Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

GTA Proximity Card and Access FAQs

What is a Proximity Card? Proximity Cards are used by property owners and their guests to access all GTA facilities and amenities. The cards contain smart chip technology that electronically opens doors at the Owners' Club Complex and tracks usage by property. Eventually, this technology will be introduced at other GTA facilities.

Six proximity cards are issued for each property in good standing at no charge. An additional four proximity cards may be purchased annually for a fee of $50 per card; maximum quantity of access cards per property is 10. Members and their guests are required to carry their proximity cards with them whenever they're visiting any of the GTA's amenities. Lost or damaged proximity cards will be cancelled (smart chip deactivated) and the cards may be replaced at a cost of $50 per card. No proximity card is required for children five years of age and under. Failure to produce a proximity card when requested by GTA staff may result in a fine.

The proximity cards do not display member photos or lot descriptions. Proximity cards are not re-issued every year, since the smart chip is remotely updateable by GTA staff, which will occur once the next year's assessment has been paid.

What if I don't have enough proximity cards for all my guests?
A temporary daily guest pass for guests of a member (and who do not have a proximity card) may be purchased for $5 per person per day. Guests are required to carry their daily guest passes with them whenever they're visiting any of the GTA's amenities. No daily guest pass is required for children five years of age and under. Failure to produce a daily guest pass when requested by GTA staff may result in a fine.

GTA temporary daily guest passes are available at the Owners' Club Administrative office from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday (excluding New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas day) and also can be obtained from the Access Control Officer at the Pool/Recreation complex entrance. Guests must be authorized by a member to receive a temporary guest pass. 

What should I do if I lose a proximity card?
Notify the GTA Administrative office immediately by calling 815-777-2000! Each property is assigned six proximity cards to access the GTA amenities. Once you notify the office that you have lost a card the administrative staff will turn off the access rights on the lost card. Owners should retain a list of the numbers assigned to your property so that if you lose a card you can notify the office of the number on the missing card. Lost proximity cards can be replaced, but it will cost $50 each.

What should I do if I find a proximity card?
Anyone finding a lost proximity card should return it to the GTA Administrative Office. Remember, lost cards will be deactivated and will not allow access to the amenities. Once the proximity card has been turned in to the office it will be reactivated and returned to its rightful owner.

How do I get a vehicle decal or temporary parking pass?
Vehicle decals are provided by the GTA Administrative office in the Owners’ Club to property owners who have registered their vehicles after paying their annual assessments. Temporary parking passes also are available through the Administrative office and at the Marina.

General Territory Amenity FAQs

What amenities are found in The Galena Territory?
The following amenities are owned by the Galena Territory Association (GTA):
• The Owners’ Club & Recreation Complex is a private facility, open to GTA members and their guests.
• Lake Galena & the Marina/Park Complex and the Greenspace/Trail System are managed by the GTA and are accessible by property owners, their guests, and guests of Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa.
• Owned by the GTA, the Shenandoah Riding Center is open to GTA Owners and guests, as well as the general public.
• A golf resort, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa also is located in The Territory. It is privately owned. GTA owners can receive discounts at resort facilities by acquiring an Owners ID card from the resort.

Are there any GTA facilities I can rent for special events?
Yes. The Galena Territory is a beautiful place to have a celebration whether planning a family get together, wedding reception, birthday party, holiday party or corporate meeting. The GTA’s beautiful location will certainly make wonderful memories.  Choose from a range of locations: our spectacular Owners’ Club social hall, Owners’ Club lounge, Marina lounge, Marina pavilion, or the Shenandoah Riding Center viewing lounge. With so many locations your event will be remembered for years to come.

Who maintains the amenities?
The Galena Territory Association (GTA), the member organization of property owners in The Galena Territory, employs a complete staff of Maintenance Services personnel, who are responsible for maintaining all of the amenities. 

Lake Galena & Marina Complex FAQs

How was Lake Galena formed?
Construction on the man-made lake began in 1974 and was completed in 1976. Lake Galena is fed by Smallpox Creek as well as natural springs. To capture the water, a class I dam was built between two existing hills about 1,100 feet apart; a spillway and waterfall also were created with construction of the dam on the lake’s west end.

