March 2022 Newsletter

Friends of Lake Monroe logo

In This Edition

  • Help Us Hire an Executive Director
  • Watershed Management Plan Complete
  • Septic System Maintenance Program Launching
  • Special Thanks for 2021
  • New Board Member
  • Get Involved
  • Shoreline Cleanups

We need your help to move to the next level. Sherry Mitchell Bruker, founder and president of the Friends of Lake Monroe, has been working tirelessly for five years as our grant writer, project manager, and leader of our working board of directors. We are now at a place where we need to bring on an Executive Director to strengthen our organization and implement our newly created watershed management plan.

Will you help us by making a contribution to support the Executive Director position? One member has already generously donated $25,000 which sets up our matching fund program. Can you help us match this donor’s contribution by giving $50, $100, $1,000, or more to support the future of the Friends of Lake Monroe?

Do you know someone who would make a great Executive Director? Please send them our job listing –
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Watershed Management Plan Complete

Great News

The Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan is now complete! You can find the plan (and the shorter executive summary) in the watershed plan section of our website. Huge thanks to everyone who made this plan a reality!

Check out this great article in the Herald Times about all we have accomplished during the planning process and or this radio/TV/print story from WTIU about the impact of blue-green algae on drinking water in Lake Monroe and beyond.

New Septic System Maintenance Cost-Share Program

SepticFriends of Lake Monroe is pleased to launch a Septic System Maintenance Cost-Share Program with support from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

Do you live in the Lake Monroe watershed?  Do you have a septic system?  Have you had your tank pumped in the last three years?  If not, now is the time!  Apply now and receive a reimbursement of 50% of the cost of the pumping, up to $100.

Failing septic systems are one source of bacteria and nutrient pollution in the creeks and streams feeding Lake Monroe.  You can help by making sure your system is properly maintained.  Learn more at

Septic System Maintenance Workshop
Is your septic system in tiptop shape? Regular maintenance is key to avoiding a system failure. Protect your yard and our waterways by learning how to care for your system. Join Friends of Lake Monroe and the Monroe County Health Department for a one-hour virtual course on septic system maintenance on March 31st at 7:00pm. Learn more on our event page.

Friends of Lake Monroe Gives Special Thanks to…

Board member Richard Harris, who organized trash pick ups around Lake Monroe starting in 2018. In 2019, he worked to have Friends of Lake Monroe (FLM) officially adopt Paynetown State Recreation through the DNR Shoreline Clean-Up program. Volunteers of FLM have been involved in monthly cleanups ever since. This past year, 35 volunteers gave a total of 60 hours in multiple cleanup events at Paynetown to remove 500 pounds of trash! A cleaner lake because of Richard and our valuable volunteers! Thank you also to Richard for 5 years of service as our Treasurer.

Volunteers Chris Parks and Bet Savich, along with Bet’s dog Pokey, for encouraging others to pick up trash at the lake by posting pictures of their cleanup work on our Friends of Lake Monroe Facebook group page.  Their work has inspired many others to step up and help out.

Gallery owner Tom Gallagher for hosting and artists Dawn Steffey Adams, Kriste Lindberg, and Jeff Danielson for presenting their artwork in the Brick Room Gallery for “The Art of Water” event.  Thanks for attending our hugely successful First Friday Opening Night and the subsequent three Friday nights in November.  Our members greatly enjoyed seeing the beauty of Lake Monroe on display.

Maggie Sullivan, Friends of Lake Monroe’s Watershed Coordinator, for working to get “Now Entering Lake Monroe Watershed” road signs installed in four counties.  So many people have appreciated the awareness created about the watershed with the installation of these signs!

Keith Bobay, Maggie Sullivan, Richard Harris, Cheryl Munson, and Mary Madore for tabling at the Monroe County Fair. The watershed model was a fun way for kids and their parents to learn about our watershed.  (Photo of Mary Madore.)

David Rupp with IndiGo Birding for leading our members on 3 eco-adventures this past summer.   We learned why an undisturbed shoreline edged with tall hardwoods is so important for birds, and why the migrating shorebirds depend on the shallow, quiet backwaters to rest and replenish before taking flight again.

