In case you missed it, residents of the part of the Town of Gardiner nearby Tillson Lake have been organizing for more than a year now to halt a plan by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to “dewater” the 24-acre manmade reservoir fed by the Palmaghatt Kill near the foot of the Shawangunk Ridge. The scenic site became part of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve in 2006 as part of the settlement of the Awosting Reserve (“Save the Ridge”) development dispute. Today Tillson Lake is open to the public, and has been a popular fishing, boating and birding spot for many decades.
In March 2018, neighbors received a letter from the park commission saying that the DEC had red-flagged the dam at the foot of the lake as potentially unsafe, and that state funding was not available to repair or replace it. So the agency was planning to remove it altogether and allow the lakebed to drain and become overgrown. Many adjacent homeowners have deeded lake rights, and they vowed to fight the plan, bringing in their own environmental consultants to conduct studies bolstering their arguments that the shallower half of the lake qualifies as wetland that should be protected by DEC. They’re also lobbying state officials to find funding to rebuild the dam.
Taking on a bureaucratic Goliath is no cheap and easy matter, so the Friends of Tillson Lake, Inc. are putting on a fundraiser on Saturday, June 22 at Stone Wave Yoga in Gardiner. A baked-goods auction is the centerpiece of this event, titled Bake for the Lake. Food, drinks and live music will also be provided at this “Sweet Benefit,” which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Entry costs $15 general admission, $7 for children aged 4 and up. Bakers who would like to donate homemade goodies for the auction should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Friends of Tillson Lake, Box 228, Gardiner, NY 12525. Stone Wave Yoga is located at 2694 Route 44/55, just west of the hamlet of Tuthilltown.
To learn more about this issue, you can read our previous coverage here.