Glenwood Lake

Glenwood Lake in Princeton has remained a popular recreation site at Glenwood Park, but with sediment starting to fill the lake enough for even small paddle boats to run aground, officials are making plans to dredge the lake to keep it usable.

PRINCETON — Glenwood Lake is a popular venue for fishing, enjoying paddle boats, kayaking, picnics and other relaxation, but sediment filling it to the point where even the small paddle boats can run aground means that it needs some dredging, according to county officials.

Dredging Glenwood Lake was a topic Nov.10 during the Mercer County Commission’s November meeting. The overall plan is to drain the lake and dredge out the sediment that is filling it. The lake has become so shallow in some places that a paddle boat once ran around.

“We’ve been looking into it for some time,” County Commissioner Bill Archer said. “At present, it has so much sediment from the water flowing into it that it’s really muddied up the water. Really, it’s only a couple of feet deep in some places, and in some places even more swallow than that; so what we would like to do is remove that sediment. There were concerns about the stream and in West Virginia you have a bunch of industrialized areas, so the potential for having some pollutants in there is real.”

Archer said that the research he has done indicated that there are ways to dispose of sediment safely and to make it productive. If possible, it could be used for growing trees and other vegetation. Other projects that remove excess lake sediment have been expensive, but draining the lake and going in afterward to dredge out the sediment could be less costly. 

“Some of those ways may be very costly, but I think since the entire lake is going to be drained for the dam rehabilitation project in the next couple of years, it’s a prime time for us to remove some of that sediment,” Archer said.

The county will be responsible for some of the cost of restoring the dam, but the dredging could be applied to the county’s match for the project, he said.

The lake’s fish and other aquatic life will have to be relocated to a lake of similar size. Once the project is completed, it could have good long-term benefits for the county’s citizens and visitors, Archer stated. The county had plans to create a new amphitheater at Glenwood Park before the COVID-19 pandemic started. That facility and other improvements could make the park a bigger venue for concerts and other activities.

“I think it’s a possible win win for us. We have great ideas, plans for what we would like to do with that facility,” Archer stated. “We would like to put a greater dock area there for boats and facilities, and for people who want to dine. And we might want to develop some kind of a restaurant facility there that could be privately or publicly managed. It’s a wonderful place for the public to be and I think we could make it a lot better.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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