Once the dam/spillway was complete, crews had to remove structures, trees, etc. from the valley. Any portion of land that would be covered with water was cleared. Once the flooding of the valley began, engineers estimated that it would take 18 months. It took just seven weeks due to a major snow melt in 1975, along with a very wet spring. 

The dam and spillway were designed to withstand a 1,000-year flood. This means that the spillway is designed so that the amount of water from a flood that statistically has a one in 1,000 chance of happening in any given year, would still be safely carried over the spillway and not over the top of the dam. This would prove important as The Territory experienced 1,000-year floods in 2010 and 2011! The dam and spillway remained structurally sound through these flood events.

The lake is 225 acres; average depth is 20 feet, but there are several spots that are 60 feet deep. The bays and the Marina are shallower, ranging from one to 15 feet deep.

Who can boat or fish on the lake?
Property owners, guests of property owners, or guests of Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa may use the lake. Of course, a fishing license is required to fish the lake. Licenses are available at the Marina, online or from another point-of-sale vendor. Only boats owned and registered to a property owner, the association, or the resort are permitted on Lake Galena.

What kinds of boats are allowed on the lake?
Any type of manually powered boat, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats, are allowed. There is a 10 hp. limit on all motorized boats  Motorized boats are restricted to an 8-foot beam and 18 feet in length. Only boats owned and registered to a property owner, the association, or the resort are permitted on Lake Galena.

Is the lake good for fishing?
Lake Galena boasts some of the best fishing in the area, with an abundance of smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, bluegills, crappie, channel catfish, perch, and hybrid (tiger) muskie. The GTA’s Lake Management and Ecology Advisory Group, comprised of property owners in The Galena Territory, monitors fish populations and makes recommendations for annual fish stocking in the lake.

What is the creel census?
A creel census is the tabulation of fish species, by size, that are caught in the lake. The GTA’s Lake Management and Ecology Advisory Group asks anglers to fill out the forms that are found in the boxes on the dock ramps. They are tabulated at the end of the season and reported in the Territory Times and to the lake biologist. This information helps to decide what actions should be taken to keep Lake Galena’s fish healthy and plentiful.

How many fish, and at what lengths, am I allowed to keep?
Fishermen may keep:
  • 3 largemouth bass per day at lengths of 11 to 14 inches only (release other lengths)
  • Smallmouth bass – all catch and release
  • Tiger muskie – all catch and release
  • 3 walleye per day of lengths 20 inches or longer (release shorter walleye)
  • 10 yellow perch per day of lengths 10 inches or longer (release shorter perch)
  • 20 crappie per day of lengths 10 inches or longer (release shorter crappie)
  • 3 catfish per day of lengths 16 inches or longer (release shorter catfish)
  • Bluegill/sunfish have no limits
Where can I fish from shore?
There is a fishing pier at the Marina, as well as benches and trash cans along the shore for anglers’ convenience. Other good shore fishing spots are at the North Cove (accessible off Guilford Road) and Plum Cove (accessible from Wachter Drive). Fishermen also have had good luck fishing at Thunder Bay Falls Park (accessible from Thunder Bay Road). Fishing is not allowed from the docks at the Marina.

Is swimming allowed in the lake?
No. Runoff from agricultural lands and forests, farms that raise cattle, and acres of timber where wildlife thrives can bring E. coli bacteria into the lake.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) sets water-quality standards that must be maintained at all public swimming areas. Under the Illinois Administrative Code Title 77: Chapter 1: Part 820: Section 820.400....e. 2.A. states that “an E. coli count of 235 colonies/ 100 ml. or greater would warrant suspension of swimming activities.” 

There are swimming facilities at the Owners’ Club for property owners and their guests.

What services are available at the Marina?
The Marina has many items available for sale, including fishing equipment, bait, and boating equipment, such as floats, rope, anchors, and batteries. Snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, sunscreen, 9-volt batteries, and other miscellaneous items also are available. Fishing licenses also can be purchased at the Marina. The Marina has a screened pavilion, bocce ball courts, grills, playground, picnic tables, a fishing pier and a shore fishing area.

How is the water quality?
The water quality is good. The GTA works in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to test for clarity, phosphorous, nitrogen, pH, temperature, and other parameters. Each year the results of the water testing are reported to the lake biologist as another piece of information to help make recommendations for maintaining the quality of the lake.

