Crystal Lake, which was once a destination location with a small beach and boat dock in the 1940s to the 70s, has recently received a face lift thanks to the help from the Water Department and other local organizations.
Ever since 2017, volunteers have been working to restore the area to what it once was. The lake is located in a west-end neighborhood at 100 Temple Avenue.
Over the past few months it has really picked up thanks to help from the City. A new yard hydrant and meter pit has been installed, a sample station has been installed, the brush and trees have been trimmed, the new parking area has been revitalized and the old steel dock was removed.
Additionally, during the beginning of June, the City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into a license agreement with the Ecological Citizens Project, Inc., which allowed use and access to a portion of 61 Temple Avenue for a community garden.
Ecological Citizens Project, Inc. worked with Scenic Hudson to expand its existing Regenerative Communities community farmer program to the east side of Crystal Lake.
In doing so, this site was able to cultivate vegetables, fruits, berries and other larger plantings through regenerative farming practices and community programs.
Crystal Lake has gone through a rough patch where many visitors were not following the carry-in, carry-out policy and the area was subject to dumping due to lack of oversight.
“There has been a lot of illegal dumping in the area,” said Grice.“It’s nested in the middle of a residential area, they don’t want that. I am a fan of putting cameras there as well.”
They are also working with Central Hudson to install security lights to deter those looking for a place to illegally dump items.
“I want to draw more attention to Crystal Lake,” said Councilman Anthony Grice, who is heavily involved in the revitalization process. “When we have these treasures in the city of Newburgh and when we draw attention to them, it makes more people come out. When we have more people there, it deters some of these negative activities that we don’t want to happen.”
Also, with the addition of two community farmers, there has been regular trash clean-up and maintenance of the grounds around the entrance and the farm site.
Over the summer, the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh and Scenic Hudson helped install a brand new bike rack thanks to Mayor Torrance Harvey’s summer youth program.
Crystal Lake also has special garbage disposals to recycle used fishing lines to keep the waterways tangle free.
The area allows for walking, hiking, wildlife watching, dog walking, fishing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, kayaking and canoeing and mountain biking.
“I would love to see people canoeing and kayaking,” said Grice about his vision of the area. “Also, a nice gazebo would be great. I would love to go and do a picnic there with my family.”
The trailhead at Crystal Lake leads to New Windsor’s Snake Hill trail, which has a number of beautiful overlooks to enjoy.
Additionally, Crystal Lake is known for its annual winterfest, which allows the community to come together for winter activities and fun.
The park is open from dawn to dusk. Visitors can stay up to date about further restoration on Crystal Lake’s Facebook Page.