Bartlett project aims to intercept Fernald-bound pollutants

NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles relating news and information about caring for the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake watershed.

“It seems to be going according to plan.” That’s the verdict on the storm water abatement project recently completed at Bartlett’s Tree Experts on Center Street in Wolfeboro, according to Kirk Titus, Local Manager and ISA Certified Arborist.

Water runoff from their two acre parking lot and building roof used to go untreated into Fernald Brook before entering Lake Wentworth.

Now it is treated but only in the most natural of ways. The runoff, including salt, silt and other waste products such as oil residue and trash get shunted into a series of infiltration pits, drainage ditches, and dams, similar to speed bumps, that slow the flow.

This process allows sediments, residue and trash to settle before going into the brook, provides roots and grasses that help purify the runoff, and prevents soil erosion on the slopes between the parking lot and the stream.

The design for the project came from Land Tech in Ossipee and was constructed by Fred H. Antonucci’s earthworks and excavation firm, Earth Movers, in Wolfeboro.

It’s hard to visualize how much water is slowed, contained and cleaned from the Bartlett facility before leaving the property and entering into Fernald Brook. A one inch rainfall produces about 54,000 gallons of water on the impervious surfaces at the facility. Using Wolfeboro’s average rainfall of 45.5 inches per year, this means 1,235,507 gallons of runoff are now being treated. Continue reading

Two new trustees join Foundation board

The Lake Wentworth Foundation welcomed two new trustees at its August 2014 annual meeting. Each was elected to a three-year term.

Joining the board are Maggie Stier of Wolfeboro and Bob Cole of Concord and Wolfeboro. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the board, as evidenced by their bios.

Maggie Stier

Maggie Stier has been coming to Lake Wentworth all her life; her grandparents and great grandparents lived in Wolfeboro, and her parents owned a camp on Lake Wentworth for nearly 50 years, selling in 2009. She recently moved to Wolfeboro year-round.

Maggie is a historian and educator and currently works for the NH Preservation Alliance as statewide field service representative. She served as founding executive director of the Fells Historic Estate and Garden on Lake Sunapee, as curator at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, and as an NEH Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

She has a long history of volunteer activity that includes: advisor to the Friends of the Wolfeboro Town Hall, board member with the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund and the Friends of the Libby Museum, and appointed member of the N.H. State Parks System Advisory Council.

Maggie is the author of numerous publications and presentations, many focusing on landscape history. She holds degrees from Vassar College (B.A. in American Studies), Boston University (M.A. in American and New England Studies), and Antioch New England (M.Ed. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Environmental Education). She is an adjunct faculty member at Plymouth State University.

Bob Cole

Bob Cole is the son of Don and Tootie Cole, Governor’s Shore residents since 1958. He was raised and educated at Phillips Exeter but cites Camp Belknap as the institution that most shaped his leadership skills and conservation ethic. He was a camper, counselor, program director and eventual board member at Belknap.

After majoring in English & Studio Art at Williams, Bob taught English for 28 years, including a long run at The Derryfield School, where he was English Department Chair and Girls’ Soccer Coach and where he ran the Visiting Writers’ Program and literary magazine. He often taught a literature elective called “Water.” Along the way, he earned a master’s degree from UNH.

Since 2009, he has been a partner at Blue Heron Consulting Group and managed the Farm Island Campaign for Belknap, securing much of the last undeveloped island on Winnipesaukee, as well as raising funds for two green buildings and endowment. His contract was extended to launch a new alumni and advancement program, including key initiatives: a relational database, e-newsletter, regional Service Days, Belknap at the Ballpark, Chief Masqua’s Band (alumni elders), and The White Pines Society (planned giving).

Bob loves canoeing, hiking, skating, writing, reading and art — and is a terminal member of Red Sox Nation. He splits his time between Concord, NH, and Wolfeboro. His three children — Maddie, Sam and Becky — love days at Wentworth.

Dam management will assist Back Bay milfoil treatement

The Crescent Lake dam is currently open about halfway in order to bring water levels in Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake down about six to eight inches. The effort is intended to provide a buffer against any sudden jump in lake levels because of weather in the second week of September.

