Since the 1800s, what is now Westtown Lake - it was more of a pond at its beginning - has been a staple of the campus and community. In 1907, President Samuel Smedley proposed building a lake as a tool for recreation, forestry, beauty, and to bring Westonians closer to nature. However, the dam in place at the time was in need of continuous repair because of flooding. Because of cost, the Committee at the time rejected the proposal.

Quaker traditions and values of wilderness, peace, and tranquility, however, soon prevailed. In 1911 alumni Thomas K. Brown and Samuel L. Smedley, along with support from Joshua L. Bailey, finally convinced the Committee to build a new lake. The project was finished by 1912. The new lake provided an area for spiritual reflection and recreation, and educational opportunities in the natural sciences. Recreational use of the lake has changed over time, but the peaceful and spiritual nature remains an essential part of the Westtown community.

Westtown Lake has become an essential ecosystem for local wildlife and acts as an important wetland habitat for the surrounding geographical area. 

Besides providing an area for recreation, beauty, and spiritual connection, Westtown Lake has become an essential ecosystem for local wildlife and acts as an important wetland habitat for the surrounding geographical area. It is an essential freshwater system that provides benefits to surrounding waterways by acting as a “sink.”

The  lake provides enormous benefits to the township in an unlimited number of ecological services, including storm water management, nutrient control and retention, groundwater recharge, climate moderation, water filtration, and carbon sequestration. The educational opportunities that can arise from monitoring and studying these services are endless.

Now, more than 100 years later, the Lake at Westtown is ready for a makeover.  To restore the lake and to comply with current dam engineering standards, the lake will undergo a year-long process of dam replacement and dredging. The ecological, spiritual, educational, and recreational value of the lake and its potential to bring Westonians closer to nature will be preserved for generations to come. Any questions, contact us at campusmasterplan@westtown.edu.

Tentative Restoration Timetable

2015 
April 9Preconstruction Meeting
April 13Forebay project (2 weeks)
May 14Culvert Installation
June 1Dam project  begins (6-8 weeks)
 Dredging to start (4-5 months)
July 1Forebay complete
October 26Dredging complete
November 20Step spillway completion
December 4 Dam complete
DecemberNew dock build
  
2016 
SpringTurtles returned
June 15Westtown Road culvert completion


2016 Westtown Lake Update

 

Lake Restoration Project

 

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