfill the public’s vision for Onondaga Lake and return it to the community as a healthy, sustainable asset for future generations.”
The Onondaga Lake cleanup is the result of more than two decades and millions of hours of intensive effort under the supervision of state and federal regulatory agencies, and in cooperation with local elected officials and the community. Upgrades made to Onondaga County’s municipal wastewater treatment system plus the construction of an underground barrier wall, which intercepts contaminated groundwater from old industrial sites, have improved lake water quality to the best it has been in decades.
“The Central New York community has played a key role in the efforts to clean up Onondaga Lake,” said McAuliffe. “There are many ways to get involved in the Onondaga Lake cleanup such as volunteering with the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, attending regular community planning meetings, and experiencing the Visitors Center.”
To visit the center, reservations are required at 315-552-9751 or by filling out the form found on www.lakecleanup.com. Public open houses will be offered Friday afternoons, once dredging begins again next spring. There is no fee to visit the center.
TO ACCESS THE VISITORS CENTER: From Points West: Take I-690 East to Exit 7, turn left onto State Fair Boulevard, take the first left passing under I-690, drive straight toward the lake and follow signs to the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center. From Points East: Take I-690 West to Exit 7, turn right at the off ramp and follow signs to the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.