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LSCA Pleased To Receive A 2019 Watershed Grant To Support Greeter Program

- by Martha Pofit

Since its creation in 1998, the Vermont DEC’s Watershed Grant Program’s primary focus has been to support watershed-related education and recreation and directly protect and restore Vermont’s watersheds.

In 2019, the Watershed Grant program recognized the Lake St. Catherine Association’s “Greeter” program at the State’s boat launch. Entitled “Taking the Lake St. Catherine Greeter Program to the Next Level of Performance through Evidence-Based Decision-Making”, The Association will use the $5,000 full funding of the outreach grant to expand the aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention program to keep invasive species out of Lake St. Catherine.

Specifically, the grant will expand the AIS Prevention Program (Greeter Program / Boat Launch Monitoring), through a 25% increase in hours, a special focused pilot study on July 4th weekend, to initiate outreach through a dialogue with Lake St. Catherine State Park on common goals and protocols, and a structured review of best practices and outcomes, for consideration of the feasibility of a pressurized decontamination station.

The Public Access Greeters perform a variety of inspections and decontaminations: visual and tactile inspection, removal of organic material, boater remove the bilge plug until drained, and distribute educational materials. In 2018, over 800 watercraft were inspected.

The Greeter Program is not only aimed at preventing the introduction of invasive species to Lake St. Catherine, but also at education and community building. It is an opportunity to interact with boaters, gain trust, and provide information on how to safely enjoy the Lake.

Half of the proceeds derived from the sale of Vermont Conservation License Plates go towards funding the Vermont Watershed Grants Program.

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:

If you know of a conservation-minded student who would enjoy working at the boat launch this summer, kindly contact LSCA Board Member John Belnavis at: john.beinavis@lakestcatherine.org.

The Board of Directors of the Lake St. Catherine Association sincerely thanks the Vermont DEC for supporting its efforts to protect Lake St. Catherine, now and in the future.

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Predict Ice Out Day 2019

Hello LSC fans.

With the recent warm weather, I'm sure we've all been thinking about Spring.

So, we decided to have some fun while we wait. Based on an idea posted on our Facebook page (thanks Derric), we've decided to have an Ice Out prediction contest.

When do you think the ice will go out this season?

Make your prediction here: LSC Ice Out Prediction Form

The winner will be crowned "LSC 2019 Ice Out Champion" and will have bragging rights all year.

Make your guess - and good luck!

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The 2019 LSCA Membership Drive Is Underway!

Hello good folks of the Lake St. Catherine community.

It's that time of year again... As the Lake St. Catherine Association heads into its 66th year, we are asking for your support for the 2019 season.

Your membership dues and contributions help fund many of the services provided by the LSCA:

  • Maintain and purchase navigation and shore line protection buoys throughout the lake.

  • Test the water for E coli, and water clarity.

  • Managing the free boat-safety courses that are state mandated for all persons born after January 1, 1974.

  • Inspecting boats wishing to enter the lake for Eurasian milfoil, zebra mussels and water chestnuts.

  • Controlling milfoil (and other invasive species) and maintaining native weeds at tolerable levels.

  • Working with the state to solve the problems of silting and impacts of phosphorus and other sources of pollution.

  • Maintaining "welcome" signs and gardens.

  • Liaising with other lakes in order to exchange information concerning problems.

  • Sponsor the annual fun-filled July 4th Boat Parade.

  • Disseminate information to our membership and the community through newsletters, website, and other local publications.

  • Organizing funding through membership fees, donations and grants from the State of Vermont and Poultney and Wells.

  • We represent you to state and local governments to protect your rights and the lake in general.

  • We protect the value of your property by maintain the beauty, access, and safety of the lake.

There are two easy ways to renew or become a member of the LSCA.

Soon, you will be receiving a mailing from us that contains the 2019 Membership Form. You can also download a copy by clicking here: 2019 LSCA Membership Form PDF. Just fill out the form and mail it in to our Treasurer Elaine with a check for your dues. We'll also send you an email if we have your address on file.

Or, you can renew or become a member on our website. If you were a member in 2018, click here to renew, or click here to become a new member - and you can pay your dues online with your credit card. If you were a member last year (whether you paid by check or online by credit card), the website has an account ready for you. If you don't remember your password, or never set one up, click on the "Forgot Username/Password?" link, and the site will send you an email with the information.

We'd also like to encourage you to check with your employer to see if they have an Employer Matching Gift Program for charitable donations. Many generous businesses will match donations made by their employees through these programs. So, take a look - you may be able to double your contribution!

If you are a business in the Lake St. Catherine community, we have a Business Sponsor Membership we'd like to tell you about. The Business Sponsor Membership includes:

  1. A listing on our ‘Sponsors’ page on www.lakestcatherine.org with your logo, a link to your web or Facebook page, including a brief description of your business and services.

