Next year, 2014, will mark the 35th year since there has been an organized group dedicated to protecting Lake Wallenpaupack's environment.
The Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District (LWWMD) was incorporated in September 1979 by the Pike County Commissioners, Wayne County Commissioners and Pennsylvania Power & Light Inc. (today, PPL). The purpose was to establish a nonprofit coalition of stakeholders invested in taking back the lake and its watershed from a deteriorating ecological state to one of sustainable, good water quality.
Celebrating the success of those efforts and persevering in its mission, discussion has just begun on some way to mark the anniversary. At their Sept. 18th board meeting, director Alex Zidock suggested planning a dinner dance sometime next winter. The fund-raising committee will be looking at the idea.
A comment was made that the event could be called, "Water Drop Ball."
Reports were given about two recent community events hosted by the District.
The first annual Scuba Diver Cleanup Day was held Sept. 14. Administrator Nick Spinelli said that the divers did not find as much trash on the lake bed as expected, which is a good thing. About 10 divers participated, from the Ledgedale, Forest and Tafton fire departments. Ledgedale won the contest for the most trash, and received the coveted "trophy" which will be passed on year to year. They dove in the area of Cairn Island, which is nicknamed "party cove" and litter would be of no surprise.
Still, a 55 gallon drum was taken away full of debris. Steve Gelderman of Gresham's Landing assisted with a tour boat to take away the bounty. Lakewatch Assistance helped patrol while the divers searched the bottom.
The second annual Ride for the Lake, held Aug. 24 during Wally Lake Fest, brought in $4,950 after expenses. This surpassed last year, and there were also more bikers. There were 84 people riding around the lake, on 57 motorcycles.
Spinelli said they have plenty of spots to dive for litter. Martin's Cove might be next.
Director Brian Schan recommended Jim Shook, co-owner of Lake Region and Hawley IGA, as a new director. He said Shook has shown interest, and would be a valuable asset to the Watershed District board.
Spinelli stated that director Craig Smythe was deciding whether he would continue for a new term. Directors whose terms are to expire this year will be contacted to see gauge their interest. Nominations for the board are to be made in October.
LWWMD board meets on the third Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center. The office may be reached at 570-226-3865. Visit their recently renovated web site at www.wallenpaupackwatershed.org.