About Us

The Saranac Lake Village Improvement Society is a not-for-profit organization staffed by volunteers who are dedicated to enhancing the great natural beauty of our community. The Village Improvement Society celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. Our priority is maintaining our beloved parks for the enjoyment of future generations.

We need new volunteers to get involved with VIS and continue its proud tradition of community service and community beautification. Whether you’d like to volunteer on a regular basis or you’d like to volunteer occasionally for special projects, please take a moment to fill out our volunteer form.

Current officers of the Village Improvement Society are:

  • President: President and Parks Coordinator: Randall Swanson
  • Vice President: Meg Van Dyck Holmes
  • Treasurer and Plantings Coordinator: Roger Steinbrueck
  • Secretary: Kathy O’Kane
  • Communications: Kathy Ford
  • DEC Campership Coordinator: Donna Walsh

The Village Improvement Society owns and maintains seven parks in Saranac Lake. In 2010, VIS introduced the lamp post hanging flower baskets and flower plantings that brighten downtown Saranac Lake during the summer season.

The beloved parks that are owned and maintained by the VIS include:
  • Vest Pocket Park, located next to the Library, has flower plantings and benches for summer day reading
  • Beaver Park, along the Saranac River, has a gazebo and lawn for picnics
  • Denny Park, located off Pine Street and Bloomingdale Ave, is a wonderful fishing spot that stretches along the Saranac River
  • Sunset Park, along Olive St. at Canaras Ave, is a certified Urban Wildlife Habitat in the middle of the Village. This park has over two acres, and features an arboretum with walking trails under the trees
  • Dorsey Park, located near the Dorsey Street bridge alongside the Saranac River, is a small and charming park with a river-view bench
  • Triangle Park and Riverbank, located at Pine Street and the Saranac River, has evergreen shrubs, perennials and bulbs. The park’s benches offer great views of Mt. Pisgah and Baker Mountain
  • The Herb Garden is located at the end of Main St., across the railroad tracks from Triangle Park. It features two raised beds planted with a variety of aromatic herbs
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The Village Improvement Society is involved with other parks and plantings throughout the Village including:

  • Hanging Flower Baskets that brighten downtown Saranac Lake during the summer season are planted by VIS members and sponsored by community donations to VIS
  • Flower Barrels are sponsored by local merchants and the Village of Saranac Lake. VIS members plant the barrels with colorful annuals and maintain them over the summer
  • The Welcome Garden, located at Colby Corner along the Route 86 corridor, is a small, triangle-shaped garden filled with bright colorful annuals and perennials
  • Prospect Corner, a triangular garden on Prospect Street, is planted with assorted perennials
  • The Alpine Parking Lot is located at the intersection of Broadway and Bloomingdale Avenues. It features a colorful mural and is planted with day lilies, with a raised planter for summer annuals
  • Mullen/Triangle Garden, at River St. and Lake Flower Ave., has over 700 daffodil planted by VIS members for the Daffodil Festival. VIS members plant the raised garden with bulbs for the spring and annuals for the summer season
  • Three memorials for veterans
The Village Improvement Society also awards two camp scholarships every year to local middle school students.