  2. The posting of your events and special occasions to our Events & LSC Community Website Calendar.

  3. A posting on our Blog and Facebook page about your business as a ‘Sponsor Spotlight’ feature.

  4. A posting for your business in our Spring and Fall newsletters. Newsletters will be made available to the community in both printed and digital versions. 

You can learn more about the Business Sponsorship by clicking on the 2019 LSCA Membership Form PDF.

Your membership and the dues and contributions we receive allows us to accomplish our work. Maintaining the lake costs approximately $125,000 annually. While we do receive annual grants from Poultney, Wells, and the State, membership dues and contributions make up the majority of our funding.

Upon receiving your membership contribution, our treasurer Elaine will mail you a hand-written thank you note, a receipt, a LSCA window card and a LSCA euro sticker:

We appreciate your support!

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@lakestcatherine.org.

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Water Quality A Hot Topic In Vermont And At LSC

- by Martha Pofit

The Lake St. Catherine Association, its Board of Directors and members are highly committed to preserving and protecting Lake St. Catherine water quality and its watershed as well as preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Four recent significant developments are worthy of reporting to the LSCA membership and friends:

1. The Board of Directors approved the issuance of a landmark manuscript this fall that was developed during the spring and early summer entitled: “Lake St. Catherine Association Evidence-Based Decision-Making: 1978-2018”.

The manuscript captures the actions taken by LSCA over the past 40 years, gives a current snapshot of issues affecting the Lake and discusses future considerations. It was written by Tufts graduate Philip Hicks of Granville and overseen by LSCA Board members.

2. The LSCA manuscript was highlighted in the Vermont Federation of Lakes and Ponds (FOVLAP) Fall newsletter as a potential template for other lakes and sent to all FOVLAP members. The article and link to the manuscript is identified below:

Manuscript Outlines Issues at Lake St. Catherine

A manuscript portraying the past, present and future issues at Lake St. Catherine has been approved by the Board of Lake St. Catherine Association. It is entitled: “Lake St. Catherine Association Evidence-Based Decision-Making: 1978-2018.” The 34-page document and appendices could serve as a template for other lakes seeking a common understanding of lake issues. The report looks at measuring water quality, protecting the watershed, mitigating invasive species, cultivating a healthy ecology for fish and wildlife, and promoting recreational safety. You can review it at: https://goo.gl/Mt84S2

3. In December, LSCA Board Member, Martha Pofit was appointed Chair of the Legislative Committee of FOVLAP. In this role, Martha wrote to the Vermont Governor’s office in early January inquiring about federal and state funding for Vermont’s Lakes and received the following response:

“Thank you for your inquiry to the office of Governor Phil Scott, about the status of federal funding for clean water projects and watershed improvement. Fortunately, Vermont continued to receive federal funds through 2018, and we were reassured that federal funding would continue in the future. See our 2018 Federal Funding Report for details of watershed project funding.  You may also be interested in the Clean Water Initiative Program’s 2017 Investment Report.The 2018 Investment Report is in preparation for delivery to the State House early in the legislative session and will be posted on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at that time.

In addition to clean water funding, we receive federal funding to support aquatic invasive species spread prevention and aquatic nuisance control. These funds are used to augment income from motorboat registration fees in support of the Lakes Program’s Grant-In-Aid Program.”

Lake St. Catherine will shortly be applying to the Grant-In-Aid Program for its next five year permit and has been aggressive this fall in applying for four grants from the Lake Champlain Basin Program for: Pollution Prevention & Habitat Conservation; Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention; Education and Outreach; and Organizational Support for Membership Recruitment, Retention and Education”

4. Governor Scott presented his Inaugural Address for 2019 to both houses of the Vermont Legislature on January 10 and made two important comments pertaining to Vermont Lakes. Specifically:

“We’re committed to restoring and protecting our lakes and rivers, which will cost Vermonters nearly $1 billion over the next 20 years.”, and

“And my budget will propose a long-term funding source for our water quality initiatives, using existing revenues and a new delivery model to put this money to work on the ground.”

The next step in understanding the “new delivery model” will be the language in the Governor’s Budget Message to the Legislature scheduled for January 24. The full text of the Inaugural Address can be found at read by clicking here. You can read more in this VT Digger article, "Statehouse preview: Eyes on the environment".

Lake St. Catherine Association will continue to be active on all issues affecting the Lake, will represent your interests at the state level, and report important development to the LSCA members.

For further information on any of the above items, feel free at any time to contact LSCA President Jim Canders at jim.canders@lakestcatherine.org.

