November 2022 Newsletter
In This Edition
- Lake Monroe Community Action Initiative Update
- Lake Monroe Day
- DNR Monroe Lake Cleanup
- FLM-SAS Birding Kayak Paddles: A Successful Joint Venture
- Shoutout: Two Herons Marina
Lake Monroe Community Action Initiative Update
Friends of Lake Monroe has been busy this fall hosting exciting events and building community connections as part of the Lake Monroe Community Action Initiative with financial support from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. In addition to our first annual Lake Monroe Day, we tabled at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market and at the Houston Fall Festival in northwestern Jackson County. We have also worked to educate local officials about the Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan. We gave presentations to Monroe County Commissioners, Monroe County Council, Brown County Commissioners, Jackson County Commissioners, and Bloomington City Council as well as meeting one-on-one with several other groups. Our goal was to build interest and support for our watershed summit.
On October 22, Friends of Lake Monroe hosted the 2022 Lake Monroe Watershed Summit in Nashville, Indiana. This event brought together local leaders from Monroe, Brown, and Jackson Counties as well as state and federal agencies involved with the lake and its watershed. We are so grateful that 41 people representing 27 different organizations were willing to spend their Saturday morning discussing strategies for protecting Lake Monroe. Much of the event was focused on small group discussions exploring potential collaborations between organizations. It was exciting to see people make connections and plans to put our watershed management plan into action. We look forward to future meetings and collaborations.
Lake Monroe Day
Thank you again to everyone who helped us celebrate Lake Monroe Day, September 18, 2022! About 100 people participated in events that we held – three tours of the Monroe Water Treatment Plant, a kayak trip, and a celebration at Upland.
City of Bloomington Utilities graciously hosted three tours of the Monroe Water Treatment Plant, demonstrating how water from Lake Monroe is turned into the drinking water that flows through our taps. Did you know the plant can treat up to 30 million gallons of water per day? That’s a lot of water and it’s essential not only for our homes but also for restaurants, factories, hospitals, and every other establishment that uses water. Keeping the water in our lake clean makes it easier and cheaper to produce high quality drinking water.
David Rupp with Indigo Birding led one last kayak tour for the season. This year, eleven people experienced their first ever guided kayak paddle, due to a generous grant from Sassafras Audubon Society.
Upland Wood Shop hosted an event Sunday evening with live music, great food, short speeches, and door prizes. Proclamations were issued by the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Brown County proclaiming Lake Monroe Day and emphasizing the importance of Lake Monroe. We look forward to an even bigger celebration next year and for many years to come!
DNR Monroe Lake Clean Up
The Friends of Lake Monroe participated in the annual DNR Lake Monroe Fall cleanup on Sunday, October 16th. In addition to the DNR, other sponsoring organizations included the Army Corps of Engineers, City of Bloomington Utilities, Hoosier National Forest, and the Friends of Lake Monroe.
Groups of volunteers picked up trash at several locations around the lake, including the Fairfax State Recreation Area (SRA), Allen’s Creek SRA, the causeway on highway 446, Cartop SRA (located on Stipp Rd), the Spillway and Tailwater area near the dam, and Sugar Creek Bay, located on E. Pointe Rd, just west of Fairfax Rd.
Keith Bobay and Richard Harris represented the Friends of Lake Monroe, leading a group of 10 volunteers at the Sugar Creek Bay location. Pictured in the photo are (left to right), Barbara Sholtis, Susan McCracken, Jim Hardy, Megan Gokey, Keith Bobay, Sara Dillon, Elizabeth Brown, and Lynette Murphy. Martha Fox and Richard Harris participated but are not shown in the photo.
Thirteen large bags of trash and five tires were removed from the shoreline at the Sugar Creek Bay location. In total across all the locations, 39 volunteers participated, 65 bags of trash and eight tires were removed, along with a few miscellaneous large items.
The Friends of Lake Monroe has adopted the Paynetown SRA as part of the DNR’s Adopt-A-Shoreline program, and conducts a monthly cleanup at that location. The final volunteer cleanup of the year at Paynetown will occur on Sunday, November 13th at 2 pm. Interested volunteers can sign up on FLM’s website.
FLM-SAS Birding Kayak Paddles: A Successful Joint Venture
Thanks, in part, to the Sassafras Audubon Society and David Rupp from Indigo Birding, FLM was able to schedule three outings this summer focusing on members of our community who have never had the experience of paddling Lake Monroe. SAS provided a $500 grant to partially fund these outings, and David Rupp provided the birding expertise and kayaks at a reduced rate for all three paddles. The main recipient of our community outreach was the local Big Brothers-Big Sisters (BB-BS) organization. A total of fourteen members participated in the outings.
Rebekah Hawkins, Program Manager of BB-BS, who had 7 people from her program participate, wrote “I just wanted to let you know that we heard from a couple of our Bigs that took their Littles on the kayaking tour and they all loved it! It was a first for a couple of them and they very much enjoyed being able to see so much wildlife!”
BB-BS is keenly interested in a continuation of this program next year. We hope that this new experience will encourage all who participate to continue to seek outdoor adventures and become advocates for the environment, wildlife, and Lake Monroe.
Shoutout: Two Herons Marina
Congratulations to Two Herons Marina for becoming certified as a Clean Marina through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management! Two Herons Marina received their certificate on October 13th in a ceremony that also presented the Lake Monroe Sailing Association (LMSA) with a renewed designation. LMSA paved the way by becoming certified as a Clean Marina back in 2020. There are only two Clean Marinas in the state that are not located on Lake Michigan… and they are both located on Lake Monroe! We love seeing our local marinas put in the extra effort to be great stewards of the lake.
November 13: Presentation: How You Can Protect Lake Monroe
Join us for a member get-together to learn about how individual homeowners can get involved to help implement the watershed management plan on a local level. Contact email@example.com for more details. Limited Spots available.
November 13: Paynetown Clean Up
We will meet at Paynetown at 2 pm for a shoreline clean up.
Interested volunteers can sign up on FLM’s website.
December 4: Yellowwood Hike
Join Friends of Lake Monroe and Sierra Club members for a hike in Yellowwood State Forest on Sunday, December 4, from 1-4pm. This hike is rescheduled from a rained-out hike in late October. We’ll meet at the home of Tom Gallagher, FLM Board Member, and hike about 4 miles on the Scarce-O’-Fat trail. This is a moderate, not easy, trek into the forest. Naturalist, Cathy Meyer, has agreed to lead us through the beautiful, wooded lowlands and ridges that are part of the Lake Monroe watershed. If interested, contact Keith Bobay at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot. Preference will be given to those who were signed up for the October hike.
FLM Membership and Donations:
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: https://friendsoflakemonroe.org/membership/.
For those interested in financially supporting FLM’s work, the website also has a page for donations, here: https://friendsoflakemonroe.org/donate/.