May 2021 Newsletter

Yellowwood Hike for FLM Members

When: Sunday, May 23, 2021, 3:00pm

What: Yellowwood State Forest

Hankering for a Hike? Join the Friends of Lake Monroe for a special outing in the heart of Yellowwood State Forest. Explore a beautiful and important part of our watershed while having fun and getting some exercise.

This will be a 2 to 3-hour moderate hike on maintained trails with significant grades. Refreshments provided!

This member event has limited capacity so RSVP early. Not a member? Join or renew today!

Send your questions or RSVP to Mary at this email address:

Mary Madore, Membership Coordinator

Pokey Says

Pass the Pokey message!

Remember the emotions you felt after watching the disturbing public service announcement of the Native American paddling down the river and spotting the trash around the water?

When is the last time you even remember a TV commercial about picking up trash?

It’s our job to teach the next generation the value of caring for Mother Earth. Bet Savich, who lived on Lake Monroe near the Pine Grove boat launch, spent hours picking up trash in and around the lake with her husband Rudy, who passed away in the spring of 2019.

My last memory of kayaking with Bet and Rudy was of Rudy pulling a large piece of styrofoam out of the water and placing the irregularly shaped item on his kayak. This led to a slow and awkward paddle back to the boat launch, but that was Rudy’s modus operandi. No piece of trash, no matter how large, would be left when Rudy was around.

Bet now continues their war against trash. She hired Melissa Wyatt to take pictures of their dog Pokey sitting by an assortment of recently collected garbage. Bet had Melissa add catchy captions to the pictures to remind lake visitors to take out what they bring in.

The Friends of Lake Monroe will post Bet’s pictures on our Facebook page quarterly. When you spot Pokey and his sad face, please share the post with your friends.

When you pick up trash on the shore or from the water, do us a favor: share your picture on our Facebook page to encourage others to do the same thing.

Let’s help Pokey smile again!

Mary Madore, FLM membership coordinator

Lake Monroe
Watershed Management Plan – Engaging Our Community

One of the most important pieces of developing a watershed management plan is engaging the community. As FLM’s Watershed Coordinator, I am pleased to report that our outreach has directly engaged over 400 people, with many more learning about our project through social media and newspaper articles.

Here is a brief summary of our outreach accomplishments.

  • 100+ community members participated at our initial community forums.
  • 100+ community members learned about watersheds and water quality protection at presentations given in Monroe and Brown Counties (with more presentations planned).
  • 100+ citizen scientists collected water samples during our sampling blitz events.
  • 100+ students learned about the Lake Monroe watershed through classroom presentations.

Our project has also inspired many community collaborations.

  • The installation of a stream gage on South Fork Salt Creek in January 2020 to measure water flow.
  • This spring, Friends of Lake Monroe coordinated with Brown County Regional Sewer District to conduct E. coli source sampling in Brown County streams, allowing both groups to gather more data than our individual budgets would have allowed.
  • Hoosier National Forest used the momentum from our watershed planning project to acquire federal funding for studying lakeshore erosion along the Deam Wilderness peninsula.
  • Likewise, the United States Army Corps of Engineers was inspired to increase their sampling efforts at Lake Monroe and will be collecting sediment samples this summer in addition to their annual water samples.

These collaborations provide valuable information and also build support for the next phase of watershed management: implementing our plan. Having a watershed management plan is wonderful but it is designed to be put into action.

The last part of the plan will be a list of needed projects along with quantities, estimated costs, timelines, and potential partners. To measurably improve water quality, we need to implement those projects and to do that we will need additional funding.

Therefore, Friends of Lake Monroe will apply this fall for a second 319 grant to fund implementation.

The grant will require 40% matching funds, meaning that 40% of the total project cost must come from cash and in-kind donations while 60% comes from the grantor (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, via the Indiana Department of Environmental Management).

This was true for our planning grant as well and we remain extremely grateful for financial contributions from City of Bloomington Utilities, Monroe County Stormwater Board, and Sassafras Audubon Society as well as in-kind donations from The Nature Conservancy, the League of Women Voters, and several other organizations.

We look forward to continued support from our current project partners and the recruitment of additional partners to make this a true community effort to improve water quality in Lake Monroe.

Maggie Sullivan, Watershed Coordinator

Earth Week:
FLM Volunteers Help Clean Up Watershed

Vivi and Woody Dillard hold discarded monofilament fishing line picked up at the April 18 shoreline cleanup at the Paynetown State Recreation Area. Monofilament fishing line can be hazardous, even life-threatening, to wildlife who can become entangled in it and lose the ability to move freely or feed.

