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.

Foundation, Town share $120K environmental grant

The Lake Wentworth Foundation and the Town of Wolfeboro have won approval of a $120,000 grant for stormwater mitigation in the Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed. News of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s release of the Watershed Assistance Grant comes from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), which is responsible for disbursement and management of funds made available by the federal agency under the Clean Water Act.

The grant money will be combined with approximately $25,000 in cash from the Lake Wentworth Foundation and some $125,000 in donated time and material from the town, Foundation volunteers, and project partners.

The project proposes work on three of the top-ranked stormwater problem sites identified by the recently completed Wentworth/Crescent watershed management plan. That work will consist of:

  • Several large stormwater treatment structures behind the Trites automotive dealership in order to intercept stormwater before it enters Fernald Brook and Lake Wentworth
  • Shoreline/roadside stabilization and infiltration structures (referred to as BMPs – for best management practices) along Governor Wentworth Highway (Route 109) where it runs adjacent to Lake Wentworth
  • The design and permitting of a series of stormwater treatment structures to treat runoff from South Main Street prior to discharge into Crescent Lake

The project represents the second collaborative effort by the Town of Wolfeboro and the Lake Wentworth Foundation and their partners. It builds on the recently completed management plan for the Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed.

The management plan, completed in 2012, determined that the watershed’s streams, as well as highly developed shoreline properties, can carry sediment and nutrients – particularly phosphorus – from stormwater runoff and can adversely affect water quality in the lakes. Over the past two decades, yearly water quality testing under the auspices of the University of New Hampshire has shown an increase in algae and low levels of oxygen in Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake as a result of these sediment and nutrient loadings. An invasion of variable milfoil in both lakes is also thought to be made worse by increased phosphorus levels.

Based on this analysis, the watershed management plan established a goal of reducing phosphorus levels in Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake by 15% over a period of 10 years. Using the proposed BMPs, the second phase of the watershed management plan anticipates an annual reduction of approximately 44 lbs. of phosphorus per year, approximately 9% of the total pollutant reduction goal.

Given the Wolfeboro area’s dependence on high-quality waters to draw visitors and seasonal residents, the effort to stem the flow of pollutants can be viewed as critical to the community’s continued long-term prosperity.

Implementation of the environmental projects will be overseen by Wolfeboro Director of Planning and Development Rob Houseman; Department of Public Works Director Dave Ford; and Foundation President Jack O’Connell. Technical assistance will come from Wolfeboro resident Don Kretchmer, a certified lake manager; Bob Craycraft, Program Coordinator of UNH Cooperative Extension; and Steve Landry, Merrimack Watershed Supervisor, NHDES. Houseman will also serve as project manager and fiscal agent for the effort.

The Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed occupies approximately 35.6 square miles of land and water, mostly in Wolfeboro but with smaller areas in New Durham and Brookfield. It consists of large areas of non-developed land, with some small isolated urban areas and residential homes/summer camps along the shorelines of the two lakes. Fourteen streams, totaling 54 miles in combined length, drain these developed areas into the lakes.

In order to meet the targeted 15% phosphorus reduction in the lakes over the next 10 years, the Town of Wolfeboro and Lake Wentworth Foundation anticipate implementing additional phases of the watershed management plan.

Watershed plan spawns stormwater mitigation initiatives

The newly completed watershed management plan for Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake has set the stage for a vigorous effort to control stormwater runoff near the two lakes.

In a follow-on to the $150,000 management plan completed in 2012, the Lake Wentworth Foundation and the Town of Wolfeboro are partnering to secure a $120,000 follow-up grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). That money, if awarded, is expected to be used to implement two stormwater reduction projects near Lake Wentworth and possibly advance a third initiative near Crescent Lake.

The selected projects were among the highest ranked in a list of some 100 identified sources of stormwater runoff around the two lakes and their tributaries.

One project in the area of Fernald Brook in North Wolfeboro would result in the construction of four stormwater capture and mitigation structures that would reduce pollution from some 50 acres comprising properties on either side of Route 28.

A second effort would aim to reduce the effects of runoff from the exposed roadside where Route 109 runs along the shore of Lake Wentworth.

A final project, which may receive funding for final engineering work, would deal with substantial runoff from South Main Street that currently runs down to Crescent Lake, carrying debris and other pollutants from the roadway down to the lake.

A preliminary application for funding was submitted to NHDES in early October and has resulted in an invitation to submit a detailed project description in December.

The grant monies, if awarded, would need to be matched with some $80,000 in cash and in-kind effort from the Foundation and the Town over the projected two-year span of the project.

Foundation begins search for executive director

After more than 15 years as a totally volunteer organization, the Lake Wentworth Foundation is moving to add a part-time executive director to provide day-to-day support for the group’s numerous local initiatives.