Joe Ryan, who showed up at one of our initial public meetings and suggested that our organization put together a newsletter to let the public know what we’re doing.  Guess who got the job of coordinating and publishing the newsletter?  You guessed it: Joe Ryan.  Joe has now joined the Board and will step into the role of Treasurer this spring. His knowledge about economics, budgeting, and planning have given us a huge boost.

Maggie Sullivan, Sherry Mitchell-Bruker, and Mary Madore for organizing the Lake Monroe Watershed Tour.  This was an excellent event to build our Friends of Lake Monroe community while learning about the land uses and features in our watershed.  (Photo of Sherry Mitchell-Bruker.)

Carolyn Waldron who stepped onto the board with her savvy skills and knowledge about non-profits, environmentalism, and grants, and who forged ahead to assist in getting the Community Foundation grant for community forums, septic tank awareness in the community, and money to assist people in paying to have their septic cleaned and serviced.  This action will certainly result in cleaner waters entering Lake Monroe.

Jim Krause who wears many hats on the Board of Friends of Lake Monroe. He just gave up the Secretary’s role to Keith Bobay, and now serves as Vice-President and Development Team co-leader.  Jim works as a liaison between the Friends of Lake Monroe and the Water Fund. Kudos to Jim for all these efforts, at the same time teaching at the IU School of Media and playing music with his band members.

And finally, to Sherry Mitchell-Bruker, our FLM president.  This past year she worked to prepare the final 319 report for IDEM with Maggie Sullivan, our Watershed Coordinator.  At the same time, the two worked to write the next 319 grant to enact the Watershed Plan created during the first grant.  That grant has been given the thumbs up by the state and is now waiting to be approved by EPA.

Welcome New Board Member Keith Bobay!

Congratulations to Keith Bobay, the newest addition to the Friends of Lake Monroe Board of Directors!

Officers for 2022:
Sherry Mitchell-Bruker, President
Jim Krause, Vice President
Joe Ryan, Treasurer
Keith Bobay, Secretary

At Large Members:
Mary Madore
Carolyn Waldron
Cheryl Munson
Tom Gallagher
Richard Harris

Get Involved!

Many of you have become FLM members or have made a donation.  Wouldn’t you enjoy being a closer part of the group?

FLM’s volunteer coordinator, Keith Bobay, is waiting to hear from you at volunteer@friendsoflakemonroe!

Here Are Specific Opportunities We Have Now.

Facilitators are needed for our public forums this spring in Bloomington and Nashville.  It’s a two-hour commitment plus a half-hour virtual training over the phone.  Your job is to help guide discussion with a group of 4-8 community members as we review the newly published Watershed Management Plan.  Contact Maggie Sullivan at

Join our Development committee and help with fundraising, recruiting new members, and organizing special events.  We are in the brainstorming phase and would love your ideas.  Contact Mary Madore at

Share your enjoyment of the lake and inspire other members by posting events, news, and photos to our Facebook group:

Help us keep Paynetown clean at our next shoreline cleanup (information below).

Shoreline Cleanups Resume in April

FLM has adopted the Paynetown SRA through the DNR Adopt-A-Shoreline program, and conducts a monthly cleanups April-November to help rid the area of unsightly and environmentally damaging trash from the shoreline and nearby areas.

2022 Shoreline Cleanup Dates:
Sunday, April 24, 2:00 pm
Thursday, May 19, 6:00 pm
Thursday, June 16, 6:00 pm
Thursday July 14, 6:00 pm
Thursday, August 18, 6:00 pm
Thursday September 15, 6:00 pm
Sunday October 16, 2:00 pm
Sunday November 13, 2:00 pm

Interested volunteers can sign up for any of our events on the FLM webpage at

FLM Membership and Donations:
Here’s How

To Become a Member

Memberships are available at several levels.

K-5 Elementary Student: $5.
Grade 6-12 Student: $10.
Individual adult: $25.
Family: $45.
Supporting: $100.
Sustaining: $250.

You can sign up on FLM’s website here:

To Donate

For those interested in financially supporting FLM’s work, the website also has a page for donations, here:

Sign Up for our Email Newsletter


Start typing and press Enter to search