Participants from last year’s Run for the Dam proudly display their completion certificates.

Runners, grab your shoes and get ready to run through magnificent vistas of the Bell Creek preserve and scenic Lake Grady. There will be a 5K and a 1-Mile Fun Run on Saturday, October 26 with proceeds benefitting the maintenance and care of the Shadow Run dam.

The Shadow Run dam controls the lake levels of Lake Grady and is an important infrastructure that ensures the natural ecosystem within and around the lake continues to flourish. This beautiful 160+ acre lake is one of the largest in the area, yet it still largely remains a hidden gem.

Originally created in 1969, the dam was constructed to enclose portions of Bell Creek and the Pellam Branch Watersheds, both of which flow to the Alafia River. After the dam experienced several failures in the 1980s, county ownership of the dam was eventually transferred to what is now known as the Shadow Run Damn Corporation (SRDC). The road that once connected the two sides of Shadow Run was closed and is now a pedestrian greenway that affords sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding nature preserve.

The SRDC ensures that the dam remains in working condition, and during hurricanes it has emptied the lake through the dam to protect homesites from flooding. The dam also preserves the wildlife habitat for the scrub preserve which feeds into Bell Creek, awarding residents within Shadow Run and surrounding developments with unique sightings of native Florida wildlife.

Maintaining the integrity of the dam is vital in keeping the nature preserve and lake stocked with wildlife, especially in an area that has seen very heavy development. The Run for the Dam will provide needed monies to do so.

The cost of the run is $35 for the 5K and the 1-Mile Fun Run is an open run and is donation-based. Registration will be accepted up until the morning of the run on Saturday, October 26 and can be done online at www.srdcfl.org.

The 5K start time is 8 a.m. and the Fun Run begins at 8:45 a.m. Both runs begin and end on the Shadow Run dam. Come with friends, family or on your own to run for this important ecological cause.