Lake Currents – Spring 2015

by May 29, 2015Newsletter0 comments

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is now officially Summer, and it is time for all of us to be thinking about the upcoming season at our lakes and to reflect on all the activities that have transpired in the past year.

This was the latest year in this writer’s memory of the lake solidly freezing over so late (mid January) and one of the later ice-outs (almost mid-April). Boards were put in dam a bit later than usual to allow completion of repairs along Sargisson Beach shoreline. Together with drought conditions, our lake remained below summer pool until this past weekend’s welcome rains.

Weed Watching Program
The GLA has hired Dan Murphy from Littleton to be our weed watching monitor for this summer season. Dan brings a lot of interpersonal and organizational skills with him. He has been a teacher for more than twenty years and currently teaching in West Concord. Dan has set up the website SignUpGenius for volunteers to take a two hour shift at either Baddacook or Lost Lake boat launches. When you receive an invite from Dan, please sign up.

We will once again focus on covering the weekend period and expand when we have secured enough volunteers. Many of you participated last season and we thank you. We need your continued support and many more of you to give to this effort. Last year we had a record number of visitors to the lake, but rarely enough volunteers especially at Baddacook. We need to be extra vigilant this year as our efforts to secure treatment for Baddacook Pond were recently derailed.

Please remember how bad the weeds were in 2012 and how nice the lake is now. We will always have to be on guard for the return non-native invasive plants. Please volunteer to take a two hour watch or two this season to protect the gains we have so hard fought to win.

Spot Treatment for Regrowth of Weeds
Last year we only had to treat forty acres for regrowth of invasive plants. We are already receiving reports of milfoil and curly leaf pond weed in parts of Lost Lake and Knops Pond. Our vendor will be out to check on plant growth and decide how much of a spot treatment we will need. This is the final year that we have approval for treatment. However we will be requesting a three year extension of the Order of Conditions for the weed management of Lost Lake and Knops Pond.

The weeds will eventually reappear and we must be ready financially and politically to raise funding and awareness. We cannot afford to let up on our efforts to keep the lake open.

WaterChestnutPlantWater Chestnut was found again in Lost Lake last year and is a continued threat as it can be spread by waterfowl. If you see such a plant, please notify Dan Murphy at djmurphyemail@gmail.com or call him at 978-808-8192.

Erosion and Storm Water Run-off
Alex Woodle presented a report on erosion and storm water run-off completed by him and Brooke Garger to the Earth Removal and Storm Water Advisory Committee. It was wellreceived, but due to budgetary problems, we cannot expect much help from the Town at this time.

The Lost Lake Watershed Advisory Committee, however, is looking towards possible grant monies to study and measure this problem. Subsequently, we are hoping to secure other state grants to begin to correct these problems.

In the meantime, a recent presentation to local troop of Boy Scouts, may yield an Explorer Scout project to tackle the erosion and run-off problem at Baby Beach.

Sargisson Beach Re-Opens
The efforts by the GLA to reconnect the Town with Lost Lake/Knops by first tackling the invasive weeds together with the great efforts by residents Andrew Davis and John Giger to spearhead Sargisson Beach clean-ups led to the formation of a Sargisson Beach Committee. The committee successfully sought Community Preservation Act funds to correct erosion and run-off problems. Bob Pine, longtime Groton resident and environmental planner, gave pro bono hours of his time to develop plans for the restoration. This year the Town has budgeted for lifeguards and for the first time in years Sargisson Beach has re-opened for all. A great effort by many people.

The beach officially opened on May 22nd and here is a link to the lifeguard hours:
http://townofgroton.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?PortalId=0&EntryId=18930

Political Campaigns
Last year and into this year our GLA president, Art Prest, threw his hat into the political ring to run for Selectmen. While he did not win, he garnered the endorsement of The Lowell Sun and The Groton Landmark together with three of the five seated selectmen. A remarkable achievement for a relative unknown outside of the lake community. Good effort by all those who rallied for his support and to Art for putting himself out there and waging a vigorous campaign.

We faired better in the election of a new Water Commissioner, Jack McCafferty, who resides on Prescott Street. Jack brings a strong scientific background to this position with years of experience that will only improve the functioning of that body. Congratulations Jack!

Baddacook Pond Update
The Great Ponds Advisory Committee (GPAC) led by GLA’s vice-president, Jim Luening, led a vigorous campaign to seek permission to treat Baddacook Pond with Sonar to control the nonnative weed invasion that threatens that pond. The Selectmen voted in favor of the Notice of Intent to be sent to Groton’s Conservation Commission for a hearing.

The GPAC presented the factual truth of the use of Sonar in potable drinking water supplies. In the end, a Town Counsel opinion held that the Water Commission has the final say over what goes into Baddacook and the Selectmen decided to withdraw their application before the Groton Conservation Commission could make their decision.

GPAC will meet this coming week to map out its steps forward to continue acquiring permission for treatment of Baddacook Pond. Our thanks to the GPAC and all residents who contributed their comments in favor of the treatment.

Fire at Miles Island
On Memorial Day weekend a smoldering ember leftover from a fire burst into flame on the island with the Miles home on it. Smoke rising from the fire alerted local resident Pete Braudis who was at his parent’s Highland Road home. He had the presence of mind to grab a bucket and paddle out to the island in a kayak. He was able to douse the flames before they spread to the home itself. Thank you, Peter.

Town Meeting voted funds for the extension of water lines and installation of cisterns to help provide water for our fire department to fight home fires. Not all homes will be covered within 1000 feet recommended by insurance companies.

Just another reminder especially during these dry periods to be mindful of fires and the danger of
forest fire.

Burglary
A home on Weymisset Road was recently broken into and electronics stolen. At the same time a nearby mailbox was rifled. Several homes have also had burglaries on Martins Pond Rd. between School House Rd. and Star House Lane. And someone broke into the shed at 284 Whiley and took three antiques including a 1953 Martin 75 outboard (7.5 hp…not 75!). The police ask the community to be watchful of their property and that of your neighbor. If you see strange cars in the area, jot down their license tag.

Groton Lakes Association Needs New Leaders to Step Up
This fall we will have annual elections for GLA leadership. It is time for others to step up into these roles. There are many residents with exceptional abilities to lead our organization into the future. The present GLA team has provided a great starting point by restoring the lake where our waterways are once again clear. This in turn has helped with the restoration and re-opening of Sargisson Beach for the whole community. The lake will need continual management on a yearly basis to maintain what we have.

We need new energy from the lake community to carry its work forward. The current officers will help new candidates transition over to a leadership role. This is an extremely important issue and I hope members will contact GLA volunteering to help or submit a name for possible nomination.

We will also be initiating the FY2016 Annual Membership Drive in the next few months and I hope that you all renew your membership and contribute generously.

Respectfully submitted,
Alexander Woodle