you tube twitter Instagram facebook

Protecting Natural and Historic Resources

Myotis lucifugus (Little Brown Bat)

Natural Resource Protection

The former Williams Lake Hotel site in Rosendale is a forested landscape characterized by its diverse plant cover, numerous water bodies, rich geology and critical habitat for several endangered species.

The new vision for Williams Lake is deeply rooted in understanding, protecting and interpreting the rich biodiversity of the site and its unique natural resources.

Over the past 7 years, a team of wildlife biologists, wetland scientists, geologists, ecologists, hydrologists and engineers have field-studied the natural resources of the site to ensure that “the land informs the plan” for the future resort.  These studies have documented over 35 waterbodies on the property (many of which had never been mapped before) as well as hundreds of  plant and wildlife species, including about a dozen rare or endangered species.

Specific commitments include:

  • Strengthening ongoing partnerships with the NYSDEC and leading universities for research related to bats and geology
  • Expansion of land under permanent conservation easement
  • Habitat management program to create net conservation benefit for endangered and threatened species
  • Deed restrictions to limit tree clearing, ban harmful pesticides, and protect lakes and wetlands

The Williams Lake Project recently expanded land under permanent conservation easement by over 100 acres (total of 515 acres) and will maintain the vast majority of the site as natural forested landscape. Critical habitat for endangered bat species is now protected forever.  Critical conservation partnerships with NYS DEC wildlife biologists and university geologists continue.

The new Williams Lake Resort will actively engage and educate guests in terrestrial and aquatic ecology. Nature-based programming will include guided walks that interpret the site’s uniquely folded geology, rare calcareous plant communities, vernal pools and diverse wildlife.


Cafe Kiln Wall

Rosendale Cement Kiln Wall

Historic Preservation

During the 19th century, the Williams Lake Hotel property was an industrial cement mining and manufacturing site.  Specific limestone composites were extracted and converted to “Rosendale” or “natural” cement all as part of a cement manufacturing boom that literally put Rosendale on the map.
This early industrial activity is evident throughout the property as dozens of spectacular room and pillar mines and three substantial kiln wall structures remain on the property today.

This rich industrial history is synonymous with the history of Rosendale and the Williams Lake Project believes these resources should be preserved, restored and interpreted for future generations. The long history of the Williams Lake Hotel will also be preserved and interpreted as part of the Williams Lake Project design.

Specific commitments to the preservation of historic resources include:

  • Integration and interpretation of the early masonry kiln walls into the development’s architecture and public spaces (e.g. public access rail trail)
  • Creation of a public interpretive museum dedicated to early natural cement industry and the Williams Lake Resort’s history
  • Protection and interpretation of room-and-pillar mines