Q3 Update – Lake Monroe Community Action Initiative

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.

On Sunday, September 18th, we held our first annual Lake Monroe Day.  We were able to secure proclamations from the City of Bloomington, the Monroe County Commissioners, and the Brown County Commissioners.  To celebrate, we organized a kayak trip led by David Rupp of Indigo Birding, tours of the Monroe Drinking Water Treatment Plant hosted by City of Bloomington Utilities, and a celebration at Upland Brewery featuring a series of speakers emphasizing the importance of protecting Lake Monroe.  About a dozen people participated in the kayak trip, thirty attended the water treatment plant tours, and fifty attended the celebration at Upland.  We look forward to having an even larger celebration in years to come.


We continued to give presentations to local groups this quarter in preparation for our Lake Monroe Watershed Summit.  Presentations included

  • Monroe County Stormwater Board 8/10
  • Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District 8/11
  • Monroe County Council 8/23
  • Brown County Commissioners 9/7
  • Bloomington City Council 9/7
  • Jackson County Commissioners 9/20
  • Indiana Environmental Health Association Fall Conference 9/21
  • Sierra Club Uplands Chapter 10/10

Watershed summit attendees writing notesOn 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.

Our Septic System Maintenance Cost-Share Pilot Program concluded in October.  We are pleased to report that our program directly supported 78 households with septic system maintenance by providing reimbursements totaling $6,990.  This is an average of $89.61 per household.  Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and a number of people indicated that our postcards reminded them to pump their tanks even though they did not enroll in the program.

Other activities this quarter have included participating in the Earth Charter Indiana Climate Leadership Summit, tabling at the Houston Fall Festival in Jackson County, and participating in an interview for the “Civics Conversations” podcast hosted by League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County.


Want to share your ideas for protecting Lake Monroe?  Have a group that would like to hear a presentation about our work?  Please reach out to Lake Monroe Watershed Coordinator Maggie Sullivan at watershed@friendsoflakemonroe.org

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