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LSCA's 2023 Year In Review, Part II

22 Dec 2023 12:10 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

LSCA's 2023 Year in Review continued...

The 11th Annual LSCA Boat Parade

We had another great boat parade this year!

14 boats registered, 12 participated, and 177 people voted online for their favorite boats in our 4 categories: most patriotic, funniest, most original, best overall. 

Our winners were:

Most Patriotic:

Winner: Boat #3 - 4th of July / Fireworks - Joseph Cheslawski

LSCA's 11th Annual Boat Parade


Winner: Boat #11 - Sunnyside 5th Generation - Megan Caswell

Most Original:

Winner: Boat #1 - Unidentified Floating Object - The Goldman Family

Best Overall:

Winner: Boat #6 - Groovin On The Lake 2.0 - Christine & MIke Gay

Thank you to all who participated, to those who cheered from their boat and from the shore, and to everyone who voted! We are looking forward to our 12th year in 2024! Thanks to Karen Velsor for these excellent photos!

LSCA’s Annual Meeting & Dinner

The LSCA held our Annual Meeting & Dinner on Saturday, July 22nd, at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club. 

We had a packed house of approximately 100 attendees! It was great to see so many folks interested in preserving, protecting, and maintaining beautiful Lake St. Catherine. Thank you to all who were able to attend! We hope you enjoyed our guest speakers Pat Suozzi from FOVLAP and our Game Warden Justin Turner's presentations, our presentation, your dinner, and catching up with your lake neighbors. 

If you were unable to join us, you can view the full presentation on YouTube:

Lake St Catherine Association's Annual Meeting & Dinner - 7/22/23

If you have any questions about the presentation, or would like to share your feedback, please let us know - you can always reach us at info@lakestcatherine.org - and we'll get right back to you.

Thanks to the LSC Country Club and their staff for hosting us - and providing a wonderful dinner, Justin and Pat for their informative presentations, and our State and local government officials: Senators Collamore and Williams, Representative Chesnut-Tangerman, and Don Preuss from the Wells Select Board for joining us.

LSCA's 2023 Annual Meeting & Dinner

East Poultney Day

The theme for East Poultney Day this year was “Lakes, Mountains, and Summer” and focused on beautiful Lake St. Catherine!

We had our usual spot set up for the day on the green, and had great conversations with those in the lake community who stopped by our booth. It was great to see and speak with so many good folks who care so much about Lake St. Catherine.

LSCA at East Poultney Day 2023

We were also very happy to be asked to give a presentation at the event tent about Lake St. Catherine and the LSCA by the Poultney Historical Society. 

LSCA at East Poultney Day 2023

PEGTV was there to record the happenings at East Poultney Day, and our presentation was included in the video from the day, and you can watch that here: 88th East Poultney Day - August 12th, 2023.

Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIP) Program

On August 19th, the first Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIP) paddle took place on Lake St. Catherine. The focus of this program is early detection of aquatic invasive species (AIS) before they can become established in a waterbody.

From the DEC: The VIP program was established by the VTDEC in 2007 to focus on early detection of all known and potential aquatic invasive species (AIS). Although VIPs now emphasize aquatic invasive plants more broadly in their surveying efforts, they are trained to identify both aquatic invasive plants and animals that are either established in Vermont or in nearby states and pose the greatest threat to Vermont’s water bodies.

First - a THANK YOU to our participants: Kim, Gloria, Marcia, and Steve. We appreciate you all taking part in our first paddle - we hope you enjoyed it!

On this first introductory paddle, we used underwater viewers to find and identify many of our native plants, while keeping an eye out for invasive plants or animals around the boat launch. Patrolling the boat launch is a great place to kickoff this program, as it is a high-risk area for invasive species introduction.

We of course found some of our common natives like elodea, Robbins' pondweed, and white water lily, and the invasive eurasian watermilfoil.

But we also found some of our more interesting ones... we found:

  • american eel-grass - with the female plants having a coiling stem which resembles a corkscrew

  • watershield - which has floating, elliptical shaped leaves that have a clear jelly-like undercoating

  • ribbon-leaf pondweed - which has two different leaf types: submerged long and slender grass like leaves and floating, elliptical leaves. 

As part of this Vermont DEC program, we filled out a report with our findings for the day.

We'll plan VIP paddles in 2024. If you enjoy paddling, and would like to learn more about LSC’s native plants, and help to keep an eye out for new invasive species, we hope you’ll join us. If you'd like to learn more about this new program on LSC, please visit the VIP page on our website: https://www.lakestcatherine.org/vermont-invasive-patrollers. Let us know if you’d like to participate next season by emailing us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

This is a GREAT addition to our invasive species control and prevention initiatives which includes our Greeter Program.

