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Remember: Allentown Park Log 8: Cedar Beach Parkway- Part one: Muhlenberg Lake

Monday, June 1, 2009

Allentown Park Log 8: Cedar Beach Parkway- Part one: Muhlenberg Lake

One of the earliest memories I have regarding Muhlenberg Lake involves being a third grader at Cathedral School and trying to figure out what to do during the summer. Back then, there were paddle boats you could ride in the lake but we went down there for the fishing. Now, being third graders, my friends and I were certainly amateurs. We would tie fishing line (no hook or bait) to a willow branch and sit on a rock and watch the line float across the dark surface of the water. We never made a catch but we tried and we sure felt like fishermen.

On my journey to the lake today I could not find the large rock we used to fish from. I imagine some flood took it to the lake bottom or eventually it was pushed in. I did however; find the lake as beautiful as it ever was. The majority of the water was clear and the smell of it, refreshing.

There is still work done to be done to help the water flow of Muhlenberg Lake to prevent things like this:

That land bridge is going to be removed in one of the phases of the Cedar Beach Parkway renovation. I will have a much longer comment this week regarding my thoughts on the renovation master plan. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Greg Weitzel the Director of Parks and Recreations today and a summary is forthcoming. But, let’s get back to the lake.

Muhlenberg Lake is a man-made creation. It was developed during the thirties as a Works Progress Administration Act and subsequently built. It is the heart piece to the Cedar Beach Parkway and is filled with the waters of the Little Lehigh Creek. That same water leaves the lake and travels through Union Terrace (Park Log Upcoming) to eventually travel through the Parkway and rejoin the Lehigh River on its way to its end in Easton at the Delaware. This is the creek as it pours into the lake:

Even here, a week after Mayfair and in the city itself I was able to identify not only Mallard ducks and Canadian Geese (who are the regular customers here at the lake) but I saw two Snow Geese and a Technicolor coat of dragonflies. The park was also remarkably well cleaned given the recent festival.

Muhlenberg Lake is the kind of place that I imagine most home grown Allentonians have recollections about and Cedar Beach Parkway the same.
Today I saw a father and son fishing and I was reminded of how important our parks can really be as truly connective identities not just as recreational activities.

We are lucky to have our little lake and I am glad they intend to improve the quality of it. I think we owe it one. It has given us enough memories.

If any of you have any Muhlenberg Lake memories please share them as comments.



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