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Water Quality Grant for Oakdale Lake

Friends of Oakdale and the Columbia Land Conservancy received an Environmental Justice grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to map the Oakdale Lake watershed and study its water quality.

“We have an extraordinary asset in our 100-year-old, beautiful human-made lake, right in the middle of our city. But there’s confusion around where the water comes from, the clarity of the water, and what makes it into the lake from nearby properties,” says Tamar Adler, director of Friends of Oakdale Lake. “This is an opportunity to educate ourselves and our community about Oakdale and chart a course for how to improve the water quality, and how to protect it.”

This project will identify possible sources of water pollution near the lake, which could include old infrastructure, lawns, and/or commercial facilities. It will include citizen science and volunteer water testing. And, after identifying Oakdale Lake’s watershed and potential sources of pollution, partners will work together to create outreach materials to share information about how we can collaborate to protect and improve the lake. 

Oakdale Lake is a 5-acre spring-fed lake with a small sand beach, located in Oakdale Park, a 14-acre public park in downtown Hudson, managed by the Hudson Youth Department. The park also offers walking trails and a small playground. All of the lands that drain to the lake make up its watershed, which includes properties surrounding the park, even perhaps several blocks away. 

Friends of Oakdale Lake is collaborating on this project with the Columbia Land Conservancy, which is serving as a fiscal sponsor for the grant. CLC has an ongoing interest in protecting water quality throughout the county. In addition, CLC will provide educational programs working with Hudson youth that utilize the lake and surrounding woodlands at the park. 

“Working with youth and our partners in the City of Hudson is a significant part of our commitment to connect people to the wonders of the natural world. We are thrilled to be able to facilitate this important initiative and will do whatever we can to support the work as it goes forward,” says Peter R. Paden, CLC’s Executive Director. 

 “We need to ensure we have clean water and that our parks are as accessible as possible,” says Mayor Kamal Johnson. “Thank you to Friends of Oakdale and Columbia Land Conservancy for working on this important environmental justice project.”