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.

Fourth annual LWF/LWA dinner set for Thursday, Aug. 28

The fourth annual camp dinner, jointly sponsored by the Lake Wentworth Foundation and the Lake Wentworth Association, will be held on Thursday, August 28, at Camp Bernadette beginning at 5 p.m..

As in the past the dinner will feature an assortment of hors d’oeuvres. including Wolfecatch shrimp; in addition, there will be Mill Street steak tips and chicken, tossed green and potato salads, rolls and butter, and Bailey’s make-your-own sundaes! Soft drinks and water will be provided. BYOB if you wish.

Reservations may be made up until Aug. 21. Food costs have gone up, so we have had to increase the price this year. The cost is $28/person through Aug. 16 and $33/person from Aug. 17-21.

To make reservations, please send a check, made out to the Lake Wentworth Association, and mail to: LWA, PO Box 834, Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896, or bring your check to the Aug. 16 LWF Annual Meeting at the Wolfeboro Public Library.

For more information, contact Susan Goodwin at 569-2935 or sgwolfe66 at gmail dot com.

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.

Reining in our rainy summer

A simple rain garden using native plantings slows runoff from rainfall and snowmelt. Less runoff reaching lakes and streams means phosphorus in the water to feed algae and weeds.

A simple rain garden using native plantings slows runoff from rainfall and snowmelt. Less runoff reaching lakes and streams means less phosphorus in the water to feed algae and weeds.

So, with recent heavy rains, you may be asking yourself: How can I manage ponding and runoff as well as enhance my property? Here’s the answer we came up with for our shoreline home.

Our property has long had an area where water accumulates near the foundation of the house. This wet area eventually drains toward the shoreline, which has no lawn and is thick with hemlocks and blueberries. We wanted to hold the water away from our foundation as well as slow its way to the lake.

Our new rain garden has accomplished those two objectives. It is also a beautiful area that complements the surrounding woods and paths.

Employing river birch, blueberry bushes, ferns, and some water loving flowers, the rain garden is both beautiful and, of course, practical. Our foundation is now out of the water, and the garden has slowed the flow of rainwater running to the lake by giving the shoreland a chance to absorb and filter excessive rainfall.

I know this area will be even more beautiful as the new plants extend their absorbent root systems.

As our experience shows, rain gardens offer a practical and attractive way to protect our streams and lakes by managing excessive, fast-moving runoff.

Foundation hires an executive director

Protection of the Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed takes a big step forward this year with the hiring of Karen Burnett-Kurie as the first Executive Director of the Lake Wentworth Foundation. The LWF, the sister organization to the Lake Wentworth Association, has in the past five years taken the lead in efforts to identify and manage stormwater runoff into Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake.

Karen comes to the Lake Wentworth Foundation with a broad background in program administration, grants/funds management, and science/environmental education. She has extensive experience working with teams of volunteers and collaborating with community organizations.

In her new role, Karen will help oversee construction of the EPA-funded stormwater capture facilities on Fernald Brook; assist the LWF Board of Trustees with fundraising for the Foundation’s projects; serve as a liaison to town and state officials as well as to the Lake Wentworth Association and other conservation organizations; recruit and direct volunteers working on Foundation projects; and provide communications and outreach to the community.

Most recently Karen served as the Educational Program Coordinator at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at UNH. She organized programs that shared the Institute’s research with audiences of all ages, focusing in particular on NASA funded research and instrument development projects.

Prior to that, Karen worked at the Essex County (Mass.) Community Foundation as Grants and Funds Manager, starting as the manager of the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, which focused on smart growth. She eventually directed 75 funds, eight grant review committees, and the yearly distribution of almost one million dollars in funding.

At FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) in Manchester, Karen organized a far-flung network of 65 university and organizational partners providing robotics programs and competitions to thousands of students. She also managed grant support to teams, partners and competitions and recruited and supported hundreds of volunteers at international events.

Karen’s abilities in relationship-building, outreach initiatives, financial management, fund development, grant writing and reporting, and coordination of large, complex programs will be invaluable to the Foundation. Her record of improving organizational effectiveness through training, research, evaluation and management will be a great asset as the Lake Wentworth Foundation works with state and local agencies and the Lake Wentworth Association to protect the Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed.

Karen will work from the Foundation’s leased office space in Clark Plaza.