What kinds of plants grow in the lake?
The aquatic plants are mostly coontail and sago pond weed. These are plants that are rooted in the floor of the lake and grow during the spring and early summer. During July and August, a floating plant, called duckweed, is commonly found in the bays. Various algae species grow during the spring and summer. The one specie that can negatively impact the lake is the blue-green algae, which is toxic to fish and can be found on the lake, usually in mats along the sunny side of the lake, when the summer is hot. This occurrence of blue-green algae is a rare occurence on Lake Galena, however, it is closely monitored by the GTA.

How is the dam at Lake Galena maintained?
The dam for Lake Galena was completed in 1976 and was designed to withstand a 1,000-year flood event. During the July 24, 2011, storm that brought an unprecedented 12 inches of rain to the Galena area in 12 hours, the Lake Galena dam remained structurally sound. The GTA is required to conduct annual dam inspections working in concert with its engineering firm and federal and state agencies. 

Who maintains Lake Galena?
The GTA employs a Lake and Marina manager and a Natural Resources manager, both of whom have responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of Lake Galena. Additionally, a volunteer Lake Management & Ecology Advisory Group, consisting of Territory owners, participates in lake maintenance and management decision making.

What types of wildlife will I see around Lake Galena?
On any given day, you may see many types of birds such as eagles, owls, osprey, blue herons, and wild turkeys, and a variety of animals including white tail deer, red fox, coyotes and beavers. 

Why is there a gate restricting boat access to Lake Galena?
The gate was installed in 2007 by the Lake Management and Ecology Committee to prevent the spread of the fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS), detected in Wisconsin in Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan at that time. The gate accomplishes two additional goals:
     - Prevent the introduction of other diseases and aquatic invasive species into Lake Galena from other 
        bodies of water.
     - Prevent unauthorized use of boats on Lake Galena by non-GTA members.

Property Owners' Club FAQs

What activities are available at the Owners’ Club?
The Owners’ Club, which was significantly expanded in 2012, has numerous activities suitable for the entire family. For swimmers, there are brand new indoor, outdoor and baby wading pools and ample space for sunbathing. The facility has a beautiful fitness center featuring a panoramic view of The Galena Territory valley. The game room has ping pong, pool, bumper pool, foosball, board games and an arcade. Owners and guests can play basketball, volleyball, pickleball and other indoor activities in the gym. The arts and crafts room hosts all sorts of fun creative activities. The GTA’s Recreation Department coordinates a calendar of children’s activities throughout the year.

Additionally, the Owners’ Club lounge and social hall are excellent venues for parties, educational programs and family events. For those with work to do, there is a business center with desks, computers and Internet connections, as well as a convenient computer bar with outlets. The entire Owners’ Club facility has free wireless Internet service. And the snack bar serves delicious picnic food and alcohol during the summer season. (Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend).

The Owners’ Club is open only to property owners and their guests.

What are the electronic locks at the Owners’ Club for?
With the completion of the latest Owners’ Club expansion in 2012, every effort was made to expand access to owners and guests while still maintaining a secure facility. That’s why the owner proximity cards were introduced to gain access to the Owners’ Club, game rooms, fitness center and indoor swimming pool. Each owner and guest must have a proximity card or daily guest pass to use Owners’ Club facilities. One advantage of the GTA proximity cards: every swipe for access creates a permanent electronic record of its use, from which accurate data can be compiled.

Is the Owners’ Club ADA compliant?
Yes, all facilities in the Owners’ Club are handicapped-accessible.

What facilities does the Owners’ Club have for members or guests needing to complete personal or work-related business?
The Owners’ Club has a business center with desks, computers and Internet access; wireless Internet throughout the facility; and a computer bar with electric outlets. The GTA Administrative office also will assist with any documents that must be copied, e-mailed or faxed (set fees apply). See staff at the Administrative office for more information during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

What are the dimensions of the outdoor pool?
The outdoor activity pool is 75 feet long by 30 feet wide plus a circular seating area bump out with a 22-foot radius. Water depth varies from 3 feet to 5 ½  feet in the main pool area and depth ranges from 3.4 feet to 4 feet. The pool is ADA-compliant with access ramp and powered handicap lift; its capacity is 374 bathers. 

