Updated: Feb 4
Written by T. Lyle Ferderber, Treasurer with the Glade Run Lake Conservancy
In the Beginning
Over 10 years ago, before there was a Glade Run Lake Conservancy (GRLC), a group of disparate individuals met to consider courses of action after learning that Glade Run Lake needed to be drained due to its unsafe earthen dam. None of these individuals had ever started a group, nor had they been officers in a non-profit organization, but each knew that funds, members, and political involvement were needed in order to make a positive change in the community and for the lake.
Over time, in order to raise the needed funds to bring back the lake after it had been drained in 2011, the GRLC ran (literally and figuratively) three 10K races, a Chili Cookoff, two Oldies concerts, coupon book sales, and membership drives. Today, the GRLC still searches for ways to raise funds and heighten awareness of our group's changing needs and evolving mission to provide continued protection for Glade Run Lake.
Many area residents and students contributed to the GRLC by conducting personal and school-based fundraisers to help restore the lake after it had been drained in 2011.
Initially, the GRLC raised close to $350,000 and 2,000 members within the first two and half years after the GRLC was formed (also in 2011). This enabled our group to get the attention of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, three state senators, and the Governor who provided the necessary funding to create a new spillway and fix and resurface the lake's dam.
Finally in April 2017, Glade Run Lake was officially reopened! Immediately, fishermen, kayakers, and paddle boarders emerged from the local community and beyond to once again enjoy the recreational opportunities provided by the lake. Additionally, the GRLC enhanced wildlife habitats, both underwater and around the lake, resulting in increased sightings of a myriad of feathered creatures, including eagles! Also, many land animals including bear, muskrat, and beaver suddenly became visible and prolific with the return of the lake.
Alec Strawn (Boy Scout Troop 58) poses with the osprey platform he built and installed on the island at Glade Run Lake. Photo credit: Erica Dietz Photography
Efforts to Enhance the Lake
With the help of several boy scouts, a variety of stewardship projects have been completed at Glade Run Lake including the construction of several bog bridges and a variety of other trail improvements. This portal into the land surrounding Glade Run Lake allows lake-goers the opportunity to enjoy a walk in the woods after time spent on the water. All of this and so much more has been possible, thanks to all the families and businesses, however large or small, that have contributed to the GRLC's mission.
The improvements that the GRLC have provided since 2011 resulted in a dramatic increase in attendance at Glade Run Lake during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, our group's car reader counter revealed 17,000 people visited the lake during a four-month period! (Past annual records recorded 16,000 people visiting in a year when demand for outdoor recreation was not as high as it is now.) As the saying goes, "If you build it, they will come," and come they did!
The challenges to the lake that are new and urgent demand the immediate attention of the GRLC's Board of Directors. Development has arrived in our quiet, rural area. The GRLC and others in the local community have closely watched the impact of two recent developments in the township and understand that we have to act as an organization to preserve and protect the lake that we all have worked so hard to restore and return.
A recent short film created by Wild Excellence Films highlights the story of Glade Run Lake and the current efforts of the Glade Run Lake Conservancy to "preserve and protect" this local gem in our community.
In response, GRLC board members created a map of the lake's watershed to locate the water sources that feed the lake. Landowner and topographical maps were overlain to better understand the breadth of the nearly 2,000 acre watershed that drains to Glade Run Lake. Water testing of each tributary was undertaken to scientifically measure incoming water for purposes of alerting the GRLC to any potential problems and to set a baseline for the future.
Additionally, landowners were contacted to inquire about placing easements on their property to safeguard the land and water that surrounds the lake. As a result of these efforts, the GRLC recently received a conservation easement gift of 120 acres within the watershed that is being used as our part in a 50:50 DCNR grant application that will improve the lake and watershed immensely.
The nearly 2,000 acre watershed the comprises Glade Run Lake helps to visually show the tributaries that feed into Glade Run Lake and the surrounding land area where the GRLC hopes to gain additional conservation easements on.
More recently, the GRLC has been in conversations with a developer who plans to construct 111 new homes within one half mile of the lake. Nineteen acres of the property where the new homes will be built lies within the Glade Run Lake watershed, and the property also contains one of the feeder streams to the lake. With concerns for the lake's water quality in mind, the GRLC is challenging the developer to help safeguard the water that flows into Glade Run Lake. The water coming into the lake from this development will need its present flow rate to be maintained and free of contamination.
The GRLC is working hard to secure more conservation and agriculture easements to keep the waters clean and the land undeveloped in and around Glade Run Lake. Also along these lines, land acquisition is a pursuit of the GRLC as this would help expand and preserve this special place in our community. Future generations will undoubtedly benefit from the hard work so many of us are doing here and now.
How You Can Help
Thanksgiving and Christmas are times during the year when we get together to break bread with family and friends, and then to gift each other with presence, reverence, and of course, presents. The GRLC hopes you remember all that we have accomplished over the past 10 years, as well as the current challenges that face our community. With that said, the following are ways you can help with the GRLC's ongoing efforts to preserve and protect Glade Run Lake:
Amazon Smile is a simple choice you can make when using this global service. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and choose "Glade Run Lake Conservancy" as your charity of choice. From your selection, a small portion of your Amazon purchase will be sent to the GRLC on a quarterly basis.
GRLC apparel sales are available until the first week of December and can make great functional gifts that publicize your support and are well-made clothing investments. Shop all clothing items.
Seasonal fundraisers, like the current Blue Jar Candle sales we are offering, the upcoming Chipotle dinner program, or Stick City beer sales, are great ways to give something and get something you enjoy.
Membership with the GRLC offers you the opportunity to donate at a level most appropriate to you. Both one-time and monthly gift options are available and donation amounts range from $10 to $1,000, or any amount in between (or above!). If you are unable to make a donation at this time, membership with the GRLC is free to all and allows you to become part of our mailing list so you can stay up-to-date on our latest news and events.
Gifts in dedication to or in honor of someone are a great way to show appreciation of someone you appreciate and care about. Dedicate a gift on Giving Tuesday.
Memorials provide a way to give something and get something. Years ago, a daughter wanted to memorialize her lake-loving father and created our Chili Cookoff to benefit the GRLC. Many families have made the GRLC the beneficiary non-profit organization in lieu of flowers when a loved one passes. Since then, this has happened a number of times, and in response, the GRLC has dedicated part of the Chappel (a small pavilion-style building near the Glade Run Lake boat ramp) to the folks whose families and friends have remembered them through the GRLC. Visitors to the lake can see their names and plaques mounted in the Chappel; presently, there are seven plaques. This building will now serve as a place of remembrance for families as well as a shelter for a "rain or shine" picnic with a great view of the lake.
Simple donations, which also function as memberships, help the GRLC pay for our ongoing work. Our group is truly "grassroots" and our community supports us when and how they are able to, whenever we ask for their support, which we appreciate! Make a one-time or monthly donation to the GRLC this Giving Tuesday.
Business gifts are tax-deductible and help build goodwill in our community. These donations set local companies apart from larger businesses because they show customers that they are part of the neighborhood and support what matters to their customers.
Volunteering your time and talents is a fantastic way to contribute to the GRLC, whether or not you are able to provide monetary support. Throughout the year, we offer volunteer opportunities for trail clean up, GRLC booth staffing, and other tasks. Watch for webpage, Facebook, or email announcements on opportunities that allow you to give back to Glade Run Lake with your hands and your presence.
On this Giving Tuesday, please remember the GRLC, and know that our all-volunteer Board of Directors have never received any pay and work year-round to make the lake and its lands a better place for all.
"If you build it, they will come," now and for the decades to come.