On Sunday, April 18, 17 volunteers, including nine children, participated in FLM’s monthly Adopt-A-Shoreline cleanup at the Paynetown State Recreation. Volunteers included:

  • Jennifer Daily-Manta and five middle-school students from the Ivy Tech Youth Leadership Academy
  • Sarah Knott
  • Maksim Knott (age 12)
  • Varik Knott (age 9)
  • Konstantin Dierks
  • Amy Dillard
  • Vivi Dillard
  • Woody Dillard
  • Kyra Triebold
  • Nan Rockey
  • Mary Madore
  • Richard Harris

Approximately 100 pounds of trash were removed from picnic and beach areas and areas surrounding the campground. In addition to being unsightly and diminishing the experience of visitors to the area, trash left in close proximity to the lake will eventually make its way into the water, threatening water quality and wildlife.

Earth Day:
FLM Volunteers Help Rehabilitate Deam Wilderness

FLM volunteers and HNF staff assemble on the shoreline to get work assignments and tools for the day’s activities.

On Earth Day, April 22, 12 volunteers from the Friends of Lake Monroe, including four Bloomington High School South (BHSS) students, helped rehabilitate the Deam Wilderness Area in the Hoosier National Forest, working alongside staff from the U.S. Forest Service.

The volunteers dismantled approximately 20 overused and unsightly fire pits at the Peninsula Point area to restore it to a more natural state, and cut back multiflora rose vines that are encroaching on the Peninsula Trail.

Tools and guidance were provided by the Forest Services and FLM volunteers worked with Forest Service staff to complete the work.

FLM volunteers included:

  • Randi Cox
  • Richard Harris
  • Erin Hollinden
  • Lily Hollinden
  • Celie Kreilkamp (BHSS)
  • Iris Kreilkamp (BHSS)
  • Cathy Meyer
  • Kori Renn
  • Bet Savich
  • Rowan Stalnaker (BHSS)
  • Cheryl Stein
  • Eva Stuart (BHSS)

Although camping is allowed in this area, overused firepits and campsites can distract from the appeal of being in a wilderness area. Hoosier National Forest encourages the use of Leave No Trace practices when using Forest Service properties to minimize impacts, especially important in the wilderness area.


FLM volunteers and HNF staff disassemble a firepit near the shoreline of Lake Monroe in the Deam Wilderness Area.

Thanks to all the volunteers who donated their time and energy to make this event successful, including Keith Bobay, FLM Volunteer Coordinator, who was primarily responsible for acquiring volunteers. It is hoped that this Earth Day event will be the first of many collaborations with the Forest Service to help protect and enhance the Lake Monroe watershed.

Thank You! to Two Herons Marina for Assisting in Earth Day Event

Two Herons Marina manager Todd Hitchins transports volunteers during Earth Day work event.

The Earth Day event in the Deam Wilderness area would not have been the success it was without the generous donation of a pontoon boat and driver for the day to provide transportation for FLM volunteers and Hoosier National Forest staff to and from the isolated work area.

Thanks to Two Herons owners Tom and Phoebe Greeman, and manager Todd Hitchins, who spent much of the day ferrying workers to and from the work site.

Shoreline Cleanups

Looking for other ways to volunteer?

Friends of Lake Monroe have resumed monthly shoreline cleanups at Paynetown State Recreation Area, under the State of Indiana DNR’s Adopt-A-Shoreline program.

This is a great way to meet other members while supporting the lake we all love by cleaning up trash.

Meet at the Recreation Area’s campground store. Be sure to tell the gate attendant that you are participating in the cleanup to get free admission to the property.

Rugged shoes and gloves are recommended. Kids under 16 need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Please register on our events page ( so that we can notify you of any changes in the event of inclement weather.

Shoreline cleanup dates for 2021:

  • Thursday June 17, 6 pm
  • Thursday July 15, 6 pm
  • Thursday August 19, 6 pm
  • Thursday September 16, 6 pm
  • Sunday October 17, 2 pm
  • Sunday November 14, 2 pm

To Zoom or not to Zoom….

FLM On-line Public Meetings Still Canceled

FLM’s public meetings remain suspended.

If you have suggestions or are hoping to get better connected with us, please contact the Board chair, Sherry Mitchell-Bruker, at

From Sherry Mitchell-Bruker.

Ways To Get Involved With FLM

Become a Member!

For those interested in financially supporting our work, memberships are available at the individual ($25), family ($45), 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 the Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave. We have suspended public meetings in the interests of social distancing, but once we are able to resume 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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