Hello LSC fans. We hope you are enjoying the Fall.
We'd like to take a little time and recap the 2019 season - and look ahead to 2020. We'll try to retell the story of 2019 chronologically and keep it brief and to the point. So, grab your favorite beverage and give it a read.
Here we go...
Our yearly membership drive kicked off in early February with mailings, emails and postings on our website and Facebook. We are happy to report that we had 342 paid members, which includes 9 Business Sponsors. This generated $52,550 in membership dues which gives us an average contribution of $154. Thank you to all of our members! Your membership dues and additional contributions over and above our base $100 membership level are crucial to funding our important lake programs. We are happy to report that we've increased our membership in both dollars and in individual contributors by around 12% each as compared to last year. We hope to build on these numbers again next year. As always, we ask you to help us spread the word by discussing the LSCA with your neighbors. We will continue to work hard for Lake St. Catherine to earn your support.
- Milfoil Control
Back in December of 2018, we applied for two new permits as part of our milfoil control program. We applied for a 5 year permit to treat milfoil with the new herbicide ProcellaCOR - and a 10 year permit to be able to perform DASH (Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting). While both permits were approved, we had to start almost a month later than we would have liked. The herbicide permit was not approved by the state until 5/10/19. There was then a 30 day comment period, then a 30 day notice period, which set the treatment date at July 10th. We did all we could to try to maintain the schedule that we've had in the past, but that was unable to happen this year because of the approval delay. We hope to get back to our usual schedule of an early June treatment date next year.
We are very happy with the results of the new herbicide ProcellaCOR. As compared to the previous herbicide (Renovate), ProcellaCOR allows us to use 200x - 400x less herbicide, has significantly less water use restrictions, and it’s is highly targeted to milfoil - promising longer lasting results. For example, the recommended water use restrictions this season were only the day of treatment for recreational use (vs. 2 days) and 7 days for using lake water for irrigation (vs. 120 days). We hope the effectiveness of ProcellaCOR will allow us to continue to emphasize DASH for milfoil control.
Our hard working DASH team also had a great season combating milfoil. They worked on 10+ locations around the lake and removed 1,293 buckets of milfoil by suction harvesting.
This balanced approach has kept the milfoil in treated areas in check for 15 years.
This season, we received many reports of milfoil in areas of the lake, asking if it will be addressed by our DASH team. We inspected all the areas being reported, and we discovered that many folks were confusing Illinois Pondweed with milfoil. Pondweed, which is considered native, cannot be removed by our DASH team. However, if you'd like to clear your swimming or dock area of pondweed - you are allowed to do so by raking or hand pulling. Please see the graphic below showing our 2019 treatment areas and the difference between milfoil and pondweed.
- Greeter Program
This season, we were happy to be selected for a grant from the Vermont DEC’s Watershed Grant Program for $4,942. This allowed us to expand our daily Greeter hours, add coverage for fishing tournaments and to further expand hours around holidays. This resulted in inspecting 1,779 boats, a 21% increase from 2018.
The Program, co-administered by DEC and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, distributes grant dollars for noteworthy local and regional water-related projects within Vermont.
All are encouraged to consider switching your current license plate to a Vermont Conservation license plate. Applications to do so can be found at here at the Conservation License Plate website. Currently, there are 3 plate options to choose from: Deer, Loon, Trout:
Our Greeter program is very important to the health of LSC. Greeters do not just check boats and trailers for milfoil - they are checking for many invasive species that are just a lake or two away from us. These invasives include zebra mussels, spiny waterflea, asian clams, water chestnuts and starry stonewort. For example, spiny waterflea were just found in Lake Champlain and zebra mussels were recently discovered in Lake Dunmore. Our Greeters are hard working young adults who have been trained to identify these invasive species to stop them from entering LSC. They also educate boaters about the importance of looking for these invasives on their boat or trailer so they are not spread to LSC or another lake.
This is an extremely important program that helps to protect LSC!
- Lake Safety - Free Boating Classes
The LSCA provides two free boating safety classes each year - one in Wells and one in Poultney. Anyone born after January 1st, 1974 must successfully complete a boating safety class to be able to legally operate a motorized watercraft. This year, 25 people passed the course and received their boating license. If you'd like to earn your boating license next year, please keep an eye out for our announcement of the classes (usually taking place in June).
- 7th Annual Boat Parade
On Saturday, July 7th, we had 15 boats participate in the 7th Annual LSCA Boat Parade - and the creativity was on full display! We hope you enjoyed watching it - and we were thankful for all the participants and our sponsors.
Our Best Overall winner was the "Loon Pontoon":
You can read more and see photos & video in this 7th Annual Boat Parade recap.
- Membership & Donation Appeal
After preparing our 2019 budget, we projected that we'd have a shortfall of income (membership dues, grants, donations) to fully fund our programs this season. While we’ve been steadily increasing in both the number of members - and the total amount collected from membership dues, support from state and local governments has been decreasing.
Although we would be able to cover these expenses with funds from our savings, we decided to reach out to the lake community in an appeal to reach residents that had not paid their 2019 dues, and to ask for additional contributions from our membership. So, we sent out mailings, emails and postings on our website and Facebook pages explaining the shortfall. You can read that appeal here.
Well, you responded. Since the appeal began in mid July, we've added 40 members and received additional contributions totaling over $25,000!
In 2020, we will be working hard on initiatives to expand our membership base, generate additional contributions and win grant awards (more on that below).
- LSCA Annual Meeting & Dinner
We had a great turnout at the Annual Meeting at the LSC Country Club on July 27th. Trustees gave reports from their committees and answered questions from attendees. We then all enjoyed an excellent dinner with our lake neighbors.
You can read a full recap of the meeting, including our presentation in this Annual Meeting recap.
We hope you'll join us next year!
- The First Lake Wise Award on LSC
In early September, we and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) were excited to announce that the first property on Lake St. Catherine has been selected for a Lake Wise award.
"The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a 'model' shoreland property. The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake."
On Friday, September 8th, representatives from the LSCA and PMNRCD gathered at Sylvia and Harry Bingham's camp on Peninsula Drive to present them with the Lake Wise award - the first awarded on Lake St. Catherine.
You can read more about the Binghams and the Lake Wise program in this posting: First Lake Wise Award On Lake St. Catherine.
19 properties were assessed in 2019 - and the LSCA and the PMNRCD will be working with these owners to help them earn the Lake Wise award for their property.
We'd like to help other Lake St. Catherine property owners earn the Lake Wise award. If you would like to have your property assessed, please email us at email@example.com.
You can view our two 2019 newsletters here:
• Spring 2019
• Fall 2019
Plans are already underway to do it all again in 2020...
Also, we are currently in the process of applying for grants to: help fund our suction harvesting program, help fund and expand our greeter program, help fund LSCA organizational expenditures and create some education programs.
We hope to earn your support in 2020 - so keep an eye out for our Membership Drive to kick off in February.
To keep up-to-date on all LSC news, please bookmark our Blog, and like us on Facebook. We post all of the latest news on these sites. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to our renewing members, our new members, our business sponsors, our volunteers and all who donated to help make this season a great success!