For Fun and Memories, Just Add Water

Apr 28, 2022 | Blog

By Dave Salley, former Technical Coordinator with the Lancaster Clean Water Partners

With all the hustle in our daily lives, it’s amazing that our brains can escape to happy, hidden-away memories from our childhood. What’s even more amazing is how these seemingly insignificant childhood memories can provide just enough inspiration to influence lifelong passions–even careers. 

My best childhood memories are of fishing with my grandpa. Since he lived in New York, spending time with him was extra special. It was a time when grandpa could get outdoors and share his love of nature with my sister and I. When I’d catch a fish, my grandpa’s face would burst into a proud smile, even if it was just a little Sunny. He wore that same proud smile when my sister put the worm on her hook all by herself. I still laugh about that memory! We had the time of our lives during those trips. 

I’m sure it’s memories like fishing with my grandpa and many more that have shaped me into the person I am today and created in me a love of the outdoors and water. Today, my career is based around water. I attend meetings for future developments of BMPs (best management practices), research impaired streams, collaborate with public and private landowners, leverage funding to support projects, come up with creative solutions to improve water quality, and the list goes on and on. When my brain is in a whirlwind of responsibilities, I remember those fond memories and realize why I chose a career relating to water. 

I grew up on the border of Dauphin and Lancaster County. My friends and I would go to the Swatty (Swatara Creek) every chance we got. It was always a tradition to put a penny on the railroad track before we started our trek downstream. We would spend hours swimming, swinging on ropes along the banks, floating in our tubes and canoes, and finishing the day sore and severely sunburnt. Then we looked for our flattened pennies and saved them as reminders of our fun day on the creek. 

Clean water is vital for experiences like this to happen. I feel that I have a responsibility to help with the effort of cleaning up our waterways so that others can create memories like the ones I had. 

These are the reasons why I joined the Lancaster Clean Water Partners. The Partners gives me the opportunity to work with some of the most impactful organizations throughout Lancaster County and the Bay area to achieve collective goals with a collaborative effort. There is so much passion here in Lancaster to improve our streams and provide those memories for others. I want to make a lasting difference in improving our waterways so that I can create long lasting memories with my wife and daughter. When the time comes and my daughter catches her first fish, I’ll look at her with the same proud smile my grandpa wore when I was a kid. 

Learn more about Dave and reach out to say hello!