September 2020 Newsletter

In this edition:

  • What a Wonderful Watershed Sampling Blitz!
  • Become a Member of Friends of Lake Monroe
  • 2020 Shoreline Cleanup Schedule
  • Finance volunteer needed
  • FLM On-line Public Meetings Canceled
  • Ways to Get Involved with FLM

What a Wonderful Watershed Sampling Blitz!

 Maggie Sullivan, Watershed Coordinator

A huge thank you to the 70+ volunteers who gathered last Friday for our Lake Monroe Watershed Sampling Blitz!  Our citizen-scientists ranged in age from under 10 to over 70.  This enthusiastic group enjoyed a beautiful day of visiting streams in Monroe, Brown, and Jackson Counties.

Of the 125 sites visited, 88 water samples were collected and 37 sites were noted as dry.  This was not unexpected as many of the smaller streams go dry in the summer and 2020 has been a particularly dry year.  It will be very interesting to see how things look when we return next spring during the wet season.

In addition to collecting water samples and conducting field measurements, volunteers also conducted QHEI assessments.  The Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) is a scoring system to allow a quick evaluation of how well a stream supports aquatic wildlife.  Are there slow moving pools and fast moving riffles to provide a variety of habitats?  Are there tree roots, rocks, deep pools, and logs to provide fish cover?  Does the stream have shade and stable banks?  A few volunteers even took photos of the turtles, fish, and crawdads they observed first hand.

Samples are currently being analyzed by the Indiana University Limnology Lab for E. coli, Total Suspended Solids, Total Nitrogen, Nitrate, Ammonia, Total Phosphorus, and Soluble Reactive Phosphorus.  These results will give us a better understanding of which areas in the watershed have higher concentrations of bacteria, sediments, and nutrients.

Thank you to our amazing Blitz coordinator Lynnette Murphy and to our generous staging location hosts – Boy Scouts of America Hoosier Trails Office in Bloomington, Brown County Inn in Nashville, Gatesville Country Store in Gatesville, Story Inn in Story, and the Pershing Township Fire Department in Freetown.  We greatly appreciate their support of our community effort and look forward to working with them again in the spring.  Hope to see you there too!

Become a Member
of the Friends of Lake Monroe

Thank you so much to those of you who have renewed your membership.  Your continued financial support helped to make last Friday’s Sampling Blitz possible.  This is the first time since 1995 that this type of sampling has taken place.  That’s a big win for all who recreate and drink water from Lake Monroe.

Thirteen individuals and one association recently became new members.  Surprisingly, three of these signed up at our highest level of membership.  Wow, what a boost that is to move our mission forward!

If you’re not yet a member but appreciate drinking clean water, please click here to join

Memberships help sustain the Friends of Lake Monroe.

Supporting Friends of Lake Monroe through membership helps to protect and enhance Lake Monroe, which is vital for a healthy and growing community.


From Mary Madore, Membership Coordinator

2020 Shoreline Cleanup Schedule

Limited shoreline cleanups are conducted by members of the Friends of Lake Monroe at the Paynetown State Recreation as part of the DNR’s Adopt-A-Shoreline program.

The schedule for the year is as follows:

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

To Zoom or not to Zoom….

FLM On-line Public Meetings Canceled

I have heard from many people that they are “zoomed out”, a new kind of burnout from too many on-line meetings.  Others say they enjoy Zoom meetings.  This month our board decided to cancel public meetings until further notice.  This decision was made partly because of the need to reduce our on-line meetings and partly because of low attendance rates.  So for now, no public meetings.  Our board will continue to meet monthly and we would like to find outdoor activities to better connect with our members.  So please let us know if you would like to organize an informal hike, paddle or some other outdoor activity.  If you miss our meetings or are hoping to get better connected with us, please let me know.  You can contact me 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 ($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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Water Sample Blitz