The Owasco Lake watershed is a 208-square-mile area that is home to a variety of families, farms, businesses and unique establishments. Our watershed community continues to progress in recognition of the importance of protecting the water resources of Owasco Lake through collective, conscientious efforts. Protecting our water resources and critical drinking water sources requires constant observation, recognition and special care for our individual corners of the watershed. The activities we conduct on land within our watershed will ultimately impact neighbors and resources downstream. One of the unique, established landmarks that has adopted this philosophy, and has demonstrated a proactive approach towards water quality protection, is Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center, nestled in the western shore of Owasco Lake.
The original property surrounding Casowasco was purchased in 1946 from a family with the last name Case. The property was purchased at a significantly reduced price by the United Methodist Church to be converted into a summer camp and year-round retreat. The Case family offered this sale with two conditions: that “the land be used in ministering to youth and children,” and that the Case name be carried with the property. Hence the name “Casowasco.” The initial sale included 73 acres, eventually expanding to 273 acres, descending from the Highland camp on the west side of Route 38 through a deep, scenic ravine, to nearly a mile of shaded Owasco Lake shoreline. The camp’s amenities include interpretive hiking trails, cabins, yurts, ropes courses, a beach, a soccer field, an archery range, a lakeside chapel and two houses that have remained on site since the Case family resided in them.