Archive for the ‘Membership’ Category

Being a Good Lake Neighbor

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

[ The following was mailed to LFA members and friends. It is good advice for all ]

There are many ways to be a good neighbor on the lake.  Here are some of them.  We ask that each of us consider the following recommendations.  Most of these behaviors are simply common courtesy.  A few are also the law.  Some of the issues may surprise you.  We believe that all are worthwhile suggestions that can help us live together as lake neighbors.

Lake Health

  • Keep pollutants out of the lake
    • Don’t use herbicides where they can run into the lake
    • Do not dispose of paints, pharmaceuticals, or petroleum products in your septic
  • Keep excess nutrients out of the lake
    • Consider runoff when making landscaping decisions
    • Stop mowing/cultivating at the shore; allow a natural buffer to develop
    • Avoid using fertilizer where it can run into the lake
  • Be aware that boat wakes contribute to the breakdown of the shoreline.  Also note that the continual wave action may deter our resident loons from making a successful nest and having young.

Safety

  • Observe 5 mph “no-wake speed” within 200 feet of shorelines, docks, kayaks, etc.
  • Stay alert for swimmers and give them a wide (200’) berth
  • Avoid excessive speed on roads around the lake, especially the straight sections of Rte 244

Noise

  • Be mindful that sound carries exceptionally well across the lake.  Be courteous to other residents and users of the lake.  Plan to end parties, and particularly loud music or fireworks, at a reasonable hour.
  • Some people find the sound of dogs barking particularly annoying.  This frequently happens when the owners leave and are not there to hear it.

Light

  • Aim outdoor “path lighting” down, not out.
  • Put “security lights” on a timer or motion detector, so that they do not stay on all night.
  • Use lower wattage, warm bulbs that are a softer white.
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Being a Good Lake Neighbor – Why You Should Do It

Lake Fairlee provides a rich variety of opportunities for recreation.  Many of us find our lives enriched by its natural beauty.  Those of us who live or regularly spend time on Lake Fairlee share this valuable natural resource.

Sometimes our activities come into conflict.  For example, the noise or the wake from a powerboat can be an annoyance to those who would prefer the lake’s quiet serenity.  Or the desire to have a perfect lawn can result in unnecessary fertilizer runoff into the lake.  As the lake becomes more crowded it becomes increasingly important that we acknowledge the community in which we participate, and give a little thought to how we want to behave in this community.

Lake Health

The lake is a delicately balanced ecosystem.  Its health is reflected in the clarity of the water, the abundance of fish, and the absence of “blooms” of algae and cyanobacteria.  It can be damaged by the introduction of non-natural substances such as paints, weed killers, or petroleum products.  It also can suffer from an excess of nutrients.  One way in which nutrients are introduced are from runoff of fertilizer (even organic fertilizer) from farms in the watershed or from lawns.  Another is from earthmoving, as for road grading or home construction, because the soil that finds its way into the lake carries nitrogen and phosphorous from of the decayed vegetation of which it is made.

Safety

As the lake becomes more crowded with motorboats, opportunities for accidents increase.  The narrow “waist” that separates the north end of Lake Fairlee from the west end creates an additional hazard.  State law requires that boats over 5 mph “no wake” speed stay more than 200 feet from the shoreline (and from any docks, canoes, swimmers, etc.) and the “narrows” is only about 900 feet wide.  In fact, it is the danger posed by the narrows that prompted the State to prohibit the use of personal watercraft on our lake, which are normally allowed on any lake greater than 250 acres.

Smooth pavement and straight sections of Route 244 along the lake sometimes invite car and truck speeds well in excess of the posted 40 mph limit – this in spite of the three summer camps and frequent walkers and bicyclists that share the route.

Noise

Noises carry exceptionally well across the open water of the lake.  Lakeshore residents frequently can hear even quiet conversations from quite a distance.  It follows that barking dogs, noisy conversation, and amplified music can also disturb others across the lake.  Loud fireworks pose a singular problem.  How late should a noisy party continue?  There is no agreed guideline, but we urge all to be concerned for our neighbors’ peace.

Light

Bright lights shining from another property into your window can be an annoyance.  The proliferation of this lighting is being called “light pollution.”  Many come to the lake hoping to escape the “city lights”, and some enjoy the myriad stars visible only in the countryside.  Security lighting does not need to be so bright to be effective.  Lights on a motion sensor can be an effective deterrent to intruders.  Pathway lighting should point down.

If you are a landlord, please share this sheet with your renters!

 

A New Feature

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Posts to this blog occur at inconsistent intervals throughout the year.  Recently some thoughtful member asked if there was some way one could know when something new had been added.  This turned out not to be too difficult to implement, and now it is possible for you to subscribe to this blog, and receive an email notification when something is added.

In fact you can fine tune your subscription to receive notification only of posts in certain categories, such as ‘Herbicide’ or ‘The Dam.’  Also you can select whether you will receive the entire post or just the first few sentences, with a link to the complete text.

To sign up for a subscription, or to adjust the features of your subscription, look on the first page of the blog, called Welcome to Our Blog.  In the right column at the bottom is the eponymous heading “Subscribe to this blog.”  Voila!