What is the schedule for the outdoor pool?
The outdoor pool is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend for property owners and their guests, if the air temperature is 70 degrees or above, including days with overcast skies. During inclement weather (outside air temperature is under 70 degrees and/or rainy or stormy conditions exist or are pending), the outdoor pool will be closed and the indoor pool is available for use by all age groups during the open swim period.  

What are the dimensions of the indoor pool?
The natatorium is 75 feet by 30 feet with depth ranging from 3 1/2 feet to 5 1/2 feet. The pool is ADA-compliant with access ramp and powered handicap lift. There are four lap lanes, a basketball hoop and volleyball net. The pool’s temperature is maintained at 83 degrees with the surrounding air temperature at 83 degrees. The indoor pool is open year-round for property owners and their guests.

What activities are scheduled for the indoor pool?
The indoor pool maintains an active, year-round schedule of fitness classes, lap swimming and family swimming. Click here for schedule.

What about infant and toddler swimming?
The wading (kiddy) pool is shaped like a fan and has a depth of zero-entry to 1 foot 10 inches. There is a frog slide, and bubblers and fountains. Swim diapers are required and are available at the entrance to the indoor pool. The wading pool is open Memorial Day to Labor Day for property owners and their guests.

What are the specs of the fitness center?
The fitness center measures 58’ by 25’ and is ADA-compliant. There are 6 treadmills, 4 elliptical machines, 1 NuStep machine, 1 Airdyne bike, 2 recumbent bikes, Nautilus weight stack equipment, free weights, balance trainer, stretch bands and mats. There are two flat screen TVs, water fountain and a 6 foot by 12 foot wall mirror. Almost forgot… floor to ceiling windows offer a panoramic view of the outdoor pool and The Territory valley. 

Shenandoah Riding Center FAQs

Who operates the Shenandoah Riding Center?
The Shenandoah Riding Center is owned by the Galena Territory Association and leased to an outside management company, Free Range Chix, which operates the riding center for the enjoyment of property owners, their guests AND the general public. 

What activities are available for families at the riding center?
In addition to traditional boarding services, activities at the Shenandoah Riding Center include trail rides of different lengths and for different experience levels; lessons in numerous riding disciplines; riding camps for kids; customized birthday parties; and wagon and sleigh rides. In addition, the Riding Center hosts special events such as the July 4th Rodeo and fireworks spectacular. Go to www.theshenandoahridingcenter.com to learn more about the riding center’s many family-friendly activities. 

Will the riding center host the July 4th rodeo and fireworks?
As always! We look forward to seeing you at the Shenandoah Pro Rodeo and fireworks spectacular! For more information or dates visit www.theshenandoahridingcenter.com or call 815-777-9550.

Can I board my horse at the riding center?
Absolutely! Stop by the Shenandoah Riding Center or go to the facility website www.theshenandoahridingcenter.com, or call 815-777-9550 to learn more.

Where can horses be ridden in The Galena Territory?
Horses can be ridden on any trails within The Territory and along Territory roads (although we advise extreme caution near motorized vehicles).

Greenspace & Trails FAQs

What is The Territory Greenspace?   
The Greenspace consists of about 1,700 acres distributed throughout The Territory that are maintained to protect the natural character of the area. The Greenspace environment includes many things ranging from rolling prairies to dense woodlands, to vistas and valleys, all focused on heightening the sense of nature that takes us away from everyday worries, at least for a short time. 

Originally, the area consisted of prairie grasslands, open savannas, and oak/hickory forests. The environment was extremely rich with more than 900 species of plants, 270 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, and over 30 species of reptiles and amphibians. Before The Territory was formed, much of the land was farmed, and hence, the environmental quality was degraded. Today the GTA is actively restoring several sites to their original appearance. 

