Tag Archives: Finger Lakes Museum

An Update On The Finger Lakes Museum

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Finger Lakes MuseumIn December, The Finger Lakes Museum was awarded two New York State agency grants through Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The awards totaled $254,500.

In two separate letters to museum board President John Adamski, Empire State Development President and CEO Kenneth Adams wrote that the Finger Lakes Regional Council had recommended a $200,000 grant award for capital construction work at the museum’s campus in Branchport and an additional $54,500 through its Division of Tourism for marketing and promotion through the state’s I Love New York program. Continue reading

Finger Lakes Museum Receives Gift of Land

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Townsend-Grady Wildlife PresserveThe Finger Lakes Museum has more than doubled the size of its campus in Branchport.

Thanks to a generous gift of land donated by sisters Anne Salisbury and Molly Sujan and to a cash contribution from their neighbors Rolf Zerges and his wife Lynda Rummel, the museum now owns the 16-acre wetland adjacent to Crescent Beach at the north end of the west branch of Keuka Lake. The parcel comes with more than 1,400 feet of water frontage on Sugar Creek, which is a navigable inlet to the lake. Continue reading

In Change of Course, Finger Lakes Museum Relocates

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Finger Lakes MuseumIn an unexpected change in direction, the Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees voted to move the project from its proposed location in Keuka Lake State Park to the site of its Discovery Campus in Branchport.

The resolution was unanimously adopted at a special board meeting on August 12th. According to a statement issued to the press Thursday, the public announcement was delayed while museum administrators discussed the change in plans with government officials, state agencies already funding the project, and current and potential benefactors. Continue reading

Finger Lakes Museum Hosting Planting Days

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Finger Lakes MuseumThe Finger Lakes Museum is preparing for the opening of its Discovery Campus grounds in Branchport this July with three community planting days – May 10, 17, and 25 from 10am to 2pm.

Plant a single tree, a mini-grove, a section of a perennial garden, or shrubbery – any and all help during those days will be greatly appreciated.  Community members, friends, and volunteers are all welcome.  Continue reading

Finger Lakes Museum Appoints Executive Director

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Finger Lakes MuseumThe Finger Lakes Museum’s Board of Trustees made a new appointment at its March 18th board meeting. Philip Lentini, of Penfield, who had been serving as the Museum’s Vice President for Advancement since late 2013, was elected to a seat on the board and appointed to the position of Executive Director.

He will be in charge of managing the Museum’s day to day business operations and will continue to direct its fundraising programs. He previously served nine years as a Vice President of the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Continue reading

Finger Lakes Museum Breaks Ground

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Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined local officials recently to break ground on the Finger Lakes Museum, a new educational and cultural center that will be located on the Discovery Campus in Branchport, along Keuka Lake.

The project was identified by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as a priority project in 2011 and was awarded $2.3 million to support the renovation of the former Branchport Elementary School into a historical center highlighting the Finger Lakes region.

“The Finger Lakes Museum is a transformational project that will create much-needed jobs and provide a significant boost for the tourism industry and local-area businesses,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy.

The Discovery Campus is the first of a two phase multimillion dollar indoor/outdoor natural and cultural complex highlighting the Finger Lakes region. The project is sponsored by The Finger Lakes Museum and will create and retain 100 direct jobs at the Museum, create 330 construction jobs, and generate an estimated $12 to $15 million annually in the region through increased tourism, which will spur local economic activity with area businesses and benefit the surrounding communities.

“The Finger Lakes Museum’s Business Plan sets forth a series of small steps leading to the creation of a premier educational institution with goals of stewardship, entertainment and regional economic health,” said Don Naetzker, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Museum. “Establishing the Museum’s Discovery Campus in the quintessential Finger Lakes hamlet of Branchport is a satisfying first step in ensuring the future of this pristine region for generations to come.”

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. The Museum was awarded funding from three state agencies, including $1.5 million from Empire State Development (ESD), $400,000 from New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and $381,000 from the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC).

Kenneth Adams, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development said, “This is great news for the Finger Lakes region, as this project creates much-needed jobs and will boost the region’s tourism industry, which will generate significant economic activity and help foster growth for local businesses.”

ESD’s $1.5 million will help to offset the costs of acquiring and renovating the Branchport Elementary School site and the construction of the Discovery Campus. EFC’s Green Innovation Grant Program will create an innovative and interpretive storm water management system, including a porous pavement parking lot which will absorb rainwater and reduce the runoff of polluted water into Sugar Creek. A rain-absorbing “green roof” and eco-friendly bio-filters will further treat storm water runoff, stream banks along the creek will be restored and protected, and OPRHP’s resources will be used to increase public access to the waterways at the Discovery Campus including the creation of a waterfront program center and a hand-carry boat launch.