The executive director will be expected to provide leadership, planning, and management of activities carrying out the Foundation’s mission. This involves a hands-on approach to the management of finances, program development and implementation, resource development, delivery of member services, oversight of communications, and board development.

The executive director will assume a leadership role in developing partnerships with the business community, government officials, other nonprofits, and supporters. He or she will work with the Board of Trustees and board committees to establish the Foundation’s vision, policies, strategic focus, priorities, and the general scope of programs that the Foundation will deliver.

The executive director position will involve working in Wolfeboro for an average of 24 hours per week (more hours in the summer, fewer in winter). Among the responsibilities of the role are:

  • Developing, with the Board of Trustees, a yearly work plan to carry forward the strategic plans of the Foundation
  • Overseeing the implementation of follow-up grants and projects related to the 2012 Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake Watershed Management Plan
  • Seeking partnering opportunities with the Lake Wentworth Association, municipal and state officials and agencies, as well as non-governmental groups and organizations to support the mission of the Foundation
  • Developing with a executive committee an annual budget and fundraising plan for submission to the Board of Trustees
  • Identifying and pursuing appropriate grant opportunities and producing required reports to funding sources

The following skills and experience are highly valued but not required of candidates:

  • A bachelor’s degree in environmental science, water resources, environmental education, nonprofit management, public policy, or a related field
  • Experience with budgeting and/or financial management
  • Experience with fundraising/grant writing
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written
  • Three years or more of professional experience in a nonprofit setting, preferably one with an environmental mission
  • Experience working with a board of directors
  • Familiarity with environmental issues in the state of New Hampshire
  • Solid computer skills

The Foundation is offering a combined salary and compensation package in the range of $25,000 to $30,000.

The executive director will report to an executive committee of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Applications will be accepted until January 15; the expected start date for the position is April 1, 2014.

A complete job description can be downloaded from here.

Candidates can e-mail a resume in Microsoft Word or PDF format to LWFJOB@lakewentworthfoundation.org, or they can send a printed resume to: Lake Wentworth Foundation, Box 2235, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of residents and landowners in the Lake Wentworth/Crescent Lake watershed as well as others who want to encourage the protection and preservation of the area’s vital natural resources. The group is committed to a watershed where stewardship of clear lakes and streams combines with wise land uses to sustain the quality of life and economic vitality of the entire community.

The Lake Wentworth Foundation supports environmental initiatives such as the partnership with the Town of Wolfeboro and NH Department of Environmental Services in the ongoing development and implementation of a watershed-wide management plan for Lake Wentworth, Crescent Lake, and their tributaries. The organization also provides funding for the University of New Hampshire’s Lakes Lay Monitoring Program, which charts water quality in the watershed’s lakes and streams, as well as ongoing milfoil control.

Presently the Foundation owns and manages almost a dozen environmentally sensitive parcels totaling more than 175 acres of land in the Wentworth/Crescent watershed.

That watershed comprises:

  • More than 37 square miles of area, encompassing most of the town of Wolfeboro
  • 4000+ acres of surface waters
  • 617 acres of wetlands
  • 11 year-round tributary streams, each comprising its own sub-watershed

The watershed: Where do we go from here?

With the arrival of spring, the two-year, $150,000 Wentworth/Crescent watershed management plan is now winding down, and its accomplishments are significant. Among them:

  • A door-to-door survey of hundreds of properties along the shoreline of the two lakes and their tributaries, resulting in a raft of information about the age, placement, and maintenance of near-water septic systems
  • Identification, as part of the survey, of more than 100 properties of various sizes where runoff from snowmelt and rain storms is eroding shorelines and roadway stream crossings and is likely delivering large amounts of phosphorus into our surface waters. That list has been prioritized so that sites whose repair would provide the greatest return for the cost could be placed first in line for funding in the future.
  • Creation of a “build-out analysis” that estimates the extent of the development that could take place in the watershed under current zoning regulations. Using growth trends and other factors, the analysis estimated that all available property could be developed in Wolfeboro by 2033.
  • Creation of a mathematical land-use model that has estimated the current and projected amount of phosphorus being delivered to the lakes from all properties in the watershed. The model identified Lake Wentworth as the source of 96% of the water load and 68% of the total phosphorus entering Crescent Lake, and it ranked the 14 tributaries that flow into Wentworth by the amount of phosphorus they deliver.
  • Working from the data produced by the lake model, the Steering Committee that oversaw the watershed management plan set a goal of reducing the existing phosphorus levels in Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake by 15% in the coming years.

The details of the Wentworth/Crescent watershed management plan are contained in a final 190-page report. That document, which details the findings and recommendations of the two-year project, is available from this site in two parts:

NOTE: You can order a color print copy of the entire watershed plan by downloading and completing this form.

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