The trail system is incorporated within the Greenspace, with more than 24 miles of trails so everyone can enjoy exploring and hiking the area. The ongoing effort to protect the Greenspace includes:
• Restoration and Preservation. Protect the remaining prairie remnants and restore other prairie areas by burning, pruning, and reseeding. Woodland areas also are protected by removing invasive plant species, selective pruning to save shade intolerant trees, e.g. oaks, and occasional woodland burns.
• Site surveys. Plant and animal inventories are taken to identify all the species present and to determine when and if some species are exceeding sustainable numbers.
• Trail maintenance. This includes improving the trail beds, mowing, weed control, and posting signs. A trail map brochure is available at the GTA Owners’ Club, the Shenandoah Riding Center and the Marina. 
• Education. Several special events, open to all property owners, are conducted every year to provide information about the area and to help people actively manage their own land. Several brochures have been produced for self-guided tours of selected Greenspace sites. 
• Site stewardship program. Individual property owners can become site stewards of Greenspace sites near their own property. The GTA will help people establish a site plan and then implement it. 
• Watershed conservation. The Lake Galena watershed covers about 10,000 acres, and runoff into the lake includes sediment and chemicals that adversely affects its quality. To help control the runoff, the GTA received two EPA 319 grants where we have partnered with Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, the local Soil and Water Conservation District, and Guilford Township.

Who manages the trails in The Galena Territory?
The GTA, under the leadership of the manager of Natural Resources, oversees the maintenance of the trail system working in concert with a Greenspace Committee consisting of volunteer property owners.     

How can I help maintain the Greenspace?
Many Greenspace programs are supported by the Greenspace Committee, which meets the second Saturday of every month at 8:30 a.m. at the Owners’ Club. Additionally, owners can participate in the Stewardship Program, in which a volunteer force of property owners serve as site stewards for individual areas of The Galena Territory Greenspace. Stewards contribute to: 1) the protection of Greenspace sites, trees, and special plants; 2) restoration, where practical, of Greenspace areas; and 3) enhancement of neighborhood environments.

If you are interested in more information, contact the GTA Administrative office at 815-777-2000. 
 
Where can I find the trails?
The trails are very easy to find with easy-to-read signage. With close to 24 miles of trails winding through Greenspace, hikers can spend a day enjoying the serenity and solitude that only nature can provide. The trails closest to Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa are paved and suitable for jogging, power walking, and other activities that require sure footing. Some of these trails also have lookout platforms for beautiful panoramas of Lake Galena and the countryside.

The majority of the trails are natural and not paved. They are rugged and sometimes wet and slippery. However, that just adds to their charm! Hiking and horseback riding are two of the most popular pastimes here and can be enjoyed year-round. Trails also can be enjoyed for cross-country skiing although they are not groomed.

Do you have a trail map?
Yes, it is available at the GTA Administrative office in the Owners’ Club, at the Marina or at the Shenandoah Riding Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Proximity Card?
What if I don't have enough proximity cards for all my guests?
What should I do if I lose a proximity card?
What should I do if I find a proximity card?
How do I get a vehicle decal or temporary parking pass?

What amenities are found in The Galena Territory?
Are there any GTA facilities I can rent for special events?
Who maintains the amenities?

How was Lake Galena formed?
Who can boat or fish on the lake?
What kinds of boats are allowed on the lake?
Is the lake good for fishing?
What is the creel census?
How many fish, and at what lengths, am I allowed to keep?
Where can I fish from shore?
Is swimming allowed in the lake?
What services are available at the Marina?
How is the water quality?
What kinds of plants grow in the lake?
How is the dam at Lake Galena maintained?
Who maintains Lake Galena?
What types of wildlife will I see around Lake Galena?
Why is there a gate restricting boat access to Lake Galena?

What activities are available at the Owners’ Club?
What are the electronic locks at the Owners’ Club for?
Is the Owners’ Club ADA compliant?
What facilities does the Owners’ Club have for members or guests needing to complete personal or work-related business?
What are the dimensions of the outdoor pool?
What is the schedule for the outdoor pool?
What are the dimensions of the indoor pool?
What activities are scheduled for the indoor pool?
What about infant and toddler swimming?
What are the specs of the fitness center?

Who operates the Shenandoah Riding Center?
What activities are available for families at the riding center?
Will the riding center host the July 4th rodeo and fireworks?
Can I board my horse at the riding center?
Where can horses be ridden in The Galena Territory?

What is The Territory Greenspace?
Who manages the trails in The Galena Territory?
How can I help maintain the Greenspace?
Where can I find the trails?
Do you have a trail map?