Ryan Fagan, board member of the CLIA, emphasized the importance of the partnership between OLT and the lake community for keeping the island clean and accessible. Fagan also highlighted the young people at the dedication.
“I look at all these young kids in front of me,” Fagan said in the release, “and none of them are looking at their phones. They’re out here seeing this beautiful island and lake, and they’re understanding that to have this here to use and enjoy, you have to take care of them.”
The dedication ended with words of David Arquette, from the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, and the Executive Director of the Hadenosaunee Environmental Task Force. Arquette highlighted his positive feelings upon “coming home to traditional Mohawk homelands” and connected caring for home with Otsego Land Trust’s focus on protecting the local lands where we live, work and play. Arquette closed the ceremony with a traditional Mohawk closing prayer given in the Mohawk language.
Deowongo Island is one of six properties owned and stewarded by Otsego Land Trust that form a “blueway” extending from Candarago Lake to Oaks Creek to the Susquehanna. These lands, all open to the public, allow and encourage easy access for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, trail walking and enjoying nature, according to the release.
In addition to the generosity of the Schoenlein Family, OLT’s acquisition of Deowongo Island was made possible by grants from the Land Trust Alliance, Chesapeake Conservancy, Upper Susquehanna Coalition, Royal Bank of Canada-Blue Water Project and the Canadarago Lake Improvement Association.
For more information on the work of Otsego Land Trust, visit www.OtsegoLandTrust.org, call 547-2366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.