Glade Run Lake group advances mission
Mars students get involved
Cranberry Eagle
Written by:
April 15, 2013
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Siggy Pehel, president of the Glade Run Lake conservancy, says work continues to restore the drained lake in Middlesex Township.

MIDDLESEX TWP — Almost two years after the last fish swam in Glade Run Lake, the group that formed to restore the 52-acres of sparkling water is as energetic and determined as ever.

The conservancy’s mission is to raise funds that will pay for repairs to the faulty dam so the lake can be refilled. The cost to fix the dam and refill the lake, which is off Overbrook Road in Middlesex Township, is estimated at $4 million.

T. Lyle Ferderber, conservancy treasurer, said recent community activities have bolstered both funds and awareness for the conservancy, which now boasts almost $100,000 in its coffers.

The Save the Lake Benefit held March 30 at the Middlesex Township fire hall raised over $10,000, Ferderber said.

In another project, the conservancy is partnering with educators at Mars Centennial School to raise awareness about the lake among students, their families, the community, and even in the governor’s office.

Hollie Kotwica, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at the Centennial School, said conservancy board members gave a presentation to faculty members during an in-service day earlier this year.

She immediately thought of the persuasive writing project her class completes each year, and asked principal Todd Lape if she could use the restoration of Glade Run Lake as the topic.

After Lape heartily agreed, Kotwica discussed the matter with teachers in other subjects, and soon all 250 sixth-graders became involved with the restoration of the lake.

Kotwica said in addition to the persuasive writing papers being sent to Gov. Tom Corbett in the near future, the language arts classes created posters advocating restoration of the lake. The posters will be placed at local businesses and community venues.

Social studies students are studying the history of Glade Run Lake; science classes are focusing on the environmental impact of draining the lake as well as its dam issues; and math classes are creating piggy banks from recycled materials to save change to donate to the conservancy, Kotwica said.

She said students have embraced the curriculum.

“It links kids to a community effort,” Kotwica said.

“The kids know where Glade Run Lake is and they can see the impact (of its draining) and become directly involved.”

Ferderber said the conservancy board will give the same presentation at the South Butler County School District. He hopes teachers there also will use the lake in their curricula.

The next big event for the conservancy is a public meeting at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Mars High School auditorium.

There, conservancy board members and a host of related speakers will update the community on the conservancy’s progress and activities, plus discuss the situation at the lake.

Speakers will include State Sen. Randy Vulakovich, R-40, Brian Barner of the state Fish and Boat Commission, county Tourism and Convention Bureau President Jack Cohen, plus school district and municipal officials.

The guest speaker will be Ed Flanko, who led a conservancy in Cumberland County that succeeded in having Opossum Lake refilled after it was closed due to deficiencies.

More information on the conservancy is available at