Thieves have had a field day at Moon Lake Park. They’ve taken virtually every bit of metal that could be easily removed and sold as scrap.
Lately, they’ve even resorted to stealing things from the park that aren’t so easy to get.
That includes the copper wire strung high up on telephone poles. It was the last bit of valuable metal that remained at the park, and the temptation was apparently just too much.
So someone cut the poles down and snatched the wire. That was pretty much the last of anything valuable left at the park, with one exception.
Recent talks about the possibility of the county handing over the park to the state or working together have rekindled optimism that Moon Lake has a future.
Such a move can be accomplished in a variety of forms. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources could take things over and incorporate Moon Lake into its state park system, resulting in a similar setup that can be found at Frances Slocum and Nescopeck state parks.
There are a lot of similarities.
Frances Slocum and Nescopeck both have lakes, wooded areas with trails and environmental education centers.
Moon Lake has all of that, including a building that could serve as an environmental education center and a swimming pool.
Or perhaps the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission could take over the lake, offering not only its expertise in the fisheries and boating departments, but also providing an element of law enforcement through patrols by its waterways conservation officers.
But for now, the park sits relatively vacant, mostly shuttered for the last four years because the county simply couldn’t afford it.
The park is open when weather permits during the winter and more frequently during the spring and summer months. The PFBC still stocks the lake with trout, there is a group of mountain bikers that utilize the trails and the Wyoming Valley R/C Flyers use the expansive fields to fly their planes.
But that’s really about it.
Maintenance is almost non-existent — the county doesn’t have the cash or manpower, the swimming pool remains covered, the pavilions are empty and camping is not allowed.
Still, the park and all that if offers remains very much in demand. Stop by the lake April 12 for the opener of trout season and you’ll see the shore lined with anglers, many of them families.
Talk to just about anyone who grew up in the area and they’ll gladly reminisce about their childhood, when summer weekends were spent at Moon Lake.
Those days are gone now, but they don’t have to be.
The idea of a state takeover of the park was discussed two years ago. State Sen. John Yudichak and state Rep. Gerald Mullery expressed an interest in facilitating the process, and the PGC and PFBC were also intrigued with the idea. The groundwork was laid, but things never materialized beyond that.
Today, Yudichak and Mullery are still very much interested in discussing ways the state can help bring the park back, and county council chairman Rick Morelli said he hopes to talk with the legislators about the option.
The opportunity can’t be passed by a second time.
Let’s set a date.