The mission of protecting the treasured water of Lake Wallenpaupack has taken on new innovations in recent times. One might not imagine motorcycle enthusiasts and protecting water quality together in the same sentence, but the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District (LWWMD) has sucessfully paired them for the benefit of both.
At Wally Lake Fest on August 24, there were 57 motorcycles and 84 riders participating in "Ride for the Lake." This beat last year's inaugural event when there were 50 bikes and 65 riders. "The ride was tremendous...we couldn't be more thrilled from the support of the riders," said Brian Schan, LWWMD Board Member who proposed the concept and coordinates the rides with fellow board members and their administrator, Nick Spinelli.
Net proceeds from business sponsorships and entry fees help support the District's efforts. This year the ride generated $4,950 after expenses.
Their work includes arranging grants to fund projects to correct or prevent watershed pollution, educating the public and monitoring lake water quality. The lack of available federal or state grants in recent years has necessitated new ideas to raise revenue, in addition to their letter appeals and contributions received by Wayne and Pike counties and two of the 14 townships sharing the watershed.
Spinelli expressed their gratitude for their chief sponsor, Davis R. Chant Realtors and their several other sponsors.
"We're thrilled to be able to put the proceeds from the Ride and t-shirt sales directly into projects that protect the lake from pollution," said Spinelli. There are still a limited number of Ride for the Lake t-shirts available at the Watershed District's office, for $10 each.
Schan said that the route of the ride was changed so that it went clockwise around the lake, and stretching the route from 29 to 41 miles. The riders, he said, appreciated the longer route. Going down Rt. 507 first helped eliminate left turns and crossing traffic. Tafton, Ledgedale and Lakeville Fire Department Fire Police and Hawley Police Department helped with traffic control. They left and met back at Wallenpaupack Area High School; the ride took about an hour and a quarter.
"The ride was nicer this year," Blaise Pantuso of Jefferson Township said, as he waited in line for chow after the exhilarating ride. "There were lots of sights; it was nice to see the other side of the lake."
The weather was exceptional both this year and last at Wally Lake Fest, which included the motorcycle event among many other activities.
Schan led the pack with a "Ride for the Lake" flag blowing from his bike.
"The weather was absolutely perfect and we were very pleased with the turnout," Spinelli said. "We look forward to continued growth and hope to have even more motorcycles in 2014."
The District meets on the third Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center. Their office may be contacted at (570)226-3865. Also visit their recently revised website, wallenpaupackwatershed.org.