If you'd like to learn more about the interesting aquatic plants in LSC, check out the book "Aquatic Flora of Northern New England" by Donald J. Padgett. It contains great photos and descriptions of native (and invasive) aquatic plants that you'd find in LSC.

"Aquatic Flora of Northern New England" by Donald J. Padgett.

LSCA Marks 70th Anniversary

August 31st, 2023 marked the Lake St. Catherine Association's 70th anniversary!

A lot has changed over those 70 years, and the LSCA has evolved to meet new challenges over that time. As you’ll read below, the LSCA has updated its original stated purpose a few times as the needs of the lake have changed, and to focus on the responsibility of stewardship.

Back on August 31st, 1953, the founding Trustees of the Lake St. Catherine Association submitted our Articles of Association with the stated purpose of “…encouraging, and promoting the development and beautifying of the grounds, cottages, beaches and roads of privately owned homes and cottages on or near Lake St. Catherine...”

LSCA marks 70th anniversary

On August 28th, 1980, the LSCA’s Trustees submitted an Amendment of Articles of Association to update our purpose. It was changed to “The purpose of this corporation is the promotion of the common good, general welfare and civic betterment of the Lake St. Catherine community by restoring and maintaining the quality of Lake St. Catherine, a public body of water, and the surrounding area, for the benefit of all those people who visit and use the lake and for the benefit of the total environment of all people.”

Then on July 30th, 2011, the LSCA’s Trustees submitted another Amendment of Articles of Association which updated our purpose to what it is today, and instituting our 501c3 non-profit status: “The purpose of this corporation is to be a public charity to receive donations, grants or contributions and to utilize its income and assets for the preservation, protection, and maintenance of Lake St. Catherine, a public body of water in the State of Vermont, and its environs.”

What started in 1953 as a well-intentioned group of folks promoting the beautification of the grounds of Lake St. Catherine has evolved into an association of dedicated volunteers planning for the long-term future and health of the lake.

As we acknowledge this occasion, we also reflect back to think of those who started this great organization. We sincerely hope that they would be proud to see what the Association has grown into.

So, as we mark our 70th anniversary, cheers to those founding members of the LSCA, to those who have served in the past, and to our current 15 Trustees who continue to work to preserve, protect, and maintain beautiful Lake St. Catherine!

LSCA marks 70th anniversary

Dockside Chats

Dockside Chats began in 2020 as a way to have safe, face-to-face interactions with members around LSC to discuss lake related issues during COVID. We invited lake residents to schedule a Dockside Chat with a LSCA Trustee who would meet you at your dock to chat about the lake. These were again very popular in 2022, so we continued the program this year. 7 Dockside Chats were scheduled this year. Let us know if you’d like to get a chat scheduled for next season by emailing us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

LSCA's Dockside Chats

Lake St. Catherine Stormwater Master Plan

In 2018 and 2019, extensive field work by the PMNRCD and Fitzgerald Environmental Associates took place in the LSC watershed. The goal was to identify sources of increased stormwater runoff and associated sediments and nutrients flowing into the lake. Phosphorus reducing projects are of particular importance given the water quality concerns within the watershed. The work involved identifying sources of stormwater, prioritizing sources based on various environmental, economic, and social criteria, and designing projects to mitigate those sources. This resulted in the creation of the Lake St. Catherine Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP). 50 potential sites were identified, and as of today, 6 projects have been implemented. Projects have recently been completed on Quinn Cove and Ferncliff Road.

In 2022, we were informed that we had earned part of a $100k grant being administered by the PMNRCD from the LCBP. $50,000 of this grant will be used directly for Lake St. Catherine to design Stormwater Master Plan Projects on LSC. The goal of this grant is to develop 10-12 projects identified in the Lake St. Catherine Stormwater Master Plan to be ready for implementation and submitted to our region’s Clean Water Service Provider for funding. 

Our Project Team, consisting of the LSCA, PMNRCD, Fitzgerald Environmental, and local partners, identified a list of the remaining high and medium priority projects and presented those to the lake community at a meeting at the Wells Town Hall in September. 12 projects from the SWMP were selected by attendees and will move ahead into the design phase. They include projects on: Clayton Tract, RT 30 (near Cluckin’ Chicken), the end of Cones Point Road, Lochlea Lane, West Lake Road, (south of the Lighthouse), West Lake Road (near Idylwild), Channel Drive, and a grouping of issues on Ferncliff Road. This was an extremely productive meeting, and we thank all attendees for your participation, input and enthusiasm to make this project a success!

Fitzgerald Environmental will now develop 30% conceptual designs to address these issues. Included with the conceptual designs will be detailed budget estimates, anticipated permitting needs, and preliminary landowner agreements or letters of interest. 

You can read more about the SWMP, and view an interactive map with the identified sites by visiting our Stormwater Master Plan page.

