Contributed by Beth Bauer
Looking back at 2016 at Lake Heritage.
Like a small child, life at Lake Heritage in 2016 was sweet, except when it wasn’t. We had many good times and celebrations, but the overall quality of the lake water this year was a huge disappointment.
Here are some of the highlights of 2016.
Lake Heritage residents were very giving in 2016.
We had four blood drives at the Community Center and contributed approximately 110 pints of blood to the Red Cross. In April, volunteers pledged to plant and care for 45 trees around the lake as part of the Adopt-a-Tree Program from the Adams County Conservation District. The Fishing Club and Women’s Club awarded two $1500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. We collected food for SCAAP and the Gettysburg Fire Department in December.
We partied in 2016.
The Fishing Club sponsored a Super Bowl Party, and a soup / salad / bingo party in January.
In March, we had the First Annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Women’s Club. Children of all ages (up to 13) ran and hunted for eggs at Shady Grove Pavilion.
The Annual Summer Kick-off Party sponsored by the Ski Club was held at The Point on Friday of Memorial Day weekend. There was food, music, boat rides, pony rides, a moon bounce, a rock wall and face painting. The evening ended earlier than usual when a storm blew in across the lake.
The Ski Club had a nighttime pool party in July with ice cream sundaes for all!
The Annual Regatta sponsored by the Ski Club happened on Labor Day Weekend, and it was a party although lake events were curtailed due to water quality. Friday night, we were at The Point with music, food and a moon bounce. On Saturday, there were diving and swim contests in the pool for all ages including inner tube races. The annual fireworks display over the lake on Sunday officially closed the summer season.
However, we partied into the fall! In October, we had a salad/ spaghetti dinner/ bingo night sponsored by FIshing Club. A Halloween party at the Community Center was sponsored by Ski Club with a DJ, food, prizes for best costumes, and there were some costumes!
Ski Club also held a Lake Oktoberfest with bratwursts, pumpkin decorating and bobbing for apples.
Santa arrived in December at the annual tree lighting in Shady Grove. There were cookies, hot chocolate and presents for all thanks to the Women’s Club!
And there was one final act of the Lake Heritage 50th Anniversary committee. A time capsule was planted at Shady Grove to be opened at Lake Heritage’s Centennial, January 1, 2065. The site was marked with a granite stone, a plaque and a tree.
We were active in 2016.
The Fishing Club sponsored the annual family fishing marathon on a rainy day in May. The turnout was impressive, and 180 lbs. of fish or 720 white perch were caught and removed from the lake. (We don’t like white perch in the lake!)
In April, we had the third annual community wide yard sale sponsored by The Ski Club. Roads were crowded, and the selling was intense.
There was a plant sale courtesy of The Women’s Club at the Shady Grove Pavilion in May.
The second season of men / women softball at Lake Heritage happened on summer Saturdays at 3pm. (Using Senior Softball rules to avoid strained muscles and broken bones of ex-athletes.)
The pool opened in May with adult swim, open swim and swim lessons. There were over 11,000 entrants to the pool in 2016. The pavilions and playgrounds were in use, along with shuffleboard, tennis, basketball at the Community Center, volleyball and horseshoe pits at Shady Grove.
The Lake Heritage Swim Club sponsored low impact, dry land exercises in winter months, water exercise and adult swim classes in the summer. The club also had an end of season wine and cheese party.
In November, the Ski Club had a polar bear ski. The air was 51, water 55, but there were lots of skiers in the water!
We built a dog park!
Initial approval and plans were announced in January 2016. Fundraising started with a trivia night in March at the Community Center. In July, there was a helicopter ball drop to raise money. While hovering over the ball field, a helicopter dropped numbered balls. Lake Heritage residents and friends bought numbered balls in advance. The 5 balls closest to the pin won big money, and the kids collected the balls afterwards.
An Aqua Pups Woof Splash fundraiser was held in the community pool on Tuesday after Labor Day, the day the pool closed for the season. There was also a car wash fundraiser, and we did a good job because the dog park opened with a gala celebration in July.
And then there were the disappointments.
There were problems with the Lake.
In January, the Lake and Dam Committee addressed the blue-green algae problem that happened late in the summer of 2015. They gave us a detailed account of the project to reclaim long overdue water quality in the Lake. An oxygen diffuser system was already in place and initial results were encouraging. The plan was to increase aeration of the lake water and introduce different microbes and begin to develop a biological system that would reduce bad nutrients in the water. In January, it was noted that it was unlikely that awe inspiring staggering reversal of years of accumulating problems would be seen in 2016.
We experienced an unfortunate filamentous algae growth in June. This was due to constant rain in May and runoff of nutrients into the lake. It was stringy and a nuisance but not harmful. Filtration socks were installed in Plum Run, Pleasant Cove and the boat launch. Additional beneficial bacteria were also used, trying to avoid copper sulfate and trying to improve the long term health of the lake and fishery.
However, in mid-July through August and into September, we experienced unacceptable levels of blue-green algae which meant no swimming / skiing activities in the lake. The Regatta activities were significantly curtailed.
In September, there was a town hall meeting with John Tucci of Lake Savers. He shared information with residents on what was done, what the plan going forward is, but most of all, the recognition that another summer without the lake is not acceptable to either the residents, the Board or Lake Savers. We saw improvements in the oxygen level and bottom muck reduction, but the algae remained a problem. Tucci shared that the plan going forward is for a continuation of aeration and biological treatment with copper based algaecides if needed. Additional diffusers / aerators were installed in November.
We also have a goose problem at the lake. Basically, the word is don’t feed them, keep the area around the lakefront unfriendly in the form of short fence or tall grass, and harass the suckers!
On an interesting and positive note, a civil war horseshoe was found at Pleasant Cove by maintenance workers doing routine lawn work. You can see the horseshoe and information about it at the Community Center.
And then there is the Spillway.
In April our Pennsylvania Assembly Representative, Dan Moul, spoke to residents in another town hall type meeting. The topic was the new PA DEP regulations for dams and spillways. Along with lake manager, Mike Hanson and LHPOA Treasurer, Tom Gary, an honest attempt was made to explain the regulations and what LHPOA needs to do to be in compliance.
In the end, a bad day with a small child is often followed by a good day. Let’s be optimistic that this not so perfect year at Lake Heritage will be followed by a good one.