As 2017 came to a close, the Friends of Lake Warner & the Mill River (FoLW) became the new owner of the historic dam at Lake Warner—also known as North Hadley Pond. FoLW was a vital partner in Kestrel Land Trust’s effort to restore the dam and preserve the lake. Dam restoration was completed in fall 2017. Kestrel then placed a Historic Preservation Restriction on the dam with the town of Hadley, and gifted a 5-acre waterfront conservation area known as the “peninsula” to FoLW.
FoLW began as a small group of people who cared about the future of the lake. By 2013 they decided to create an official nonprofit to support restoration of the dam. FoLW Executive Director Jason Johnson said, “It took an incredible amount of time, dedication and teamwork to preserve this historic landscape. We could not have accomplished this without Kestrel’s support.”
Today, FoLW’s mission is to encourage public appreciation and use of Lake Warner, as well as to improve the health of the lake. They monitor the condition of the lake and its tributaries, and educate the public about how they can help preserve the lake’s health. The group plans to expand opportunities for recreational use, and improve aquatic habitat for fishing and boating. FoLW welcomes volunteers who want to help remove invasive plants, monitor water quality, and improve access on the “peninsula.”
FoLW President and Board Chairman David Moskin said, “Working successfully with Kestrel has been a remarkable experience. The world could learn something about cooperation right here in Amherst and Hadley.”
A celebration of the Lake and the partnership is being planned for spring 2018. Learn more about the FoLW at friendsoflakewarner.org