In May, final design plans and a virtual tour of the exterior and interior improvements of the Discovery Campus were unveiled and can be seen online at The Finger Lakes Museum’s website.

Finger Lakes Museum Hires Development Director

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The Finger Lakes Museum has announced the appointment of Richard Lane as Development Director. Richard brings over 20 years of senior level experience in the non-profit sector to the Museum, which will open its Discovery Campus, in Branchport in 2013 and plans to open its exhibit-based museum facility and aquarium in 2014-2015 at Keuka State Park.

While serving four nationally-recognized organizations, Richard has worked on capital campaigns, including construction projects, ranging from $12 million to $18 million. He has extensive experience in community outreach and advocacy, working diligently with non-profit boards to accomplish those projects.

Executive Director Don Naetzker stated, “We are very pleased and excited to have Richard on our team. We are impressed with his capabilities and look forward to working with him.”

Upon accepting the offer, Lane said “Having vacationed on the Finger Lakes since 2001 at my in-laws, and having been married at Norton Chapel, Keuka College, I have grown to love this very special region with all it has to offer. I am especially attracted to the Museum’s focus on protecting and sustaining the natural beauty and resources of the Finger Lakes, while promoting a green economy. I am truly excited about working with Board and staff to realize the Finger Lakes Museum, which will greatly benefit the region.”

Contact Richard by email at rlane@fingerlakesmuseum.org or by phone at 315-418-0536 to set up a time to meet with him to discuss giving opportunities, questions about future donations, or to get to know one another over a cup of coffee.

In April, The Finger Lakes Museum launched its annual campaign titled “Preserving your Passions”. By the end of December, the Museum hopes to raise $450,000. Contributions are being accepted to help the Museum make their first annual giving campaign a success so they can continue supplying the Finger Lakes community and its visitors with educational programming focused on the preservation and stewardship of this beautiful Finger Lakes region. Donations can be made online or by mail to: The Finger Lakes Museum, PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is proposed as the premier natural and cultural resource dedicated to the enjoyment, education and stewardship of the Finger Lakes Region – and to fresh water conservation. The Museum is chartered by the NYS Education Department and incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization.

For more information or to make contact, visit www.fingerlakesmuseum.org

Finger Lakes Museum Opens New Satellite Office

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The Finger Lakes Museum has a new satellite office space at 81 Browns Race in the High Falls historic district of Rochester. The Museum signed a co-location agreement with the Philipson Group, a creative communications and marketing firm. According to a statement issued to the press, the main purpose of the new office space is development. Current and potential supporters and consultants of the Museum from the surrounding Rochester area are expected to have the place to visit one on one with Museum staff and keep abreast of their progress. Plans for the Museum will be on display and collateral material will be available inside, museum officials said.

To schedule a time to meet with the Museum staff at their new location, call 315-595-2200 or email as follows:

Executive Director, Don Naetzker dnaetzker@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Interim Development Director, John Adamski jadamski@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Communications/Programs Director, Natalie Payne npayne@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Photo: The Finger Lakes Museum employees, Executive Director Don Naetzker and Communications/Programs Director Natalie Payne, stand outside of their new satellite location in High Falls, Rochester.

Finger Lakes Museum Exceeds Fundraising Goal

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The Finger Lakes Museum’s board president, John Adamski, has announced that the organization has surpassed its Founders Campaign goal of raising $1 million by December 31st.

The total includes pledges that are still being paid and in­kind contributions for legal and other pro­bono professional services, which the museum would have otherwise had to pay for. The fund is currently $12,000 over the goal.

The Founders Campaign was launched and initially funded by the museum’s board of trustees in July 2010. The first major boosts came as grants from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, the James P. Gordon Charitable Trust and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, which totaled $120,000.

Adamski said that some larger private donations ranged between $500 and $50,000 but “most contributions were $100 grassroots gifts from individuals and families.” Every donor’s name will be permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the main museum building when it opens in Keuka Lake State Park.

Last December, The Finger Lakes Museum was awarded $2.3 million in New York State economic development grants as one of 10 Finger Lakes Region Economic Development Council ­recommended transformational projects. Those funds will be used to convert the Branchport Elementary School, which the museum purchased a year ago, into The Finger Lakes Research &
Education Center.

That part of the project is shovel-­ready and will serve as the museum’s operations center and a place where regional academic institutions can collaborate in the study of issues like water quality, invasive species, and sustainability. It will become a permanent adjunct facility to the museum and serve as a center for local and area community gatherings as well.

Adamski said that an annual fund drive to support the day-­to­-day operation of the project is being planned to replace the Founders Campaign and that an announcement is forthcoming. He is also looking for sponsors for the museum’s 2012 educational program, which is being developed to tell the stories of grape­-growing and wine­-making in the Finger Lakes Region.

Anyone who may be interested in becoming a sponsor can contact him at jadamski@fingerlakesmuseum.org.