Yesterday morning I visited the former Meadow Grounds Lake site.The dam remains much as it has been the past 50 plus years although the lake is empty now.
Six years ago the lake was drawn down to the current level due to deficiencies in the dam and spillway. Some of the fish were relocated while many were disposed of in a large pit dug in the side of the mountain.
Visiting the Meadow Grounds is for me much like visiting our local cemeteries. As I wander among the tomb stones I see names of family and friends who have passed on.
I recall times spent with them and how knowing them enriched my life while the pain of their loss is indelibly etched in my mind. The preachers tell us that the day is coming when the dead will rise and live again, giving us hope that this life and death is not permanent, for better times and a better place is in store for our future.
And the same can be said of the Meadow Grounds Lake.
The earliest photo I have in my collection was taken in the summer of 1964 when the lake was very new.
I enjoyed many a day fishing the lake
And my wife enjoyed riding along. Many evenings we would pick up hoagies at Harr's Store in Big Cove Tannery and have a Fulton County Dinner Cruise.
Wildlife abounded along the lake's shoreline
Ospreys frequented the skies overhead
Waterfowl such as this pied-billed grebe hunted its food rich waters
Each spring seen a number of common loons stopping in during their long northward migration
Spatterdock in the shallows provided cover for small fish and larger ones alike
Our niece Brittany from Florida joined us one evening for some outstanding sunfish spawning action
Nice size largemouth bass frequented the shallows
And would put up a great fight on ultra-lite gear
Whether one had a fancy bass boat with all the latest gadgets or a simple jon boat the Meadow Grounds was a place that all could enjoy a quiet time with nature.
We are told that the lake will rise again. The local community raised over the $100,000 that the politicians requested. We are told that the project is well underway with the design having been completed and the funding approved long ago. Currently the project is being held up by DEP, Dam Safety permitting.
As we await the resurrection we have only our faith and our memories to give us strength. That seems to be the case both with our own life, death and hope of an afterlife as well as our hope that the Meadow Grounds Lake will again rise. We must remain hopeful for without hope; life is futile, however as the years drag on the dream of seeing our lake return remains out of reach. As spring fades into summer the chances of construction starting this year has faded as well.
While we know it doesn't require an act of God to rebuild the lake, at this time it certainly seems so!
It's a shame that this lake no longer is the wildlife refuge it once was.
The same thing happened here in Westmoreland County. Donegal lake has been my birding spot for years. Several years ago it was emptied due to the dam needing work. It's hard for people to understand but I miss that lake! I am now watching and eagerly awaiting the completion of the new dam which is supposed to be done this fall. I'm hoping my lake will be back by spring! Our osprey pair have continued to use their nest despite having to fish at lakes a mile or more away from it. If they have faith, I can too!
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