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November 4, 2013

Grants will Help Pay for Repairs to Historic Lodge at Camp Zerbe

WILLIAMSTOWN - The historic lodge at Camp Zerbe will be repaired in 2014 and made available to the public, thanks to grants from the Shineman Foundation and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Camp Zerbe, a 364-acre nature park located in the Town of Williamstown, is owned by Oswego County and operated by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. The property features an Adirondacks-style lodge that was built in the mid-1940's by the facility's previous owner, the Syracuse Boy's Club. The lodge is ideally located at the start of a trail system, with an expansive front porch that overlooks Lake Lorraine, a scenic and unique kettlehole lake.

The Oswego County Legislature has accepted grant funding through Title 9 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1993 and the Shineman Foundation to pay for restoration of the lodge, which has been in disrepair for several years. The work will be done in 2014.

"We are grateful to the Shineman Foundation for providing a substantial amount of the local cash match which was required by the grant from NYS Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation," said Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner, District 13, New Haven. "There are a limited number of public gathering places in this section of Oswego County. The lodge restoration project will bring additional visitors to enjoy the pristine trails and kettlehole lakes at the nature park, and will make the facility usable for a variety of public functions for years to come."

The nature park features several nature trails, interpretive displays, a picnic area, playground, and small meeting room. It is used for group camping events, family reunions, hiking, canoeing, birding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

"Through its trails, picnic areas, and natural beauty, the Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe provides an outstanding outdoor experience for residents and visitors to Oswego County," said Legislator Shane Broadwell, District 17, Oswego, chairman of the Legislature's Human Services Committee. "Once it is repaired, the lodge will become the center point of Camp Zerbe and will be used for many activities that will enhance the overall use of the facility. The lodge will provide an ideal spot for meetings and will be available to the public for family and community gatherings, weddings, business retreats, training classes, and other purposes."

"The Shineman Foundation is delighted to join with the Oswego City- County Youth Bureau to repair the Camp Zerbe lodge," said Lauren A. Pistell, Executive Director of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation. "We feel confident that the revitalized lodge will be an important community gathering place for many years to come. Additionally, we feel that Camp Zerbe can contribute significantly to the economic revitalization of eastern Oswego County."

In addition to Legislator Broadwell, members of the Human Services Committee include vice chairman Ronald Sakonyi, District 5; Shawn Doyle, District 3; Daniel Farfaglia, District 24; James Karasek, District 22; Margaret Kastler, District 1; Douglas Malone, District 20; and John Proud, District 7.

The Richard S. Shineman Foundation is a private foundation established in 2012 by the bequest of Richard S. Shineman, a tenured professor of chemistry at SUNY Oswego. Its vision is to become a "Catalyst for Change" across Central New York and, in particular, Oswego County. The Foundation uses its financial resources to work towards this vision by building the capacity of not-for-profit organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities. Contact lauren@shinemanfoundation.org or visit shinemanfoundation.org for more information

For more information on the Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe, visit oswegocounty.com/youth

IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE MADE TO NATURE PARK - Oswego County has received grants from the Shineman Foundation and the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to renovate the lodge at the Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe. When completed next year, residents will be able to use the lodge for meetings, conferences, weddings, family reunions and similar events. The nature park is located on stateRoute 104 in Williamstown and is overseen by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. Members of the Legislature's Human Services Committee recently met with Lauren Pistell of the Shineman Foundation to discuss the project. From left are legislators Dan Farfaglia, District 24, Fulton; committee vice chairman Ronald Sakonyi, District 5, Constantia; committee chairman Shane Broadwell, District 17, Oswego; Lauren Pistell; Kathleen Fenlon, former director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau; Shawn Doyle, District 3, Pulaski; Margaret Kastler, District 1, Sandy Creek; Brian Chetney, acting director, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau; and John Proud, District 7, Mexico..


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