LSCA Stormwater Master Plan Meeting

LSCA & PMNRCD Interviewed For Public Affairs Show Catamount Community Connection

The LSCA was happy to be asked to participate in a public affairs show hosted by Senator Brian Collamore called Catamount Community Connection. This edition featured an interview with the Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) and Poultney Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District (PMNRCD) and it aired the morning of October 1st, on 98.1 WJJR Rutland.

Jerremy Jones from the LSCA and Hilary Solomon from the PMNRCD had a great discussion with Senator Collamore about the projects and programs our organizations are working on, and how we are working together on numerous preservation and protection initiatives for the lake and the Lake St. Catherine watershed.

Thank you to Senator Collamore and to Catamount Radio for this opportunity to speak about these important topics for the lake community and all in the Poultney Mettowee conservation district.

You can listen to it here on YouTube: Catamount Community Connection - WJJR - October 1st, 2023.

LSCA & PMNRCD interviewed on Catamount Community Connection

LSCA Newsletters

Our traditional Spring and Fall newsletters were posted digitally on our website, and printed copies were made available at Wellsmere Farm in Wells (thanks Michelle!). If you missed them when they were released, you can read them here:

Keeping You Up-To-Date Via Our Website & Facebook Pages

When we have Lake St. Catherine news, we like to inform the lake community as soon as possible by posting it on our website Blog, and on our Facebook page. So, keep an eye on these sites for all the latest information on LSC. We also send out news summaries via email updates to our members who have shared their email with us - so please be sure to provide your email address when you become a member!

If you are not a Facebook user, you can still view our Facebook posts on the homepage of our website.

Grants - Working To Bring Funding To Lake St. Catherine

The LSCA has been working hard throughout 2023 to bring grant funds to Lake St. Catherine for 2024.

In July, we learned that the Libraries Love Lakes initiative at Lake St. Catherine will continue. Based on the FANTASTIC ideas and grant proposal created by Wells Village Librarian Gina Ellis, the Lake St. Catherine Association and the Wells Village Library were awarded an Education & Outreach grant for $20,360 by the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) for a series of initiatives and events in support of Libraries Love Lakes!

Libraries Love Lakes is an outreach project which pairs school and public libraries with lake scientists to provide collaborative programming emphasizing the importance of lakes in our everyday lives.

Last year, the inaugural Libraries Love Lakes event took place on July 3rd at the Wells Lakeside Park. Nine presenters offered opportunities for stewardship-based, hands-on, lake-related learning, and families were given lake-themed kits that included numerous books and activities. Boat tours were also provided to get attendees out on the lake to learn more about beautiful Lake St. Catherine. This effort also led to the creation of a new section in the Wells Village Library called "The Lake St. Catherine Collection."

This new Libraries Love Lakes project is entitled: "Libraries Love Lakes II: Conveying an Understanding of How Lake St. Catherine Fits to the Broader Watershed in order to Promote Inter/Intra-Community Collaboration and Sound Stewardship," and it is chock-full of fun and educational activities!

Libraries Love Lakes II includes:

  • The creation of an interactive watershed model of Lake St. Catherine

  • The creation of a Lake St. Catherine mascot through community participation

  • Expanding "The Lake St. Catherine Collection" at the library

  • Four seasonal themed, hands-on, fun & educational events for winter, spring summer & fall, which will include a larger summer event at the Lake St. Catherine State Park

Work on this project will begin in December, with the first event based on the winter theme taking place in February 2024.

As you read earlier, in early December, we learned that we earned a grant for $18,592 for the 2024 Lake Wise Program from the LCBP, which will be our 6th year for Lake Wise on Lake St. Catherine.

We will also be applying for a grant from the State of Vermont for AIS prevention and control to help fund our Greeter and Milfoil Control Programs, and an Organizational grant from the LCBP to purchase water testing equipment. This new equipment will allow us to take additional and constant water readings, along with macroinvertebrate monitoring. This data, along with the Lay Monitoring data from the State, will be analyzed and reported on by our limnologist. We’ll let you know how we do!

Thank You For Your Support!

Finally, thank you to all those in the lake community who showed their support of the LSCA in 2023 by being a member, or making a donation, or volunteering, or participating in Lake Wise, or attending meetings, or helping to clean up milfoil - there are so many ways we can all contribute! We hope you found our efforts in 2023 for Lake St. Catherine to be worthy of that support.

2024 is going to be another busy year, and LSCA Trustees are hard at work getting ready. 

Be on the lookout for our Membership Drive which will begin in early February. We hope to earn your support so we can continue to all work together to preserve, protect, and maintain beautiful Lake St. Catherine.

Happy Holidays, and we’ll see you at the lake soon,

- The Trustees of The Lake St. Catherine Association

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Lake St. Catherine Association
PO Box 631
Wells, VT 05774

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