I am Leann Sestak, (with) Environment Erie, and I’m from Erie, Pennsylvania. My earliest memory of water would have to be going to the gorge with my cousins, my aunts, and my mom – it’s a short drive from where we live. We would park, and there’s a little walkway we would take; you’d have to find the fallen log and jump over it, and you’d walk down this path and come across the creek. We would spend the afternoon just hanging out, looking for toads, frogs, tadpoles, looking for the little fish and skeeters that were there; just exploring, looking under rocks, finding fossils.
There’s even one part if you walk down a little farther that you could jump off this little ridge into this deep part of the creek. For some of us it was really fun, and sometimes it was just a little scary – a little bit out of our comfort zone. But it was always the best afternoon, and as we got older development started to happen there; they eventually put what’s called the Bayfront Connector through there. It’s not what I remember as a little girl, which is frustrating.
It’s nice that it’s more open, it’s connected to a trail now so more people get to enjoy it. They don’t get to enjoy it like I did – there’s now some pillars there holding up this large street – but it’s a cool place from my childhood. I think it started everything to make sure I would end up in this little environmental work that I do, and I always appreciate the memories that I had there with my family.
My Watermark is Lake Erie, Pennsylvania.