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Look for This

 

Lake Fairlee Association – The Case for Support

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

[Around this time of year we mail a spring fundraising letter to our membership.  This is not that letter, but it contains substantially the same points.]


The chemical treatment of the lake for milfoil in 2010 was a success.  The vast majority of the E. milfoil fell to the bottom of the lake and rotted.  As predicted, some milfoil has continues to grow in the lake.  This may be from rootstock that survived the earlier treatment or, in some cases, from reintroduction.

As part of our five-year treatment permit, this year we are planning to aggressively pursue the surviving plants.  There are isolated sparse growths in a dozen locations around the lake (based on the survey last September) and a dense patch near the mouth of Middle Brook.  This summer we plan to treat the latter area with a local application of triclopyr early in the summer.  We will use hand pulling to remove the stragglers in other locations and locate any others.

We have operated a greeter program to educate the lake-using public about invasive aquatic plants and animals and to prevent the further spread of milfoil into and our of our lake.  This summer we intend to double the amount of coverage we provide, so that most lake boaters will be exposed to our message.

We continue to work for the health of the lake with programs designed to reduce the runoff of nutrients into the lake.  In the past two years we have been awarded three grants to plant riparian buffers and restore shorelines.  These grants are part of our effort to educate residents and others about lake health issues.

We continue to be concerned about the dam that maintains Lake Fairlee’s level.  We are working with representatives from the three towns and the Aloha Foundation to obtain a proper engineering analysis of the present dam and explore options for repair or reconstruction of the dam, if necessary.  We are thinking about how this might be funded.

This past winter the selectboards of the three towns met together twice (for the first time in recent memory) to collaborate on Lake Fairlee issues.  The selectboards agreed to form a working group to consider the dam and other concerns related to Lake Fairlee.  We consider this a major step forward, and are working to help advance the process.

The Lake Fairlee Association Board is suffering from declining participation.  We have managed to raise the money we need to run our programs, but the work is being done buy a dwindling few volunteers.  Our unpaid jobs include negotiating with the state and with Lycott on the milfoil control program, writing grants, evaluating, hiring and managing employees for the greeter program, fundraising, running the annual dinner/meeting event, preparing reports, bookkeeping and correspondence.  The few carrying the load are getting burned out.

Our membership numbers have declined in recent years, from a recent high over 100 to about 60.  We need to reach out and engage every owner and others nearby who use and love our lake.

We continue to need your financial support.  We also need some of you to volunteer to do some small jobs – and some big ones.  Please help.

Summer 2012 – Dates to Save

Friday, February 10th, 2012
  • Sunday July 8th — Lake Fairlee Triathlon — Run from the Horizons Day Camp field. Watch this space for more information.
  • Saturday July 14th — Membership Meeting and Barbecue Dinner — This annual event is a great opportunity to meet other lake association members.  Come to the BYO cocktail hour at 5:30, then enjoy an excellent dinner prepared by Barebones Catering.  This will be followed by a summary business meeting and a brief presentation on a topic of interest.
  • Saturday August 11th — LakeFest 2012 at Treasure Island — Join over 300 people from the towns surrounding Lake Fairlee for a day of fun on the lake.  Come together as a community to enjoy a wide range of activities and celebrat together the natural beauty of the lake.

Annual Meeting and Barbecue Dinner

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The annual dinner is a great opportunity to meet other lake association members.  Come to the BYO cocktail “hour” at 5:30, then enjoy an excellent dinner prepared by Barebones Catering.  This will be followed by a very brief business meeting.  Finally we will hear from Amy Picolette, an environmental scientist who works for the State, about the declining condition of our lake and, hopefully, what we can do about it.

This year at the dinner you can get one of our historic plaques.  These are newly made, but they are the same design that has adorned houses around the lake for decades.

~ ~ ~

You are cordially invited to attend on Saturday, July 9, 2011
at Horizons Camp, Middlebrook Rd. and Rte. 244

5:30 pm Cocktails (BYOB); Dinner and Meeting to follow

Adults $17.00 Children $12.00

Please RSVP by July 3rd to Bonnie MacAdam 802-333-4174
bonnie.macadam@dartmouth.edu  *please specify vegetarian/children’s meals

*reminder: mail in your dues ($25) and contributions to
Lake Fairlee Association, PO Box 102, Fairlee, VT  05045

Include your Camp on Map of Lake

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

The Lake Fairlee Association is working with graphic artist Matt Aquino to create a map of the lake that shows all the cottage/camp/homeowner sites around the lake.  We hope to have these maps completed and available for sale at the annual dinner this year. IMPORTANT: If your camp has a special name you would like to have included along with your name, or if you want to be sure that we list you correctly, please email Suzy Kerr [LINK].

Lake Fairelee Association on Facebook

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Do you use facebook?  If you do, please visit us you can follow the Lake Fairlee Association HERE

Winter 2008 Newsflakes

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Each winter the Lake Fairlee Association publishes its offseason newsletter, Newsflakes. This year we have decided to publish it online, to save paper and postage. We hope this is not inconvenient for you.

This issue contains a story by trustee Sandy Dion about damage done to houses on the lake by a freak late August thunderstorm this summer. It also has a fascinating piece about the early history of summer camping, a first person account by the daughter of the founder of Camp Passumpsic. Click HERE to read it.