 

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2018 Aquatic Vegetation Management Program Report

We'd like to let you know that the 2018 Aquatic Vegetation Management Program Report has been posted to the  Links & Downloads section of our website. 

In our Links & Downloads section, you'll find helpful links to lake related websites, LSCA documents, helpful and fun downloads (including Lake St. Catherine - A Historical Scrapbook) and 15 years of Aquatic Vegetation Management Program reports.

The 2018 report includes an extensive, lake-wide plant survey, and a recap of the 2018 milfoil herbicide and DASH treatments.  

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2018 #GivingTuesday Results

Hello LSC fans.

We wanted to share with you the results of your efforts for #GivingTuesday.

We had 42 contributors giving a total of $6,850!

Unfortunately, we did not receive any matching funds from Facebook. Facebook posted that the matching funds were claimed "in a manner of seconds".

While that is certainly disappointing, we want to sincerely thank you all for your efforts.

Our treasurer Elaine will be reaching out to you with a 2019 membership package, including: a receipt, a LSCA window card, a LSCA euro sticker and a handwritten thank you note.

Our traditional, yearly membership drive will begin in February of 2019.

As you may know, the work the LSCA performs each season, including - but not limited to: milfoil control, water testing & monitoring, boat launch monitoring, lake buoy and marker maintenance and boating safety classes - costs over $125,000. Membership contributions make up over 40% of our funding each year. Your funding support is vital for the LSCA's work each season.

We've also recently applied for $49,000 in grants from the Lake Champlain Basin program to help expand our efforts in 2019. We are always on the lookout for ways to generate funds - and the best way to spend these funds to support the preservation, protection and maintenance of Lake St. Catherine.

Thank you all for your support!

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LSCA Applies For 2018 Lake Champlain Basin Program Grants

Hello good folks in the LSC community.

Today, we'd like to let you know about an excellent opportunity for Lake St. Catherine. Yesterday, the LSCA applied for 4 Lake Champlain Basin Program grants, totaling $49,000. Trustee Martha Pofit has been coordinating the LSCA's effort to apply for these grants for the past month - and we are happy to report that they have been submitted!

About the Lake Champlain Basin Program:

"The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) works in partnership with government agencies from New York, Vermont, and Québec, private organizations, local communities, and individuals to coordinate and fund efforts that benefit the Lake Champlain Basin’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources.

These efforts are guided by the plan Opportunities for Action. The LCBP works with its program partners, advisory committees, and local communities to implement this plan through a variety of federal, state and local funds. Core funding for the LCBP is through the US Environmental Protection Agency."

The 4 grants the LSCA applied for include:

A. Pollution Prevention & Habitat Conservation

As part of this grant application, we plan to use these funds to work with the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) on the upcoming LSC Stormwater Master Plan to mitigate runoff. We will also be engaging with Lake residents to have their property evaluated for the Lake Wise program. Lake Wise is a program that helps property owners manage their landscaping and shoreline to protect the Lake. Properties that meet all the criteria will be given the Lake Wise Award.

B. Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention

As part of this grant application, we plan to use these funds to expand our milfoil control program - and our boat launch monitoring program.

C. Education and Outreach

As part of this grant application, we plan to use these funds for eduction and outreach to local residents and governments, the state government, and other lake associations and organizations.

D. Organizational Support

As part of this grant application, we plan to use these funds to expand our outreach to the lake community though our website, social media, and mailings & newsletters in an effort to retain, recruit and expand our membership.

Martha did a great job outlining how the LSCA would use these funds to benefit Lake St. Catherine with an integrated plan incorporating all 4 grants. Great job Martha!

As you may know, the LSCA spends over $125,000 a year for the preservation, protection and maintenance of Lake St. Catherine through our various programs and projects, including (but not limited to): milfoil control, boat launch monitoring, water testing and boating safety. Finding and applying for grants, along with retaining and expanding our membership base is extremely important to fund these important programs for the Lake. The LSCA is constantly working to raise money to fund these projects through grants, state and local government support and contributions from the Lake community.

LSCA President, Jim Canders, had this to say in our grant applications:

"The four grant applications address Clean Water and a protected Watershed, Healthy Ecosystems and prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species, Thriving Communities through outreach, education, partnerships and the sharing of best practices; and an Involved Public through a more robust Lake Association with social media tools and communication strategies and great involvement of Lake residents and the local communities.

The purpose of this Comprehensive Plan reflected in these 4 applications is to leverage the good works of the LSCA to date, and to make even greater strides in positioning the LSCA for the future."

Grant award notifications will be made by March 2019. Keep your fingers crossed :) 

We'll let you know when the announcement is made.

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LSCA Participating In 2018 Giving Tuesday

Hello LSC fans.

