Members and friends of the Winnisquam Watershed Network,
Since our charter meeting on July 29th the WWN Board of Directors has been hard at work getting the organization off the ground and pursuing our mission to preserve and protect the lake for future generations. Our aim is to work with state and local entities, our members, and volunteers in the pursuit of this mission, and to provide a key role in coordinating the water quality monitoring and milfoil prevention and control efforts for Lake Winnisquam.
Here’s a summary of our accomplishments to date:
- We have registered as a non-profit with the State of New Hampshire and have filed for federal designation as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The latter will make all donations to the WWN tax-deductible and enable us to pursue additional grants to further protect our lake.
- We have launched a logo design contest open to area college and high school students, and will award a $100 prize (donated by several Board members) to the winner. Submissions are due by January 31, 2018.
- We have been working with NHDES to update their mapping of milfoil infestation throughout Lake Winnisquam and to develop a comprehensive plan for long-term milfoil control in the lake. In contrast to the fragmented approach that has been employed on Winnisquam in the past, we believe that milfoil control will be most effective when it is conducted on a lake-wide, consistent basis, in conjunction with public awareness and education efforts. We intend to begin implementing the plan next summer, but we need to raise about $45,000 to do so. The WWN has applied to NHDES for a 2018 Exotic Species Control Grant and anticipates that at least 30 percent of the program costs will be met through grant funding. We have also requested local matches from each of the five municipalities bordering the lake, and will be soliciting private donations to support our efforts.
- During the summer of 2017 WWN volunteers implemented the first tier of a comprehensive water quality monitoring program for the lake. This program brings together the efforts of two volunteer monitoring programs that have been operating on the lake for many years; the UNH Lakes Lay Monitoring Program (LLMP) and the NH DES Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP). This comprehensive program is aimed at building on the data that has already been collected, assessing water quality trends and identifying pollutant sources on a lake-wide basis, and providing better coordination of resources. Together with you, our goal is to expand the water quality monitoring program in future years to sample other locations in the Lake Winnisquam as well as some of the tributaries that flow into it. This effort will require additional funding for sampling equipment, as well as an expanded volunteer corps to conduct the monitoring.
- We have begun collaboration efforts with the Lakes Region Planning Commission and area municipal planners to offer our assistance with the development of a Watershed Management Plan for the Winnisquam watershed and anticipate additional collaboration as work on the Plan progresses.
Since we began this endeavor we’ve heard from many of you who enthusiastically support the mission of the Winnisquam Watershed Network and want to know how to help. Here are a few suggestions:
- If you haven’t done so already, please become a member of the Winnisquam Watershed Network by clicking the “Join Us” button on the Winnisquam Watershed Network For a nominal annual membership fee of $25.00, you can help preserve our lake for future generations. Everyone is welcome, so encourage your neighbors and friends to join as well!
- Consider an additional donation to support our water quality monitoring and milfoil control efforts by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations will be retroactively tax-deductible once our 501(c)(3) status is verified, and we will be sure to notify our donors when that occurs.
- Help spread the word about our logo design contest to area high school and college students. What a great opportunity for our community to get involved.
- Volunteer to help with water quality monitoring during the summer months, or to help us fabricate some of the tools needed for monitoring.
- Become a volunteer Weed Watcher or Lake Host and help prevent the spread of invasive vegetation in the lake. Training will be offered in the spring.
- What skills do you have that can help further our mission? We are seeking volunteers to help with fundraising campaigns, website design and management, and education and awareness.
- Give us feedback, or let us know how you want to help! We can be reached by email at email@example.com.
In this season of thanks giving, we’d also like to add that we are very grateful to the NH Lakes Association for all the assistance they provided in getting the Winnisquam Watershed Network off the ground and for the advocacy work they do on behalf of all of New Hampshire’s lakes. We hope that you will consider supporting them as well.