The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is in the process of establishing the Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park. The 77-acre site features 26 acres of shoreland wetlands and 1,100 feet of natural shoreline along Upper Cassadaga Lake. The property is a refuge for birds, waterfowl, amphibians and other wildlife, and it features mature stands of hemlock and white pine trees.
The Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park, once established by the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, will feature a looped hiking trail, picnic area, observation tower and observation blind. These features will make the park one of the CWC’s most accessible preserves for public education, recreation and enjoyment.
In addition to providing a space for community recreation and environmental education, the Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park will protect important woodlands and wetlands that filter stormwater runoff to the Cassadaga Lakes. The site serves as a funnel for runoff from 1,800 acres of roadways and farmland that sit above the site within the Cassdaga Lakes watershed.
CWC’s purchase of the property is possible thanks to a $91,000 New York State Parks Grant. With this grant and approximately $65,000 in grants and other commitments for the project, CWC expects to close on the property in late 2019. The CWC, the Cassadaga Lakes Association and a committee of volunteers will continue fundraising, with a goal of raising an additional $50,000 to add the trail, picnic area, parking area, kiosk and observation structures that will transform the property into the Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park. A successful fundraising campaign would lead to the buildout of the park in the summer of 2020.
You can help make the Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park a reality, preserving the property for the protection of the lake and creating a refuge for wildlife and the Cassadaga Community.