We'd like to let you know about an excellent opportunity to help support the Lake St. Catherine Association in 2019.

This year, we'll be participating in Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) on our Facebook page. 

From the Giving Tuesday website, #GivingTuesday is:

"...a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving."

By participating in #GivingTuesday on our Facebook page, we have the opportunity to DOUBLE your yearly contribution to the LSCA.

How it works:

On Tuesday, November 27th, starting at 8 AM, Facebook and PayPal have pledged to donate up to 7 million dollars to 501(c)(3) charities by matching donations made through the charity's Facebook page.

How is the LSCA participating?:

Each year starting in late February, the LSCA reaches out to the lake community for membership dues to help fund the good work of the LSCA for the season. 

This year, we're asking you to consider making your 2019 contribution of $100 or more a few months early to take advantage of this program. 

How will this help Lake St. Catherine and the LSCA?:

Well, as you may know, the work the LSCA performs each season, including - but not limited to: milfoil control, water testing & monitoring, boat launch monitoring, lake buoy and marker maintenance and boating safety classes - costs over $100,000. Membership contributions make up over 40% of our funding each year. Your funding support is vital for the LSCA's work each season.

Let's set a goal. If we can collect 10% of our membership contributions on #GivingTuesday, we'd receive approximately $5,000 from members - which would be DOUBLED to $10,000 total! That would be amazing.

How can you participate?:

On the morning of Tuesday, November 27th, starting at 8 AM, you can go to our Facebook page and click on the blue Donate button at the top of our page. A screen will appear for you to type in your credit card information and contribution amount:

This makes your 2019 contribution eligible for matching by Facebook and PayPal! Your $100 (or more) could be doubled to $200! The LSCA will then send you your 2019 thank you package which will include a receipt, a LSCA window card, a LSCA Euro oval sticker and, of course, a note from our treasurer Elaine.

Please note: you will need to have a Facebook account to be able to participate.

When should you make your contribution?:

Facebook and PayPal have committed to matching up to 7 million in funds - so the amount available for matching is limited. So, to maximize the chance that your contribution will be matched, please go to the LSCA Facebook page as soon as you can on Tuesday, November 27th, starting at 8 AM.

So, we hope you'll consider making your 2019 contribution a little early this year - on #GivingTuesday, through our Facebook page - to potentially double your generous donation. 

But, we certainly understand if you prefer to not make a credit card payment online - we'll be kicking off our traditional membership drive when mailings go out in February of 2019.

Please save the date!

We'll keep you up-to-date on our #GivingTuesday efforts - and we'll be sure to remind you as we get closer to the big day.

If you have any questions about #GivingTuesday, please let us know - send us an email: info@lakestcatherine.org

Thank you for your support!

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Website Photo Updates

Hello LSC fans.

Today, we've updated the homepage of lakestcatherine.org with some AMAZING photography from around the lake by Karen Velsor and Ben Nicolson. Take a look!

You'll see photos from the Little Lake, the Big Lake and the Lily Pond, including some close up images of the various wildlife living on the lake.

Karen and Ben often post their images in the Lake St. Catherine - Vermont Facebook group.

You can see more of Karen's photos on her Fine Art America page.

You can see more of Ben's photos on his Facebook or Instagram page.

We'd like to thank them both for sharing their photos - we hope you enjoy them!

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A Plaque In Memory Of Martin Greenberg

Hello LSC,

Back in December, we informed you that long-time LSCA trustee Martin Greenberg had passed away. You can read about Martin's 15 years of service to the LSCA by clicking here.

Today, we want to tell you about a new plaque that was just placed on the Welcome To Lake St. Catherine sign. But first, a little bit of history about the sign.

Former LSCA President Phil Alden provided this photo of the original sign being constructed. He notes: "The principal architect of the first sign was Don Willbrandt, ably assisted by the Binghams."

Current LSCA Presidet Jim Canders recalls, "At a time after the sign was installed, a car came down the hill from North Steet and ran it over. At that point Martin became involved."

Matrin worked with a company in Rutland to reproduce the sign and fix the damage to the area and the flowers & plantings.

After Martin's passing, LSCA trustee Rand Burgner suggested that we should place a plaque at the sign, in memory of Martin. The board unanimously agreed - and Rand and Jim started researching.

They eventually contacted Sheldon Slate in Middle Granville. The owner, Peter Tatko, was extremely generous - as he donated the plaque to the LSCA. Thank you Peter!

Last Saturday, Jim and John Belnavis placed the plaque on the sign, and we took some photos:

Jim described Martin as, "...a man for all seasons, and the best time of all for him was spending the entire summer at Lake St. Catherine with his wife Ellen at their cottage on Bert’s Nest. We thank Martin for his love of the Lake and his 15 years of service to the LSCA."

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