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New Onondaga Lake visitor's center gives new view

There's a new view of Onondaga Lake.  Honeywell has  opened a new Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, right next to the company's massive project that's dredging and capping two million cubic yards of contaminated lake soil. Honeywell hopes it can change perceptions of a lake, that for decades has been so dirty, people didn't want to go near it.

If you have any questions about Honeywell's Onondaga Lake Reclamation project, the new visitor's center has the  answers. 

Honeywell Syracuse program director John McAuliffe says the purpose of the visitor's center is simple, "The hope is you start to get a sense of the vision of what the lake can become," said McAuliffe.

The visitor's center is part of the $500 million lake clean-up project.  The light green building is bright inside, with floors constructed of reclaimed wood and videos explaining the project. There are also "full panoramic windows looking out on the lake…you can see the remediation work going on..." said McAuliffe.

There is a big relief map of the area and drawings of specs and plans for the clean-up project of the lake that was once called the most polluted the country.  

Outside, clear lake water laps against a sturdy deck at the lakes edge offering views of the city of Syracuse up through Liverpool.

What McAuliffe hopes what people ultimately see is a lake that is salvageable after decades of industrial pollution.

"We want people to come and learn about the clean up… and start experiencing…. look how great the water looks," said McAuliffe. "That's the reaction I think we're gonna get when people come out here."

Honeywell is taking reservations for individuals or groups to come out to the center. And McAuliffe says next year, they will have an open house for people on Friday afternoons. Reservations can be made online at:  www.lakecleanup.com

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.