That’s when the Town of Wolfeboro will be applying milfoil treatment to Back Bay. During the treatment period, which is expected to run from about September 9 to 15, the Crescent Lake dam will be completely closed in order to prevent currents from the Smith River from washing away treatment chemicals in Back Bay.

In past years, water rushing into Back Bay from the Smith River has diminished the effectiveness of milfoil treatments.

Questions about dam management can be addressed to Shaun Berry of Holden Shore.

The youngest generation steps up to protect the lakes

This note arrived at the Lake Wentworth Foundation last week:

“The enclosed checks include $50 from our granddaughter, Lilah Beldner. The $50* represents proceeds of a bake sale Lilah held to help encourage awareness of protecting Lake Wentworth’s water quality. Besides selling baked goods, Lilah also distributed dried algae gathered from our family’s efforts to remove algae from our swimming area on Governor’s shore”

*It includes one $25 donation from one of her customers.

Submitted by Lilah’s proud grandparents, the Clarks

The Lake Wentworth Foundation is thrilled to be the beneficiary of this wonderful effort to both educate others and raise funds. Thank you, Lilah.

LWF Executive Director to LWA members: let’s work together

The following presentation was made by Karen Burnett-Kurie, Executive Director of the Lake Wentworth Foundation, to attendees at the President’s Meeting of the Lake Wentworth Association on July 12, 2014.

Thank you for inviting me to your meeting and providing this opportunity to introduce myself and update you on the activities of the LWF.

It is a pleasure to get to know the LWA, the sister organization I have heard so much about. You are obviously the older and better known sister. Frequently when I introduce myself as the new Executive Director of the LWF, the response is something to the effect of: “That’s great. Welcome. I’m a member of the LWA. It’s a great organization.”

However, the Lake Wentworth Foundation is growing up and has changed a lot in the last five years. We’ve taken on new initiatives, including land conservation with stewardship of 11 important land parcels in the Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed, as well as working with the town and state in developing a Wentworth/Crescent watershed management plan.

This management plan is not sitting on a shelf. The LWF has been awarded a second grant that will result in best management solutions at three high-priority sites in the watershed: 1) behind Trites on Center Street; 2) along Route 109 near the State Park, where the road is very close to the lake shore; and 3) along South Main Street, where engineering design work will soon be under way to deal with stormwater that is presently flowing into Crescent.

You can get an idea of some of the work that will be done under the current $278,000 initiative if you check out the work being done for by Bartlett Tree on their new property on Center St. They have taken on the expense and effort of installing retention basins, riprap, and swales to slow and filter stormwater runoff, and they have also reduced the amount of impervious surface on the lot. We should all appreciate the work Bartlett is doing because we will all benefit from the resulting reduction of phosphorus, sediment, and other contaminants entering Fernald Brook.

Hiring an Executive Director is a big step forward for the LWF. The Board of Trustees recognized that the Foundation needed the focus and structure that an Executive Director would provide in order to keep growing and to stay on track for decreasing phosphorus in Lake Wentworth by 15% over the next 10 years. An Executive Director will help to build LWF collaboration with the town and other organizations such as the LWA; will expand water quality monitoring into the lake’s streams, and land conservation monitoring; and will pursue opportunities to conserve additional high-impact parcels in the watershed.

Of course, the hiring of an Executive Director, the setting up of an office, and additional programming requires additional financial resources. I would ask you to consider supporting the LWF’s efforts with a tax-exempt donation.

You can also do your part by creating vegetative buffers along your shoreline, eliminating the fertilizing of lawns (or considering alternatives to a lawn altogether), servicing your septic system regularly, and replacing it when needed, as well as properly maintaining your camp road and other impervious surfaces to manage stormwater runoff.

Finally, you can help by volunteering for watershed management projects or educational outreach, and attending upcoming programs.

Join the excitement and help us as we strive to maintain healthy waters as well as open lands in our watershed.

Feel free to email me at karenbk@lakewentworthfoundation.org; or call 603-534-0222. I also invite you to stop by the LWF office (over the liquor store in Clark Plaza) on any Monday or Wednesday to share your ideas and concerns. And you can attend our annual meeting August, 16, 2014, at the Wolfeboro Public Library.