A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau


Located a few hundred yards south of Donaldson’s Crossroads lays a unique aquatic treasure…Canonsburg Lake. Now celebrating its 70th year, come and visit, take a boat ride, enjoy some fishing, take a walk along the shore or just sit and relax and take in a beautiful sunset. It’s all here, almost in your backyard.

Now continue on to find out about the past, present and future of this little gem.



The restoration project was initiated by, and is overseen by the Canonsburg Lake Restoration and Improvement Committee, a small group of dedicated citizens, formed in 2000 to bring attention to, and find solutions for, the deteriorating condition of the lake. The group is currently working on implementing items identified in the master site development plan which was completed in 2007, in addition to fund-raising efforts for the local match. The committee operates under the auspices of the Chartiers Creek Watershed Association, a member of the Washington County Watershed Alliance.

The Washington County Watershed Alliance (WCWA) was organized in 1998 to coordinate and enhance the efforts of Washington County’s watershed groups. Tax-deductible donations and grants for the watershed groups and for Alliance projects are deposited in the WCWA accounts. WCWA is a nonprofit (501c-3) organization, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

The purpose of the Chartiers Creek Watershed Association is to enhance, protect, and develop the ecosystem of the watershed in Washington County by undertaking activities to: 1)study the natural resources of the watershed; 2) develop a program to improve and maintain the water resources of the watershed; 3) promote local interest in natural resource conservation; 4) involve local support to correct problem conditions; and 5) identify federal, state, and local programs (financial, technical, and scientific) that would benefit the watershed.


Posted by floyd2 on Thursday July 26, 2018 7:25 pm

In 2004, a survey and series of town hall meetings were conducted to determine how the public would like to use the lake and what improvements they would like to see. A Master Plan (this should be a link, but I don't have that file. I'm trying to get that from Carole or Debra.) was developed using this public input. The most common feedback received was that people would like to see the lake remain primarily a natural environment. The improvements that were most often requested were benches, restrooms, and trails around the lake. One goal of the trails would be a way for fishermen to access the deeper section of the lake on the north side. All trails will be dirt, like the existing trails, to maintain the natural feel of the lake. While we work towards our primary goal of raising the funds necessary to dredge the lake we are working to maintain the lake, hosting annual clean ups, and making what progress we can towards our goal of a healthy, sustainable lake environment.


Posted by floyd2 on Thursday July 26, 2018 7:19 pm

Right now our primary goal is to raise $3 million to dredge a portion of Canonsburg Lake to remove accumulated sediment. By dredging the lake from the causeway bridge upstream, we will improve the habitat and expand the areas of the lake useful for recreation. Over time all manmade lakes require dredging to remove sediment if they are to remain a lake, and Canonsburg Lake has never been dredged in its 75 years of existence. During this time, this area has experienced significant building growth and numerous destructive storms depositing sediment and debris. By installing a weir in 2016, we have provided a collection point for some of the sediment and debris carried into Canonsburg Lake from Little Chartiers Creek. However, we still have decades worth of sediment that needs to be removed.

Sediment removal will allow us to boat, fish, and enjoy the beauty of the lake for generations to come.

While we are primarily focused on raising money to cover the cost of dredging, we continue to work on ways to improve visitors’ experience at Canonsburg, such minimizing debris washing up in parking lot and improving maintenance of the lake.

 As of March 2018, we have raised about 10% of our goal. To reach our goal we need your help; you can help by donating, coming to our events, sharing our information, coming up with ideas for fundraisers, and volunteering

Our Accomplishments

Posted by floyd2 on Thursday July 26, 2018 6:58 pm

By far the most important accomplishment has been raising over $1.7 million over the past 15 years.  We have received funding from both the Peters and North Strabane Townships, the Peters Rotary Club, the Peters Township Garden club, Local Shares of Gaming Funds and the generous support from  individual donors who value and support the Lake.  Last but not least are the yearly tent sales where ball caps, T shirts, etc., are sold by committee members in an effort to raise money and community awareness.    Credit is shared with support of the PFBC and the Washington County Conservation District.   

  • In 2007, courtesy of  a Growing Greener Funds grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), we completed a major site plan detailing intended improvements to the Lake including walking trails, picnic areas, 2nd boat launch, restrooms, improved lighting and parking,  and a Wetlands Interpretation Center to be realized once the Lake is “Saved”.
  • In 2012, Canonsburg Lake Dam was stabilized and brought up to code at a cost of approximately $3 million as a result of maintained pressure by the public on local representitives.  Now that the Dam was stabilized attention shifted to consider what was needed to improve the Lake.
  • In 2014 the townships and our county commissioners supported efforts to identify a company to construct a weir upstream to catch upstream sediment and debris.  This is an essential next step before any dredging can begin.  The scope of the work would involve creating an access road on the North Strabane side of the Lake for the PFBC and the contractor to mobilize equipment they would need.  Bids were solicited and the firm to complete the work was selected.  The work was completed in 2016 at a cost of ($2million).  Unfortunately funds appropriated for the work were inadequate to allow for any dredging.
  • Currently (2018) ongoing efforts to raise money to begin dredging have begun.  This is an expensive undertaking and all money must be secured before any dredging can begin.  


Additional accomplishments 

  • Partnered with the Peter’s Township Girl Scouts to install benches around the lake.
  • Partnered with an Eagle Scout to build a walkway bridge on the North Strabane side that crosses a wet stream-fed gulley.   An Eagle Scout also improved a walking trail from the mail parking lot to the dam.
  • Constructed a footbridge and informational Kiosk
  • With the help of North Strabane  township, Japanese knotweed was removed allowing more access for fisherman to the Lake.  Additionally, all fallen trees were  removed, debris cleared, and the area sprayed to minimize regrowth
  • Partnered annually with students from the Environmental Club at both Peters Township High School (PTHS) and Canon-MacMillan High School (CMHS) to participate in clean up, water safety education, and canoeing.
  • Sponsored over the past several years three major fund raising events at restaurants around or near the Lake who benefit from their customers enjoying Lake side dining: Bruschetta’s (now Mad Max), Juniper Grill, and Atrias.  These restaurants hosted the events, providing appetizers and wine.  Proceeds from these events were donated to “Save the Lake” efforts.
  • Requested a dumpster on the North Strabane side

These accomplishments could not have been accomplished without the support of several agencies who share the same vision for water safety and quality in Washington County. 


Posted by floyd2 on Thursday April 12, 2018 4:50 am



Posted by floyd2 on Thursday April 12, 2018 4:50 am



Posted by floyd2 on Thursday April 12, 2018 4:44 am

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Canonsburg Lake Restoration &
Improvement Committee

“Save Canonsburg Lake”

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Canonsburg Lake Restoration & Improvement Committee
760 Lakeside Dr
McMurray PA 15317