A catch-and-release fishing pond adjacent to a monument commemorating the centennial anniversaries of scouting will be open for business by month's end in Cranberry.
The Centennial Plaza and Fishing Lake in Graham Park was dedicated Oct. 7.
According to representatives of Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America, this is the nation's only monument dedicated to the centennial anniversaries. Girl Scouts marked its 100 years in 2012 while the Boy Scouts celebrated its centennial in 2010.
While the monument and fishing lake are owned by Cranberry, the project was brought to fruition by the efforts of the Cranberry Township Community Chest, a nonprofit civic organization. Ground was broken for the project in July 2011.
The monument cost about $150,000.
The monument is situated in an open-air flagstone plaza at the edge of a stocked fishing pond just beyond the Graham Park baseball campus. Three panels depict a mother holding her young daughter's hand and a father carrying his young son; the boy and the girl as scouts, saluting the American flag; and the scouts in graduation caps and gowns.
A free two-hour fishing derby for ages 12 and under starting at 8 a.m. will open the one-acre fishing lake.
Venture Outdoors North of Zelienople, a local nonprofit organization that offers more than 500 programs a year in parks around the region, is organizing the derby and supplying the rods, tackle, and bait, as well as instruction.
Cranberry's parks and recreation department is accepting registrations at 724-776-4806, ext. 1129.
The lake was excavated as a detention facility to handle stormwater runoff when Graham Park was built in 2008. It has been deepened, reconstructed and sculpted into a lake by the public works department.
As a private body of water, no state fishing license is required, and the lake, which is stocked with bass and bluegill, will be open all year for catch-and-release fishing only. Any fish caught have to be immediately returned to the water.
Other rules to promote safe and enjoyable use of the pond involve no boating, swimming, or wading. Fishing is only allowed during daylight hours. No individual may have more than two fishing lines in the water at one time. No archery or any other type of fishing methods which would harm or kill fish is permitted. No live bait other than worms will be allowed.
While the creation of the fishing pond was handled by the township, funding the scouting monument took the efforts of many volunteers. Inscribed paving blocks were sold to raise money for the project and members of the community contributed, as well.
Neva McClymonds gave $10,000 in memory of her husband, John, who owned Cranberry Supply Co. on Rowan Road. Graham and Son construction of Ellwood City excavated the lake for free, and Herbert Rowland & Grubic Inc. of Cranberry volunteered its design and engineering services.
Woodmen of the World Life Insurance, with a local office in Butler, is donating three flag poles, and Rome Monuments of Rochester engraved the pavers at no cost. Cranberry donated the land.
Other major donors include the Glenn R. Logan and Rhea Jean McCandless Logan Family Trust, Butler Tourism, PNC Financial, the family of Thomas Coyle, First Energy, Cranberry Lions Club, William P. Deemer, C.W. Howard Insurance Agency Inc., Robert and Kimberly Geyer, Fun Fore All, Patricia and David Kovach, Sherwood Oaks, Zelienople Lions, Butler Rotary, Roy and Linda Huffman, Dale and Millie Pinkerton, and Ray D. Steffler.
"It's such a thrill to see this all coming together, to see it all happening,'' said Bruce Mazzoni, chairman of the township supervisors and a member of the CTCC board.
The concept emerged two years ago.
"I think this is one more thing that creates an additional sense of community,'' Mr. Mazzoni said.
Karen Kane: firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-772-9180.