Even before the Westmoreland Heritage Trail crossed the Beaver Run Reservoir property, Joe Mance was already enjoying the perks he would one day offer and promoting his future creation.
“We’ve hiked it a few times,” said his wife Lynn Mance, a resident of Delmont. “He had to ‘show the water’.
Joe Mance has worked over three decades with Westmoreland County Municipal Authority, all on the same land surrounding the reservoir in Bell Township. On Friday, the section of the trail that crosses this property, about a mile and a half, was dedicated to his memory.
Mance passed away in 2012. He was 62 years old and his career followed in the footsteps of his father Paul, who worked there as a supervisor. Mance had been the Authority’s Production Supervisor since 2006.
“He cared not only about the water we produced, but also the men and women who worked with him,” said Jack Ashton, deputy director of MAWC. “Joe enjoyed this land, this environment so much, and the dedication of the trail is a wonderful tribute to that.”
Two permanent signs with information about Mance, the heritage trail, the reservoir and the watershed that feeds it were on display in a short ceremony held Friday at the George Sweeney Water Treatment Plant, on a hill overlooking The reservoir.
They were then set up in a kiosk built by trail volunteer Stan Rudge.
Joe’s son, Michael Mance from Delmont, is another trail volunteer and approached trail officials this year with the idea of a dedication.
“He surprised me with that,” Lynn Mance said. He called one day and said, ‘Mum, you’re never gonna believe it, but this section of the trail is going to be daddy’s section. “”
In pursuit of Mance’s desire to respect and protect the natural area surrounding the reservoir, attendees also heard from Justin Mansberger of the Penn State Extension, who leads the watershed management program by training volunteers to conduct water testing. water quality, identify and report invasive species and educate outreach in the region.
“Right now we are working with 22 volunteers,” Mansberger said. “We usually do our training sessions in the spring and the volunteers help with planting, testing and general education at places like county fairs and local schools.”
Lynn Mance said her husband would be happy to see the efforts to preserve and share the beauty of the area around the reservoir.
“He has always loved water and I was really touched by it,” she said.