Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vale of Springs restored at Saratoga Spa State Park spearheaded by Heather Mabee and her mom, Marylou Whitney.

Vale of Springs renovation complete
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
By Lee Coleman (Contact)
Gazette Reporter

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — The renovated, enhanced Vale of Springs area of the Saratoga Spa State Park was officially opened Tuesday in celebration of the park’s 100th anniversary.

State parks Commissioner Rose Harvey, along with members of the Saratoga-Capital Region Parks Commission, helped cut the ribbon in the park’s Geyser Spring area. Heather Mabee, commission chair, and her mother, socialite Marylou Whitney, also helped to open the area, which was first developed in the 1930s.

Mabee and Whitney were also among those donating money to the $250,000 Centennial Campaign that paid for much of the work.

“This is a perfect model of a public-private partnership,” said Harvey, who was appointed earlier this year as commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

“This community identified a need within the park and worked tirelessly with friends and supporters toward its completion,” Harvey said in a prepared statement.

Alane Ball Chinian, director of the state parks’ Saratoga-Capital Region, said the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park donated many volunteer hours to the project, and local businesses donated money, products and labor. For example, Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs rebuilt the Orenda Spring pavilion, Sunnyside Gardens of Saratoga Springs donated flowers and plantings and Moy Enterprises donated a portion of the masonry work it did for the project.

The Hayes Spring pavilion was renovated by volunteers from the Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park, Chinian said. The project includes a new mineral springs trail and a loop that takes a visitor to the park’s springs, and features educational signage.

State parks staff, including engineers and workers, also participated in the rehabilitation work.

Chinian said the plazas and pavilions in the Geyser Spring area were built in the 1930s and had become deteriorated. The state has also funded the updating and renovation of pavilion and restroom complexes in the park’s picnic area.


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