March 2020 Newsletter

Spring Watershed Sampling Blitz Postponed

Due to uncertainties regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) the Watershed Sampling Blitz that was scheduled for April 24th is postponed.  We plan to continue with our fall sampling blitz (tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 18) and to add a sampling blitz in the spring of 2021.  Hope you can join us!

Surveying the Lake Monroe Watershed

 Maggie Sullivan, Watershed Coordinator

One of the first tasks in preparing to write a Watershed Management Plan for Lake Monroe is gathering information about the watershed.  This is typically broken down into three components.

The first is a desktop survey, which involves any data that can be reviewed while sitting at a desk or computer.  What reports have been written already?  What do maps of the area tell us?  Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is a powerful computer tool for evaluating soil types, stream lengths, land uses, density of housing, and more.The second component of information gathering is a windshield survey, which involves driving around and making observations.  (It’s called a windshield survey but in reality it works best if you stop and get out of the car.)  That has been my focus in February.  With a watershed of over 400 square miles, there is a lot to observe!  I focused my attention on stream crossings where I can gather data about the streams that flow into Lake Monroe.  Are there signs of erosion?  Is the water clear or murky?  Any algae, strange smells, mystery pipes, poorly designed culverts, or other potential issues?  What is the land use and how well does it match what I saw in the desktop survey?  It’s important to gather positive information as well as negative and there are many beautiful areas to observe.  If you’d like to see a few photos and a more detailed look at the process, check out this presentation –

The third component of information gathering is collecting and analyzing water samples.  Much of the water sampling will be conducted by the IU Limnology Lab.  They will be conducting monthly water sampling in four major tributary streams for one year – North Fork Salt Creek, Middle Fork Salt Creek, South Fork Salt Creek, and Crooked Creek.  They will also be conducting water sampling in the lake during the summer months.  We also are planning two citizen scientist events to collect water samples from smaller streams throughout the watershed with the goal of determining which subwatersheds are contributing the highest concentration of constituents of concern like phosphorus or E. coli.  As I am conducting the windshield survey, I am also evaluating each stream crossing to determine if it is a safe place to gather a water sample.  Our goal is to identify 125 sample sites from throughout the watershed and involve 100 volunteers in collecting water samples.  The spring sampling date was planned for April 24th, 2020 and the fall date is planned for September 2020.  The spring sampling blitz has been moved to spring 2021.

If you have questions or comments about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or by phone at (812)-558-0217.

2020 Shoreline Cleanup Schedule

Limited shoreline cleanups were conducted in December, January, and February by board members of the Friends of Lake Monroe at the Paynetown State Recreation as part of the DNR’s Adopt-A-Shoreline program.

Our experience is that outdoor volunteer activities are difficult to conduct due to the unpredictability of the weather. Past cleanups scheduled during winter months were often cancelled at the last minute due to the weather conditions, and it became easier to have a board member conduct a spontaneous cleanup as the weather allowed.

We expect regular monthly cleanups at Paynetown to resume in May, continuing through November, and the schedule for the year is as follows:

Thursday, May 14, 6 pm
Thursday, June 11, 6 pm
Thursday, July 16, 6pm
Thursday, August 20, 6 pm
Thursday, September 24, 6 pm
Sunday, October 18, 2 pm
Sunday November 15, 2 pm

Interested volunteers can sign up for cleanups on the Events calendar of the Friends of Lake Monroe website at

Volunteer to Assist FLM Treasurer for Financial Reporting

Are You Good with Numbers?

FLM is looking for assistance from someone with finance or accounting experience who would be interested in working with our treasurer, Richard Harris, to see that our organization produces quality financial reports, appropriate for an Indiana non-profit organization.

The volunteer will also help report on implementation of the U.S. Government grant that FLM has received through IDEM for creating a Lake Monroe Watershed Plan.

Willing to help?  Contact Richard Harris at

Ways To Get Involved With FLM

Become a Member!

For those interested in financially supporting our work, memberships are available at the individual ($20), family ($50), supporting ($100), and sustaining ($250) levels.


Donations can be made on our website at

Participate in the Monthly Meetings!

Our public meetings have usually been held in Bloomington at Monroe Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave.  In the interests of social distancing, the March 2020 meeting has been cancelled, but once we are able to resume — either in person or on-line — we will announce the meeting and hope to see you!

Join One of FLM’s Committees!

We are looking for volunteers to serve on these committees.

Development: (Co-chairs Mary Madore and Jim Krause) fundraising, membership, volunteer program, marketing, outreach, public relations, media, communications, events.

Governance:  (Co-chairs Cheryl Munson and Kevin Dogan) evaluation, monitoring executive director, succession planning, nominating committee, strategic plan, annual report, by-laws, some contracts.

Finance: (Chair Richard Harris) tracking money spent, some contracts.

Programs: (Chair Sherry Mitchell-Bruker) tracking legislation,  science and other programs.

Clean the Lake!

Get together with friends at the lakeshore for our monthly contribution to picking up harmful plastics and other debris.

Share Your Enjoyment of the Lake!

Share a picture of Lake Monroe to show its beauty and to celebrate people enjoying and maintaining it.

Share events and news on our Facebook page: “Friends of Lake Monroe.”  Over 400 users have “Liked” our page!

Upcoming Events

Check FLM’s website for future opportunities, including monthly shoreline cleanup get-togethers.

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