In preparation of dredging 2.63 million cubic yards of sediment from Onondaga Lake, Honeywell presented its plans for what the lakeshore could look like during and after the cleanup.
"I think this is a really exciting project. This is the most visible gateway to our community," said Dereth Glance, chair of the Onondaga Lake Bottom Community Participation Working Group. The volunteer group was established in August 2009 to be a voice for the community independent of the Department of Environment Conservation and Honeywell.
The enhancement project is included in Honeywell's cleanup of the lake as mandated by the DEC. Honeywell revealed two conceptual plans - one for 2011 to 2015 and another for after 2016 - that were arrived upon by surveying around 100 people in a series of public meetings.
Those meetings revealed a few common threads among community members.
"People wanted to protect the view when you're driving along the lakeshore on I-690," Glance said. The plan includes planting trees by the lake, but in a way that would not obstruct the view.
It also calls for a trail that could be accessed by people of all abilities.
"For over a decade it's been a desire of the community to have an entire 'loop the lake' trail," Glance said.
Glance noted expected challenges presented by the lakeshore's closeness to the highway and the area's complex underground infrastructure. Plant life will need to be tolerant of road salt and other highway run-off, and trees will need to be selected based on how their roots grow, Glance said.
Enhancement of the lakeshore is expected to begin soon.
"This is still kind of a draft plan but there's going to be a lot of activity once the snow melts ... initial grasses will be planted in the spring of 2011," Glance said.