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A fitting tribute at the beach house

Conference room to be dedicated to David Ackerman

July 27, 2017
Editorial , Lake Placid News

Two years after the Lake Placid village board approved naming the Mirror Lake beach house community room after the late David Ackerman, a plaque will be formally unveiled there Saturday, July 29.

It's a fitting tribute to one of Lake Placid's most important watershed advocates; his work to protect local waterways continues to inspire elected officials and environmentalists today.

Dedicating the David Harton Ackerman Conference Room, members of the village board, the Mirror Lake Watershed Association and the Shore Owners' Association of Lake Placid will host the ceremony, which starts at 11:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Article Photos

David Ackerman
(Photo provided)

Ackerman died on Dec. 26, 2013, at the age of 88, leaving behind a legacy of watershed protection in the town he kept returning to most of his life. Born on June 30, 1925, in Passaic, N.J., he spent summers with his family in Lake Placid at a home his maternal grandparents had built on Buck Island in 1916, and they vacationed at the Lake Placid Club.

When he wrote a plan for protecting the village's watersheds in 1996, he wanted people to remember one thing: Lake Placid lake is the source for the community's drinking water.

"It made sense to see what we could do to protect our lake water," Ackerman told the News in 1997 before his plan was adopted by the town of North Elba and village of Lake Placid.

Furthermore, he added, a clean lake makes sense economically, as visitors use Lake Placid for various activities.

"If there are signs up that you can't swim, then it's a less attractive place to come visit," he said.

As an administrative geologist, Ackerman traveled extensively in the U.S., Canada, West Africa, Portugal, Australia and the Caribbean. For many years he chaired the board of Benson Mines Inc., originally an iron ore company founded by his great-grandfather Byron David Benson near Star Lake in St. Lawrence County.

As a seasonal resident, Ackerman became interested in the protection of the watersheds of Lake Placid lake and Mirror Lake. He became active in the Shore Owners' Association of Lake Placid and wrote a book, "Placid Lake, A Centennial History, 1893-1993," which was published by the SOA.

When Ackerman was president of the SOA in 1996, he wrote the Water Management Plan for the Lake Placid-North Elba Sub-Watersheds, which was adopted into the Lake Placid-North Elba Joint Comprehensive Plan in 1997. He joined forces with Bill Billerman to form the Mirror Lake Watershed Association.

Ackerman was also a motivating force in establishing the Placid Lake Foundation, now the Lake Placid Land Conservancy. He served the Shore Owner's Association as president, historian and Zoning Committee chairman, and the Olympic Regional Development Authority inducted him into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame in 2008.

 
 

 

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