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Friends of Crowder Lake Organization Established

Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) with locations in Weatherford and Sayre has announced the formation of the Friends of Crowder Lake, a nonprofit organization established to provide outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen, conservationists, and nature lovers a way to positively impact Crowder Lake through charitable investment.

Members of the Friends of Crowder Lake receive recognition from SWOSU and enjoy members-only gear, benefits and opportunities.

Crowder Lake was created in 1958 when Cobb Creek Watershed Dam #1 was constructed for flood control in 1958 by the Deer Creek Conservation District with the assistance of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Watershed Program.

In 1983, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) created a state park around the lake, and it became known as Crowder Lake State Park. In 1997, SWOSU took over management of the park and in 2003 the OTRD transferred the lake formally to SWOSU where it became known as Crowder Lake University Park.

Park facilities around the lake include RV sites, picnic tables, camp sites, fishing docks and a one-mile interpretive trail. The lake is a favorite fishing location for many local residents and has been designated a Trophy Bass Lake by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

SWOSU utilizes the lake in conducting courses such as a ropes course, wilderness first aid, sailing, canoeing, hiking and climbing. What started out as a single purpose flood control dam has been turned into a great location for college students to learn skills outside the classroom; a recreational area for university and area citizens; and a lake with enhanced fish and wildlife habitat areas.

“In honor of and on behalf of the entire Crowder family, I enthusiastically encourage everyone who values Crowder Lake and enjoys all that it brings to the area to join the Friends of Crowder Lake organization,” said Don Crowder of Oklahoma City, who was the first individual to join the Friends. “Outdoors enthusiasts, wildlife conservationists and nature lovers all benefit from the park and should welcome the chance to help SWOSU maintain and enhance this unique place for generations to come.”

The Friends of Crowder Lake organization is coordinated by the SWOSU Foundation, Inc. An institutionally-related charitable entity, the Foundation was established in 1977 to promote philanthropy, award scholarships and distribute funds to support the activities and programs of SWOSU. Located on the Weatherford campus in the historic Burton House, the Foundation currently stewards over $28 million in assets for the benefit of SWOSU.

For more information or to join the Friends of Crowder Lake, please visit or call 580-774-3267.